Ian Winfield

Ian started life as a Barnardos boy and struggled through his early years in a challenging environment. Ian was well advised by a local policeman to join the British army; he subsequently had a highly successful career in the 2nd Battalion The Queens Regiment, completing distinguished tours of duty in Londonderry Northern Ireland, the Falklands, UN Peacekeeping in Cyprus and many tours in Berlin and other parts of Germany. On leaving the army Ian knew one thing for certain - being very successful means applying the attention and detail he had learned in the army to whichever business he chose.

With little financial resource he started as a bodyguard for celebrities which took him to many nightclubs, and so started the journey from managing other bodyguards and doormen, to hiring out pubs, in time owning his own pub and eventually owning and running a chain of nightclubs, restaurants and pubs. To him it was simple, the discipline of hard work combined with operational skills, selling his product and delivering an extremely high quality service.

With success, Ian made some time for relaxation and his new hobby – riding horses – fitted the bill. Once Ian is passionate about something, there is no stopping him. He bought his own horses and began competing, show jumping and eventing, and having fallen in love with horses and equine sports - the ‘nightclub and pub’ owner decided to give up the ‘fast lane’ licensed trade business in exchange for Oldencraig Equestrian Centre which he purchased in 1998. After 15 years as a nightclub owner/manager it was time to do something he really enjoyed.


Ian Winfield and Vicki Thompson - Winfield


When Ian bought Oldencraig it was a run down and shabby yard, with stables held together with bailing twine, flooring that was crumbled and in parts bare earth. The roofs leaked, drainage was a serious issue and in the paddocks there was a mixture of barbed wire, unkempt hedges and rotting post and rail. Since taking over from the previous owners, Oldencraig has been transformed into one of the most stunning, prestigious and professionally run premier dressage competition and training establishments in Britain with a worldwide reputation for excellence.

Vicki Thompson, Olympic dressage rider, trainer and 19 time National Champion, moved to Oldencraig in 2001, and Ian and Vicki married in 2008. Oldencraig has a diverse and talented international clientele who benefit from the exceptional facilities.

Ian is a perfectionist; as you look around each section of Oldencraig, from the well designed outdoor schools and stables to the elegant landscaping you will notice how breathtaking the establishment has become. Every requirement is catered for; even a canteen and bar for the comfort of the spectators and riders. The yard is now an eye-catching, immaculately clean yard, which offers its clients and staff a unique experience. The stables are always perfectly kept, the horses immaculate and the whole area is a work of art.

Ian bought Oldencraig to retire and relax but his drive and determination has transformed this equestrian centre - Ian’s quest for perfection has led to Oldencraig being voted the 'Best Show Centre' by British Dressage magazine for a number of years now and this is likely to continue. The dedication to detail, quality and experience for horse and rider is extraordinary.  

Ian Winfield is MC at British Dressage Southern Region Ball

Ian is an entrepreneur, an inspirational businessman and a no-nonsense guy who will only accept the best and that is what you can expect if you come to Oldencraig.


1966 - 1979 Education

Ian was educated at Woodford Primary School and at Thrapston Secondary School, both in Kettering Northamptonshire, and left school having successfully taken both O Levels and GCSEs.

1979 - 1987 Military Service

Ian joined the 2nd Battalion of the Queen’s Regiment and left having achieved the rank of Platoon Sargent.

During this time, Ian firstly undertook comprehensive initial basic training and then went on to train as a qualified instructor for Skill at Arms, Tactics, Drill, Physical Training, Marksman and Sniper over the course of his military service.

Ian completed distinguished tours of duty in Londonderry Northern Ireland, the Falklands, UN Peacekeeping in Cyprus and many tours in Berlin and other parts of Germany.

He was awarded a number of medals recognising his military service including The Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, the UN Cyprus medal, the General Service Northern Ireland medal and the Accumulated Campaign Service medal Northern Ireland.

1987 - Present Business Career

1991 - 1998 Security and Leisure Industries

Ian worked as a body guard for celebrities, royalty and diplomats around the globe for Major Williams in London. During this period Ian also trained the Mozambique army.

In addition, Ian owned and transformed several pubs, restaurants, night clubs and fun pubs during this time.

1998 - Present Owner/Director OEC Dressage Worldwide

Ian purchased Oldencraig Equestrian Centre and transformed it into the prestigious centre that it is today. OEC has been rated as one of the top 5 equestrian centres around the globe by the Financial Times and British Dressage have voted it the top show centre 13 years running.

Ian has also provided consultancy services to other organisations around the globe in establishing similarly world class equestrian centres.

2011 - 2013 Owner/Director Elite Design Printers, East Grinstead

Owner/Director IW Autos, Horsham

Other notable dates

1981 Ian was awarded the Freedom of the City of London

2006 Attended the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations in Gibraltar at the request of the Governor of Gibraltar

2008 Married his lovely wife Vicki

2016 Ian was a guest at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle In addition, Ian regularly receives army related invitations to events worldwide, including at the Tower of London


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