Jan Furr was born in Warwickshire, England and started riding at age 8. Jan started a full time career with horses in 1974, as a groom at busy local riding stable in Dunsmore, Buckinghamshire, England. After a year at Dunsmore Jan was ready to move on and take what appeared to be a neat career to the next level so she enrolled at Trent Park Stables in London as a student in a British Horse Society course. There she studied horse mastership, stable management, equitation, veterinary science and the art of becoming an instructor. The year or so Jan spent at Dunsmore was to launch her into a career that has thus far spanned 30 years; and toward a lifelong pursuit, to learn more, keep learning and constantly strive to become better at whatever she does.
Trent Park, being one of London’s largest equestrian training centers with over 100 horses stabled there at that time, provided a wealth of opportunities for learning and experiences that she will never forget. There she worked, along with a dozen or so other students and studied for BHS exams for a year and rode under Keith Bevan BHSI and other well known instructors. She taught all levels, studied the finer points of instruction, show jumping, dressage, and cross country. While there she participated in hunter trials, show jumping, dressage and foxhunting..
After Trent Park, Jan was offered a position with George Hobbs, one of Great Britain’s leading international show jumping riders, at his farm in Sussex. Working with George and his hectic show schedule gave Jan lots of experience, traveling and turning out horses for major shows and invitationals, such as Windsor Great Park, Hickstead, South of England and schooling such show jumping greats as Warlord, Hallmark and Strongbow.
Needing a change of pace from the hectic life on the road, Jan took a position at Sir William Atkins’, “peaceful” country estate in Chobham, Surrey. There life slowed down several notches for two years while Jan cared for and trained the family jumpers and fox hunters and coached their daughter and junior rider.
In 1979 Jan moved to Church Stretton, Shropshire, there she spent a year at Dudgeley Hall starting show jumpers, competing with the novice horses, fox hunting and competing at hunter trials.
In 1980 Jan moved to the USA, met her husband in Idaho, moved on to Missouri, then South Carolina, married in 1981, galloped a few race horses in St. Matthews then moved back to England in late 1981. From 1982-1986 while raising a young family Jan worked for lawyer Jonathan Plumb, Whipper-in, for the local Hunt, caring for and conditioning the hunters and hunting twice a week.
In late 1986, Jan and Tom and 2 children moved back to the U.S.A. permanently and in 1988 Pinewood Riding Center was established. 12 years later, in May of 2000, having built a busy and successful business, Pinewood moved to its new location on Benjamin Boulevard, Orangeburg, South Carolina.