A HUSBAND and wife who started a riding school in South Africa and had to rebuild it from scratch in the UK are finally moving into their own place.

After nearly a decade building Huntersfield Equestrian at a temporary home in Little Coxwell near Faringdon, Sam and Nico Van Den Berg have bought their dream home – a 28-acre plot of land just a stone's throw away in Challow.

Now they just need to build a riding school there.

Luckily, with a little help from their friends, the couple are well ahead with their plans to build a new indoor arena, outdoor arena and stables.

Mr Van Den Berg, 45, is doing much of the construction himself, working against the clock so they can move their horses in by Christmas.

Mrs Van Den Berg, 42, said: "It's all very exciting.

"The new property is three times the size of what we've got now so we're looking at maybe using part of the land for team-building courses or having a quad bike track."

For Mrs Van Den Berg, the new home is the realisation of a lifelong dream.

She first started riding when she was growing up in Staines, in Surrey, and her dad took her to the original Huntersfield riding school in Sutton, also in Surrey.

When she was 15 her mum took her and her sister to South Africa.

There she met her future husband Nico and together they bought a property in Durban where they founded a riding school.

Over the years, that grew to a 100-acre site with 43 horses and a stud farm, making them one of the biggest equestrian centres in South Africa.

In 2009 they sold their entire business and moved to the UK, bringing just two horses with them – Moon and Laudable – as well as their eight-year-old son Arrick.

They started renting 11 acres at a farm in Little Coxwell but have had the share the space with other equestrian businesses.

Huntersfield now has 18 horses and ponies and 80 students who it teaches to ride, but also to love and take care of the horses, most of which are rescues.

The business has blossomed, but Mrs Van Den Berg said: "Since we've been at Little Coxwell, we've been looking to get our own place.

"We had to slowly build the business up to get the money to put down a deposit, then we had to find a property that was suitable and within a distance where we could keep 90 per cent of our clients."

When they finally found the perfect plot at Challow, it was bare: they have already had to bring water and electricity on site not to mention putting up all the new buildings including the log cabin where the family are going to live for the foreseeable future.

But now, at last, it seems they are getting close to completion.

Find out more at huntersfieldec.com