The "Girniukas" team are the new managers of Kurtuvėnai stud


The "Girniukas" team are the new managers of Kurtuvėnai stud

Deividas Petkus and Gražina Stugytė, the founders of the Girniukas riding school, have been living in a mood of change for some time. At the beginning of the summer, they became the new managers of the historical Kurtuvėnai stud farm, which commemorates the times of the manor. Although these changes brought many new worries and challenges, the "Girniukas" team resolutely set to work: they not only invite you to come to the stables and learn horse riding, but also promise changes that will bring this place to new life.

Realized a dream

The idea of ​​establishing a riding school arose in 2019 for horse enthusiast Deividas Petkus and his life partner, riding trainer Gražina Stugyte. The story of "Girniukas" began with this idea. As both claim, the beginning was not easy, but the passion was very high. Like the love of horses.

"We started our business at the V. Niauronis stud. We only had four horses. Gražina started training. It was going pretty well and just when it seemed like we were getting up to speed, the quarantine started. Everyone closed at home, so our activities also stopped", said D. Petkus.

After some time, I had to take the horses from Jusaičiai and continue working on the farm in the Bubiai district. But the family farm was not suitable for training, so the couple began to think about where to find a place where they could expand the activities of the riding school.

The news about the reorganization of the Kurtuvėnai Living Horse Museum reached them quite unexpectedly this spring. After winning the competition and becoming managers of the museum, Deividas and Gražina got the opportunity to realize their dream.

Went back, where it all started

Gražina was born and grew up in Kurtuvėnai. Her mother worked at a horse stable, so as a child she often came to the stable with her sister. That's how he started riding, training, participating in competitions.

"I come from Kurtuvėnai. Everything here is my own and close to me. This is where I started my journey as a rider.
Once upon a time, my friends and I used to watch horses and talk about what we would do if the stable was ours. It's still hard to believe, but dreams do come true," G. Stugytė did not hide her joy.

In 2006, she represented Lithuania at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen. Out of 170 participants in endurance riding, Gražina took 57th place. For a long time, no one could improve this achievement.

After graduating from horse riding, Gražina became a riding coach herself - she works with everyone who wants to learn the secrets of the art of riding, trains children, prepares them for competitions.

"I work with people of all ages both in groups and individually. It's never too late to learn to ride. Different people come. Some people enjoy being able to just make friends with a horse, ride it for fun. Others want to achieve results, then a lot of work and effort must be put in," said G. Stugytė.

The whole family joined

"Girniukas", who has been at the Kurtuvėnai stud for the second month, bravely accepted new challenges. The stable currently has 20 horses to look after, and there is no shortage of activity at the stable itself.

D. Petkus says that they do everything themselves. He invited Gražina's sister Jurgita and her goddaughter
, which conducts education, accepts everyone who wants to ride. D. Petkaus' daughters also spend their days at the stables, helping with farm work. Kinesitherapist - hippotherapist Jurgita Rutkienė conducts hippotherapy classes. There are also quite a few volunteers, so there is definitely no shortage of life in the stable.

"Everyone is employed. We all have our duties and jobs. It happens for the first time, but that's what makes this activity interesting. We live in this stud farm from morning to night", said D. Petkus, director of "Girniukas".

Will encourage tourism

The new managers of the stud farm are determined. According to them, after becoming managers of such a historical place, they are not only happy, but also feel a considerable responsibility.

"The stud farm is located in the Kurtuvėnai regional park. It is a historical, touristic place, so we feel an obligation to resurrect this place, breathe new life into it. We want people to come here, so that this place becomes an object of attraction", says D. Petkus.

He emphasizes that in order to implement all the ideas in the future, a lot of investment will be needed, but first of all it is necessary to invite visitors, to show that the stud farm is open to everyone.

"Girniukas" is open to everyone! We invite you to come, pet, feed the horses, go horseback riding, take a carriage ride and just have a good time in nature. We also organize education, horseback riding, and children's summer camps," said D. Petkus.

According to him, "Girniukas" is waiting for everyone: both beginners, horse sports enthusiasts and professionals.

"We want to become a more important part of the equestrian sports association, to educate professional riders, and to unite ordinary people who are not indifferent to horses, who like their friendship and communication," said the director of "Girniukas".

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