The British passion for horses extends far beyond these shores, particularly when an equine-mad buyer is looking for a second home or overseas base.
Roderick Aris at Winkworth in France (020 8576 5582 www.winkworth.fr) believes it has never been a better time to purchase an equestrian estate outside the UK. ‘Even with the currently disadvantageous Euro to Sterling rate, prices are down and we are getting a large number of enquiries from people keen on having stables or somewhere to keep horses.’
Mr Aris is selling a fairytale Chateau de Bussiere that dates back to 1234. The chateau comes with eight bedrooms, staff quarters, pool and pool house, a large lake and fully equipped stables with four boxes. The price is £3.553 million.
‘The French have a strong equine culture and are very well set up to assist with any equestrian activities or problems,’ he adds.
The Germans are equally savvy when it comes to riders and riding. Sotheby’s International Realty (0049 4085 500 900 www.hamburgsothebysrealty.com) is selling Gut Ballin, an impressive equestrian estate in the village of Regesborstel, 30 minutes from Hamburg.
A British buyer wanting an equestrian estate that has already been renovated and modernised will fall in love with Gut Ballin (through Sothebys Realty Hamburg 00 49 40 85 500 900 www.sothebysrealty.com), a horse-lover’s mansion 30 minutes for Hamburg.
Terrific horsey facilities include a heated Olympic indoor arena connected to the stable building, a riders’ lounge, outdoor and show jumping arenas, paddocks and 12 acres of fenced-in fields. There is even a path along the lake for relaxing hacks.
A businessman with a fervour for horses currently owns the property priced at £4.886 million. He says the estate that is tucked away discreetly behind electric gates will suit anyone equally infatuated who also wants total privacy – the estate is completely hidden from view and few know of its existence.
Sothebys is also marketing a fine seven-bedroom finca at Casares, Spain (0034 952 810102 www.sothebysrealty.com) that comes with its own equestrian centre, including a breeding farm with a triple Andalusian champion, paddocks, stables for young horses and mares and an insemination laboratory. The price is £15.102 million.
Of two Mallorcan estates worth considering the first is Sencelles, a £1.598 million finca with a stable for three horses and tack room. The main four-bedroom house has roof and covered terraces, along with a two-bed guest house. Contact Savills (020 7016 3740 www.savills.co.uk/abroad).
The second Mallorcan equine delight is Son Punta at Santa Maria. The four-bedroom property with a library, wellness centre, observation tower and lift costs £11.1 million and the horses are equally well served. The stable building has three horse boxes, saddle room, two feeding rooms with haydrops and a studio that can be used as an office. Engel & Volkers (0034 971 621629 www.engelvoelkers.com) is the selling agent.
For those wanting to combine the old with the new, a £4.664 million reconstructed ancient abbey set in 500 acres has an up-to-the-minute training centre for race horses with over 80 stable boxes. A number of outbuildings, including a former 12th century mill, farmhouse, barn and further stables, also come with the purchase. Call Knight Frank International (020 7629 8171 www.knightfrank.co.uk).
Argentina, with its open spaces and breathtaking scenery, is the perfect place to accommodate riding and polo, says Charl Ackerman from Aylesford International (020 7349 5110 www.aylesford.com). ‘Unlike golf, polo and horse-riding is an activity for the whole family and properties within country clubs or near riding facilities are becoming increasingly popular.’
Aylesford is selling homes currently at Arelauquen Golf & Country Club from £277,734 in the Argentine Patagonia, surrounded by national parks and along the shores of Lake Gutierrez. As well as a 23-room boutique hotel and a golf course, a polo club with three fields and stables and horse-riding should keep even the most ardent horse lover happy.