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Fall 2011

Storybook Dreams Come True for Aspiring Equestrians

Storybook Farms

Grant (left) and Bob Story with their Bobcat CT230 compact tractor.

A Bobcat compact tractor is a workhorse at Storybook Farm, home to the nationally ranked College of Charleston Women’s Equestrian program.

At Storybook Farm in Johns Island, S.C., a Bobcat® CT230 compact tractor maintains the 12-acre facility, to keep it in tip-top shape for its exclusive partnership with the College of Charleston Women’s Equestrian team.

Storybook Farm is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team, Bob and Alicia Story. The Story family built the facility in 1985 for use with the equestrian team, of which Bob has been head coach since 1980.

“My sister revived the College of Charleston Women’s Equestrian program in 1970,” Bob says. “We’ve dedicated the farmland to the equestrian team at the college; today there are 35 students on the team.”

The team hosts competitions with as many as 13 schools participating at Storybook Farm. Schools from the Southeast such as the University of Miami, Florida State University, University of Florida and many more compete at the facility. “When we host the competition, we provide the horses for all of the riders,” Bob says.

Storybook Farms

Moving palletized items like these bags of feed is much easier with the Bobcat compact tractor and pallet fork attachment.

Two riding rings are situated on the property, adjacent to a barn with stalls where the horses are kept. “We have 27 horses here,” Bob says. “Some of them belong to the college, through donations; all of them are used in the program.”

Hands-on approach

Property maintenance and caring for the horses take a lot of time and effort. A Bobcat compact tractor — purchased from Bobcat of Charleston — has improved the farm’s operation, especially in reducing the labor and time needed to keep it looking good.

“We use the compact tractor for feeding the horses, moving hay, dragging and leveling the ring, cleaning stalls and mowing,” Bob says. “We have a finish mower that mows 10 of our 12 acres. We also move a lot of manure with the front-end loader and bucket. With the pallet fork attachment we can pick up a pallet of bedding and drive into the barn to go stall by stall. It really cuts down on how many times you’re handling the bags.” Bob says it saves him up to two hours per day because there’s less back and forth to get the bags to the stalls.

Hands above the rest

Bob says he and his son Grant did a lot of research before buying a new compact tractor, reviewing manufacturers’ websites and comparing specs head-to-head. They owned their previous tractor for 10 years and wanted something that would be as reliable and durable, plus one that was more comfortable.

“The adjustable seat and tilt steering wheel are two of the leading comfort features,” Bob says. “Everything is so accessible; it’s right there at your fingertips. I like being able to remove the front-end loader in a minute-and-a-half, and the telescopic links make it easy to connect rear implements.”

Like so many other Bobcat compact tractor owners, Bob Story was familiar with Bobcat compact equipment prior to his purchase.

“We were familiar with the quality of Bobcat equipment because we have previously operated Bobcat skid-steer loaders,” Bob says. “We installed 11,000 feet of fencing with a Bobcat loader and auger attachment. We knew if Bobcat was offering a compact tractor that it was going to have the same quality that the other Bobcat equipment had. We were enamored with Bobcat skid-steer loaders.”