Julia Anderson was born in Sussex and lived in the South of England until moving to Mid Wales with her husband Doug in 1996. She has been passionate about horses from a very early age and her first love has always been working with young horses and showing.
At the age of 11 Julia was lucky enough to be introduced to Sheila Rampling nee Rowell, a dealer, judge and producer of show ponies. Apart from the odd appearance at school Julia spent most of her waking moments at Sheila’s yard absorbing everything she could to do with dealing, showing and production. During this time Sheila’s head girl was Jackie Beatham (nee Stanfield). Jackie has now been on most of the major showing panels for over 40 years and Julia took every opportunity to benefit from her knowledge and tuition. Julia credits much of her dedication and attention to detail to Jackie’s influence. At the age of 16 Julia left school and went to work for Sheila full time.
At 18 and having taken her BHSAI but with no wish to instruct, Julia went to work for Frankie Warnford in Haywards Heath as head girl in a yard of point to pointers, show jumpers and hunters. After 2 years Julia decided to freelance and it was while doing this that she met George Freeman, former head man to renowned Hackney breeders and producers Frank and Cynthia Haydon. Initially Julia assisted George with his stud work and yearling preparation at the Homestall Stud in Ashurstwood, they then ran the Churchill Stud at Newchapel before moving to South Godstone and setting up a breaking ,schooling and show production yard. George’s first love was Hackneys and at first the majority of their ‘clients’ were driving horses. Julia loved breaking and showing the Hackneys but soon persuaded George that a lot of them would benefit from ridden work! They had many showring successes including at HOYS with the driven Hackneys and at County level with Hackneys under saddle. One memorable year at the South of England Show, they ‘backed’ an 11yo Hackney Stallion on the Thursday night and Julia showed him under saddle on the Saturday …. and came 2nd in the class! Never one to turn down a challenge, the following year Julia decided to do the ridden Hackney class side saddle.
Julia and George’s neighbour at South Godstone was Gerald Evans, then Chief Executive of the H.I.S., now SHB(GB), so inevitably Julia’s love of ridden show horses, particularly hunters, was rekindled. Gerald had already introduced Julia to Rosamund Owen who taught her to ride side saddle and was a major help and influence in Julia’s career.
After 10 years with the breaking yard Julia decided that she wanted to concentrate on breeding and showing. Whilst with George they had stood a variety of stallions including the T.B. Yukon Eric by Tudor Minstrel and the H.I.S. stallions Gang Warily and Snow Warning. Julia started her own breeding project with a retired event mare by Little Cloud which she put to a Hanoverian stallion, Maple Drambuie. This was quite a gamble nearly 30 years ago when warmbloods were not nearly so popular. The result was a beautiful lightweight hunter who had many successes in ridden, ladies and working hunter classes and remained with Julia until he was put down at the age of 23. Now Julia uses Irish Draught and Thoroughbred bloodlines with the aim to produce quality hunter types with the versatility to perform in any discipline.
Most of the Oathill horses have names connected to bread, cakes or biscuits. The Oathill prefix was only recently added in 2009 and was conceived from the combination of the horsebox registration letters being OAT and the fact that Bryn Amlwg is Welsh for ‘obvious hill’!