Re­gion rides high as horse en­thu­si­asts home in on prop­er­ties

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim War­ing

IT will prob­a­bly not come as a sur­prise that in a re­cent Horse and Hound sur­vey, Glouces­ter­shire and Hamp­shire were rated the top two “hor­si­est” coun­ties in Bri­tain. What might in­trigue some, but per­haps not those in the know, was North York­shire was third and ahead of no­table lo­ca­tions such as Devon, Ox­ford­shire and Sus­sex.

How­ever, when one looks at the ev­i­dence, the facts and fig­ures are very com­pelling. North York­shire has more race­courses than any other county (five to be pre­cise) with Horse and Hound rat­ing the York Ebor Meet­ing and Bramham Horse Tri­als as two of the nation’s iconic eques­trian events.

To many, Mid­dle­ham, near Ley­burn, is a de­light­ful pic­turesque vil­lage in the heart of the York­shire Dales.

It’s also home to 13 race­horse train­ers in­clud­ing Mark Johnston among oth­ers.

But it’s not all about high pro­file events or in­di­vid­u­als. North York­shire has the sec­ond high­est num­ber of point-to-points and pony club branches in the coun­try and the most rid­ing clubs. Fur­ther­more, ac­cord­ing to Horse and Hound, North York­shire ranks joint sec­ond for af­fil­i­ated events and show­ing qual­i­fiers. There is also very prac­ti­cal ev­i­dence of the county’s pop­u­lar­ity on a day-to-day ba­sis. The num­ber of far­ri­ers has in­creased from 41 in 2003 to 87 in 2010 with world far­rier cham­pion, Stephen Bean, hail­ing from this re­gion.

So what does this all mean for those with eques­trian in­ter­ests who may be buy­ing or sell­ing prop­erty across York­shire? Well, there is no doubt that the old es­tate agents’ cliché, “lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion”, re­mains as im­por­tant as ever, es­pe­cially if you are boxing to an event.

For many, ac­cess to the A1 cor­ri­dor run­ning north-south through the county is a strong at­trac­tion, wit­ness the early morn­ing pro­ces­sion of horse­boxes and trail­ers, es­pe­cially at week­ends.

A nice coun­try house with two or three acres and a cou­ple of loose boxes might be suf­fi­cient for those who sim­ply want to keep a cou­ple of ponies. At the other end of the spec­trum, spe­cial­ist fa­cil­i­ties can in­clude an all-weather mé­nage, pur­pose-built yard and any­thing from 10 to 50 acres of good wa­tered grass­land, ide­ally un­du­lat­ing.

We have some clients who have in­cor­po­rated their own cross coun­try course and, in one in­stance, a pur­pose-built 5.5 fur­long gal­lop.

Spe­cial­ist fa­cil­i­ties do en­hance the cap­i­tal value of a coun­try prop­erty, al­though the more spe­cific the fa­cil­ity and the more spe­cial­ist the prop­erty, can, some be­lieve, re­strict the range of po­ten­tial pur­chasers.

How­ever, those seek­ing coun­try prop­erty with build­ings sim­ply for amenity/pri­vacy would be well ad­vised to con­sider houses with eques­trian fa­cil­i­ties, es­pe­cially where the out­build­ings might be ca­pa­ble of adap­ta­tion for al­ter­na­tive use, pro­vid­ing this does not fall foul of lo­cal plan­ning poli­cies.

Also, those con­tem­plat­ing the sale of eques­trian prop­erty should not ig­nore the res­i­den­tial el­e­ment. It has to be equally well pre­sented and equipped. The horses may be well cared for but the fam­ily home might want sim­i­lar at­ten­tion.

For those buy­ing, con­sider the over­all “pack­age”. How well does the house sit? Are the build­ings and eques­trian fa­cil­i­ties in the right po­si­tion?

Does the whole set-up ac­tu­ally work from a day-to-day point of view? If it’s what you want and you can af­ford it, do re­mem­ber eques­trian prop­er­ties are fi­nite in num­ber and, as is ever the case, it’s worth pay­ing for qual­ity.

For­give the ob­vi­ous plug, but we are cur­rently mar­ket­ing an in­ter­est­ing se­lec­tion of prop­er­ties in North York­shire with eques­trian fa­cil­i­ties of vary­ing size and stan­dard. So do have a look at our web­site, www.knight­ which has a spe­cial­ist eques­trian sec­tion as well.

Tim War­ing is a part­ner of Knight Frank and heads their es­tate agency team in the North of Eng­land.

MAK­ING A SPLASH: Bramham Horse Tri­als.

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