The Trotters of Hareholes Farm

When the Hill family took over the tenancy of Hareholes Farm Cottage in 2020, they moved in with their two daughters, Freya and Francesca, Tracey’s father William and a couple of large Clydesdales, ‘Trotter’ and ‘Rhu’.

Before moving to the Duchy of Lancaster’s Needwood Estate, the family had been based in Nottingham where they stabled the Clydesdales at a local livery yard. All members of the family were actively involved in the care and upkeep of Trotter and Rhu, learning new skills and spending time together at the stables. As a result, they were soon being referred to as ‘Grandma and Grandad Trotter’, ‘Mr and Mrs Trotter’, ‘Big Trotter’ and ‘Little Trotter’ by other owners and riders coming to the yard.

As the Clydesdales started to grow older, it became apparent that they had developed a very close bond over the years and were happiest when left alone together, grazing in an empty field. The family therefore started looking for a property with stables and land which would allow the Clydesdales to enjoy their retirement years together.

“We were delighted when we discovered Hareholes Farm Cottage,” said Tracey, “and managed to move in within two months of applying for the tenancy. It has been absolutely ideal for us as a family and provided the perfect environment for Trotter and Rhu. We have enjoyed three wonderful summers here with our gentle giants, which is more than we had hoped for, given that they were both struggling with ongoing health issues.”

Sadly, in January of this year, the Hill family had to take the heartbreaking decision to let Trotter and Rhu go. They are nevertheless very thankful that ‘the boys’ went peacefully together at home and are grateful to the Clydesdales for helping them to find Hareholes Farm Cottage. “We have them to thank for us all now living in this beautiful home nestled in the Staffordshire countryside,” added Tracey.

Hareholes Farm Cottage is a large, four-bedroomed property set in over 9.5 acres on the Duchy of Lancaster’s Needwood Estate in Staffordshire. Originally built in the mid-19th century, the property was badly affected by the Faulds Mine explosion in 1944, after which it had to be re-roofed and partially rebuilt. It then became the family home of the Renshaw family for over 40 years, until Mr Renshaw had to leave the property due to ill health. In 2017, once it became vacant, the property was extensively refurbished and updated in line with the Duchy’s design guide and quality specification.