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About Paul

Paul is a BHS accredited instructor, and has his UKCC level 3 BE coaching qualification, who also teaches internationally.

From the beginning...

Paul's keen interested in horses started from the early age of 4 with his first pony, which has been said to have first sparked the interest in making horses a career and ride to top level. He went on to study Equine Management at BCA in Berkshire, during which he competed in his first ever BE event at the age of 16 on his own Alvescot Peppermint, who was later put down after sustaining an injury in the field.

He then trained under leading event rider Nick Gauntlett, the maker of famous horses such as Chilli Morning and Grand Maneuvre to name but a few, for 4 and a half years. While in training there he bought his soon to be FEI** horse, Simply Beau as a 4 year old, however it was a rocky start as in the first two days of the pair matching up, Paul broke his pelvis while riding. Many people discouraged the partnership, advising Paul to sell the horse, but through his hard work and dedication to not only the horse but to achieving his goals, they completed their first CIC** in 2010. While in training with Nick, Paul started teaching with the Beaufort riding club and gaining his qualifications at Talland School of Equitation.

Unfortunately before the partnership could progress further Simply Beau sustained a suspensory ligament injury in 2011, which meant a lengthy recovery process and although competing in several Open Novice a couple years later, Paul decided to retire Simply Beau from Eventing and start his career in Dressage, which gained them both further success competing up to Pre Saint George, and training up to Grandprix level with Pammy and Charlie Hutton.

After his time with Nick, he spent two years at Talland as their in-house event rider, and also branched into the world of Show Jumping with Holly's Clover to 1.40m. Paul is a very dedicated and versatile rider, which allows him the ability to excel in all areas and in 2016 was requested to try out for the World Class pathway program.

Teaching Experience

Paul has a vast amount of experience, having taught all abilities, from beginners to advanced riders in both Eventing and Show Jumping, and has worked alongside riding and pony clubs, regularly teaching for the Beaufort hunt pony club over the last 10 years.

Not only does Paul travel all over the UK teaching, from the Devon Coast to Fife Scotland but he also teaches internationally as well, doing clinics all over the world; Asturias Spain, Ocala Florida, Kiln Mississippi, Fairhope Alabama and New Market New England.

Over the years Paul has helped source and produce many quality top level competition horses and trained with many top level riders. Many of his current pupils are competing at the top of their class, for example Miss Harriet Noakley who competes her own Dorland, who last year competed at Sumerford Park International at their first CIC*, and have already done a Novice at Gatcombe. Another successful pupil is, Miss Maddie Milington-Drake who owns Abacus, who was produced by Paul himself, and now the pair have great success competing at Novice to 1* level.

Paul is fortunate enough to be sponsored by Kevin Bacon's Horse Care, The Mark Todd Collection, Haygain Hay Steamers, Tech Stirrups, Mojo Europe, Chestnut Horse Feeds, Gatehouse, Voltaire Design, Jump 4 Joy, Equiclass, Cavalleria Toscana, Science Supplements and Zandona. He also provides Sponsorship for riders in the UK supporting them with free training for the season.


“Paul is an excellent and patient teacher, who encourages and demands in equal measure. He has re-trained my daughter and her horses over the past five years, working hard with both to allow them to progress from BE90 to CCI* and CIC** level. He varies his teaching according to the rider and horse, and is not afraid to try new ideas to achieve the best results. Our horses have never been in better condition, with his own training and event programme.”

 – Alice Millington-Drake

“I tried a couple of horses Paul had produced to sell. He’d done a great job on them and they were very correctly trained. Paul is a good communicator and clearly understands how to get the best out of horses"

– Harry Meade, International and team GB event rider.

"I have been very lucky to have been given the opportunity to trail with Paul, as one of his sponsored riders for 2017. Since my training began in February, I have had weekly sessions and have already noticed a huge improvement in my riding and horses performance, my biggest achievement obviously being my first ever double clear and top 10 placing at my first event of the season!

Paul attends my events and has guided me through course walks and warm ups (the dreaded show jumping especially) which I find hugely beneficial as it gives me that extra bit of confidence but also reassures me that I do actually know what I am doing... most of the time.

I can highly recommend Paul as a trainer. He has radically improved my riding in such a short space of time and I feel I will be able to achieve my aim of stepping up to Novice very soon... bring on the rest of the season!"

– Lucy Robinson

"Paul Gaff is an excellent trainer in all aspects of riding . His in depth knowledge and expertise in dressage has really improved both me as a rider, especially my accuracy and my horses way of going.

I used to dread the dressage phase but I now have the confidence to ride positively and my recent scores reflect this. I can always rely on Paul for technique riding when it comes to jumping as he always has an exercise that will solve any issues I may be having with a particular horse while making it both fun and educational.

I can't thank Paul enough for the confidence he gives me when out competing especially when walking the cross country. I feel I ride the course exactly how we have walked it as he explains everything from lines to take to which canter to approach each fence in. Barbury was by far the biggest track I've ridden and as I got to the last fence I couldn't believe how smooth we had got round, all because we had a plan set in place! I'm really looking forward to this season and my continued training from Paul."

-- Harriet Noakley