Local Face: Jenny Summerfield

  |  Published: Feb 1st 1994

Some of us are born with an obsession. Some are even able to indulge it at work and play. One such is Jenny Summerfield. Had she been born earlier, could she have been the original for the Thelwell cartoons?

Jenny describes herself as a girl besotted with horses who has never grown out of it. She was taught to ride by the legendary Mary Ridpath. In the sixties and seventies little Jenny gathered rosettes from all the best pony club events in and around Tring where her family has been settled for over forty years.

By the early eighties, Jenny felt she had enough experience to serve the horse fraternity in which she found herself. By now she was in Ivinghoe and organised a trade stand visiting all the local shows, gaining a good reputation for quality and efficiency.

Business was flourishing so it was time for a more established approach. A new development in Wendover caught Jenny's eye and she moved into 5, Chiltern Court at the top of Back Street in August 1986. She has never deserted her show customers and during the Summer Season most weekends involve taking the stand somewhere in Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire. Things really started to develop in the shop and when number 4 next door became available in January 1990, Jenny expanded accordingly. Summerfield's Saddlery offers a full saddlery service including repairs.

The selection of country clothing is extensive including Driza-bone, Musto, Harry Hall, Fieldwear Hunters, waxed, quilted, down filled and waterproof clothing, waxed and felt hats, tweed caps. The wellington boots are very strong for working or walking and start in price from only £5.99.

In addition to selling new clothing, Jenny offers a cleaning, repairing and reproof service for waxed jackets as well as cleaning and repairing of leather and suede garments.

As an enthusiast, Jenny now serves on the Bucks County Committee of the British Horse Society. This is the national ruling body for horse riding. They have responsibility for safety, bridleways, welfare and they are the award giving body so organise many training courses. The Bucks branch is quite lively as befits one of the counties which has traditionally had the most horses per acre in the country.

When policewoman Donna Lee was asked to set up HorseWatch in the Summer of 1991, who should she approach but Jenny Summerfield, who became the local co-ordinator. The local scheme can claim success in as much as the local horse crime rate is relatively low. Not far from here, 2 horses and a lorry were recovered through a Horsewatch scheme so it really does pay to stay alert.

Jenny is very keen to pass on her interest to the next generation and can often be seen leading her daughter Flora on a Welsh pony. Flora is following in mother's hoofprints by gathering her own set of rosettes, including second prize for Mountain and Moorland at the last Wendover Horse Show.

Summerfields Saddlery is the hub of the horsey side of life in Wendover. There is a noticeboard inside the shop as well as Horsewatch and other notices in the window.

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