Eventing Worldwide is delighted to introduce Knight Frank as its new property specialist.
In their first article they talk about eventers first choice of location and advise the key when looking for your ultimate equestrian property is “to keep an open mind and look at all possibilities and visit as many different properties as possible”….
Keeping an Eventer in business is serious money. It’s not just the feed, farrier and frequent training, decent facilities are needed, close to hand. According to Rupert Sweeting, head of Knight Frank’s country house department, properties offering everything an eventer could wish for cost between £2.5 million and £5 million; ‘truly exceptional’ properties fetch up to £35 million.” If you’re prepared to go off the beaten track to say Herefordshire or Wales you could be looking at half that price – but then you have to add another two hours to your journey.”
The most popular area for eventers is the Cotswolds, which is also the one of the most expensive in the UK thanks to its chocolate-box villages and its proximity to London. For eventers the appeal is largely due to the world-class Horse Trials held there and being pretty much centrally placed for access to most UK events.
Rupert Sturgis from Knight Frank’s Cirencester branch knows a thing or two about eventing, as his wife Beanie has produced and competed horses up to four-star level and together they run Dauntsey Horse Trials near Chippenham, just 10 miles from Badminton. Rupert says ‘this area is steeped in eventing history. Badminton was set up by the 10th Duke of Beaufort, who wanted to provide riders with a training ground for future international events after watching the UK’s first three-day trials at the 1948 London Olympics. The following year the first Badminton took place. Other events followed such as Gatcombe,” says Sturgis. “This then tied in with the good motorway connections, with the M4 and M5, plus the ground is good here. So the area grew in popularity.”
“The top end of the market sees buyers looking for a tangible investment and lifestyle home,” explains Sturgis.
“Often this can involve a sponsor, backer or patron buying a property as a home and then using the stable yard and facilities to accommodate their rider. Other buyers want to have the space and location of a country home, but don’t need the equestrian facilities, so they then rent it out, which keeps the estate alive and looked after, and also provides an income.”
“We also have a lot of interest from overseas buyers, especially at the top end of market,” says Sturgis.
‘We have sold to riders from all around the world, including Europe, America, the Middle East, China, Japan and Brazil.”
The key thing when looking for your ultimate equestrian property is to keep an open mind and look at all possibilities and visit as many different properties as possible. “My advice to buyers is to talk to the agents that understand the sport,” says Sturgis.
Finding the ultimate equestrian property can also be hard because of the varied and individual requirements of the buyers – so it’s important to keep an open mind when viewing properties. The Buying Solution http://www.thebuyingsolution.co.uk search for and source the right property. They also carry out extensive due diligence on every chosen property and provide impartial advice on price and any other issues which could affect the client. These include planning and environmental issues, renovation costs and feasibility of carrying out these works, blights, income and running costs, privacy, commutability, schooling and amenities. “They know about private sales, those for sale confidentially and those coming to the market,” Rupert says. “They will also be able to tell you what has sold, when it sold and how much was paid for it – and what they think of it”.
Knight Frank currently have properties ranging from £1,500,000 to £35,000,000 suitable for the event rider, either to live in and have as an eventing home or set up as a professional yard. For more information telephone Rupert Sturgis on (01285) 659771.
Birchall Green Farm, Worcestershire
Upper Peckingell Farm, Chippenham £1,500,000
Ashworth House, Westonbirt £2,500,000
Alderley Farm, Tetbury £17,000,000