Whether it’s an indoor school for training away from the wind and rain, a loading ramp for moving mares with ease come the breeding season, or simply an outdoor plug and tap for clipping your hunter and washing him down during the deep dark winter months, everyone has a wish list for their property so I have caught up with current equestrian stars to ask what they can’t live without and what they hope to find in their stocking this Christmas.
The Event Horse Owner
Lyn and Nick How – Owners of Eventing World Champion (7yro) Mr Bass who was ridden to victory by Laura Collett at Le Lion last month. The husband and wife team also own Harleys Comet ridden Ibby Macpherson and Lisha Luba competed by their daughter, Rebecca as well as being a part of William Fox-Pitt’s Oslo syndicate.
With your horses in mind, what would be at the top of your property wish list this Christmas?
“Indoor school. We have never had this luxury, it is a great facility to have when the weather makes it impossible to keep your horses fit.Horses aside…a wine cellar…..no explanation needed!”
The Professional Huntsman
Heading to the West Country, Josh Cameron, Master of the Wilton Hunt spanning Dorset, Hampshire and into Wiltshire says the top of his property wish list would be rolling parkland and private lanes (ideally with no traffic) for exercising the hunt horses and hounds.
As for luxury, after a long days hunting, Josh thinks a games room with a full size snooker table would be at the top of his Christmas wish list.
The Bloodstock Consultant
Tina Dawson is the Director and Manager of Insignia Racing Syndicates and a bloodstock consultant working with a number of studs. If money was no object, what equestrian feature would you love to have at your property and why?
“A horse walker – offers great flexibility for: bringing horses back into exercise; handling youngstock (helps to build muscle and strength without overdoing them) and can provide an option to turning out which helps with field management during bad weather.”
And what non equestrian feature would you love?
“I would love a tennis court with flood lights for outside and inside would definitely be the wine cellar.”
The Young Rider
Emily King, daughter of Olympian Mary King is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in her own right. 2015 has been Emily’s first year as a Young Rider and has already seen her win team gold in the FEI European Eventing Championship in Strzegom as well as finishing as the highest placed Briton in her first four-star event at Pau in the south of France this Autumn.
I caught up with Emily who lives in Devon to see what she’s hoping for this Christmas.
“If money was no object I would LOVE to have a little condensed cross country course. It would just be fantastic to be able to take the young horses around it regularly and be able to educate them as much as possible.”
And her non horsey dream feature?
“Definitely a swimming pool, probably outdoor but very heated… The sea is right on our doorstep, but it isn’t that appealing to go for a quick dip this time of year!”
The Professional Polo Player
Michael Henderson is a professional polo player based in Warwickshire but is often found in more snowy and tropical climates during the winter months.
Mikey says that if money was no object, the top of his property wish list would “without a doubt, be a hydrotherapy set up, to be able to swim horses and rehab injuries.
“Polo ponies are put under a lot of strain from a busy schedule to demanding games, we have bred polo ponies over the last 40 years to be lightweight, agile, and amazingly quick yet tough enough for a ride off. Their bodies are put to the test, and like all top athletes in any discipline we believe they should be treated accordingly.
We take our polo ponies out swimming but it’s incredibly time consuming to take my entire string of 14 horses, to have a pool on site would be our dream.
And as for a non-equestrian feature, it would have to be a helicopter and heli pad, to get me to the next game quicker and avoid the traffic.”
The Event Rider
Based at Aston le Walls and part of the Lottery Funded World Class Programme, Jodie Amos is one of our stars for the future. In the lead up to Christmas, we wonder what Jodie has put on her list for husband-to-be Nick.
For the horses…
“A hydrotherapy spa and treadmill. I am using both the spa post competitions and the water treadmill regularly during the season for fitness and strengthening purposes more and more these days. Both the travel expenses and the actual hire are quite costly so to have the use of either on site, free of charge, preferably with someone to work them… would be fantastic”
And for Jodie…
“A Jacuzzi. Nothing better than sitting in a hot bath at the end of a cold winters day but I think the additional bubbles would take it to a whole other level.”
Northamptonshire based Mum of three, Sarah Heseltine would love her outdoor arena to be heated by a solar powered underground system so that it never freezes, if this isn’t possible then a covered school would suffice!
As for a non equestrian feature, she’d love a second kitchen in her home so that caterers could come in and secretly cook lunch for all the family on Christmas Day allowing Sarah to spend time with her daughter, Hermione, who celebrates her birthday the same day.
It’s this time of year when people begin their property searches and register with agents, so if you’re thinking about buying or considering selling your property in 2016, please feel free to get in touch with me to see if I can help (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 016 3715).
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas.