• Corporate


  • Design
  • Content strategy
  • Digital development


  • Website

The client

Darley is HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s global thoroughbred stallion operation which currently stands stallions in seven countries around the world. One of the world’s biggest and most prestigious breeding businesses, its headquarters is at Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket – the historic and world-renowned home of horseracing.

The challenge

To update Darley’s website, making it fully responsive and user friendly for both visitors and internal operators. Making access to the information in which both groups were most interested as simple and intuitive as possible.

The solution

Analysis of user behaviour across the full range of devices used to interact with the current site was an important resource to guide the key decisions.

A combination of Google Analytics and heuristic evaluation was used for research and to understand user behaviour on the former website. Equipped with this data, we decided to put the stallions firmly in the spotlight and came up with the guiding principle of ‘stallions first’. The former site had too great a focus on news, which got in the way of access to the stallion pages. (Despite this, the stallion section received more than 50 percent of site traffic) The new site was built putting the stallions front and centre.

Additional key priorities were to interweave photography and video seamlessly throughout the site, and provide flexibility to allow key positions to be available for campaigns/takeovers and other marketing-led developments. These key locations are used to host videos, bespoke presentations and statistical carousels. They also carry the live streaming of important events.

CPL began with a two-month analysis and design phase to create the new look, and the site took just under four months to build. We made use of wireframe technology to map out the infrastructure of the site. Our designers then produced visuals that CPL’s digital team turned into the actual web pages using the Drupal 7 content management system as a platform.

We revolutionised the site when we introduced personalised pages for breeders – an industry first.

These allow breeders to: manage their mares and foals; sign contracts; see content exclusive to each of them; reply to invitations; and contact nominations staff quickly and easily.

Since the rebuild, further updates have been made to the homepage and stallion pages, as a result of  continued analysis of user behaviour and interaction with the new site, as well as the changing requirements of Darley’s marketing teams and ever-evolving technology.

The results

On time

The site build was delivered on time and in budget


Over 36,000 active users

User engagement

Time spent on the stallion pages has almost doubled

The new website has been live for a day and we have already received much positive feedback – both from colleagues at Darley and from media and clients.

It looks fantastic! The use of imagery, video and little surprises in the functionality, plus the fact it’s easily navigable, all while bringing the stallions to the fore, ensures that it is leading the way in terms of industry websites.

I would like to thank you all for your hard work to bring it together and deliver such an impressive promotional tool that we can all be proud of.

Alison Horan – Head of global marketing

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