For the equestrian community, home is where the horse is – and these unique properties offer amazing living spaces for both humans and their equine friends
W hen it comes to equestrian estates, owners are passionate about their properties. Where and how they live is all about the thrill of riding.
“The best word I can come up with is completeness,” says Bridget Brandon, an equine consultant who owns a 15-acre property in the Fort Worth suburb of Argyle. Brandon, a former competitive jumper, has four horses and boards eight retired show horses on her land. She says that feeling of completeness is the sum of skill, confidence in the saddle and synergy with a horse, which come together in a perfect ride.
It’s a lifestyle that’s challenging, expensive, demanding, dirty and rewarding. Owners like having control over the way their property is run, how their horses are cared for and “the freedom of going out and practising on their own schedules”, says Thomas Baldwin of Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty in Wellington, Florida.
In the equestrian community, owning land requires specialised know-how of what it takes to manage it. Water sources are for horses rather than for water features. Well-maintained pastures are prioritised over well-tended landscaping. Baldwin says buyers often put the needs of their horses over their own.
Some believe passion for the equestrian life is in the genes. Brandon is one of them. “Nobody in my family had anything to do with horses but somehow my first word was ‘pony’,” she says. As a teenager she spent time cleaning stalls at a friend’s family farm in exchange for riding lessons. “All that matters is your love for horses.”
Double H Farm is a world-class facility on 87 acres with luxury amenities for 43 horses, along with a main house, two guest houses, staff apartments, two barns and outbuildings. The Upper Barn has 14 12ft x 12ft stalls, including two for foaling and two for grooming. The grounds have paths with rider-friendly footing that lead to 17 paddocks, a 3.5-acre grand prix field with natural jumps, a 140ft x 260ft all-weather outdoor ring, plus an 80ft x 180ft indoor ring. The main house is surrounded by gardens with a pool and heated spa. There is an indoor golf room, seven-car garage, a salt-water pool and tennis and basketball courts.
Property ID: 7HBCGD
Sotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage
Krissy Blake +1 203 869 4343
Rancho Santa Fe, California
This 77-acre estate comprised of seven parcels has multiple residences, two state-of-the-art barns, riding arenas, pastures and tree-lined trails. The 15,000 sq ft main home is in classic Santa Barbara style and a two-bedroom guest house adjoins the fully equipped games room with a bowling alley, bar and gym. There are multiple residences for family, friends and staff. Strategically developed to achieve the ultimate in privacy, yet conveniently located minutes to downtown, the airports, shopping, beaches and showgrounds, this special haven is unlike any other in the area.
Property ID: HER9PL
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty
Patricia Kramer +1 858 945 4595
Cathy Gilchrist-Colmar +1 858 775 6511
Old Westbury, New York
This spectacular 108-acre country estate includes a 26-room Georgian-style manor house built in 1932 by the architect Henry Sedgwick for the banker Robert Winthrop. There is a pool with a pool house, a tennis court, playhouse, extensive stables and paddocks, a squash court, barns, cottages and numerous outbuildings and garages. Located in the incorporated village of Old Westbury, the manor house has seven master bedrooms, nine full baths and three half-baths, staff quarters, a wine cellar, central air conditioning and a generator.
Property ID: 7MQE3D
Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty
Meredyth Hull Smith +1 970 471 2557
Christy Porter +1 516 835 5512
Lois Kirschenbaum +1 516 526 7425
Stockton, New Jersey
Just 70 miles from New York City, Holly Farm is a 120-acre, world-class equestrian facility, though its topography would suit other disciplines as well. The award-winning, architect-designed main barn has 16 stalls, all by Corton, an elevator to a ready-to-finish luxury apartment and atrium viewing area, and a hay-storage wing and attached 70ft clear-span six-horse hot walker. There is a separate summer barn with eight stalls and plenty of parking space for visitors’ trailers, including RV hook-ups. It has all been beautifully maintained. Equestrian perfection.
Property ID: BZPL33
Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty
Chris Preston +1 215 262 9609
This 55-acre estate nestled within the prestigious gated community of Wellington Preserve is nothing short of exceptional. Custom-built and with no expense spared, the property boasts a 64-stable barn, two world-class polo fields, and an all-weather riding arena. A clubhouse and outdoor courtyard, complete with an outdoor kitchen, offer both luxury and functionality. There are four distinct sections of stables, each with its own tack lounge and feed/utility room. Two three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments await your guests, and there is accommodation for up to 16 staff. With the ability to subdivide for flexibility and plenty of space to build the perfect estate home, this property is truly one of a kind.
Property ID: RK6ZHF
Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty
Michelle Hall +1 713 303 7369
Turkey, North Carolina
The owner's passion for horses have inspired something unparalleled at one of the most notable equestrian estates on the East Coast. The property is a sanctuary for the outdoor or equestrian enthusiast, encompassing 600 acres of picturesque rolling landscape, including a 20-acre lake and miles of trails. The Stan Gralla-designed main barn boasts 10 16ft x16ft stalls and a tack room. The Santa Fe-inspired 3,000 sq ft residence above the barn features four woodburning fireplaces, magnificent views of the property from two decks, and a viewing area that overlooks the world-class 100ft x 200ft indoor arena. The property offers lighted indoor and outdoor arenas, a hot walker, veterinary facilities, laundry and washdown areas, recovery/turnout paddocks and spacious pasture.
Property ID: 4S6478
Landmark Sotheby's International Realty
Lisa Sledzik +1 910 538 9190
Joy Donat +1 910 200 4117
North Hampton, New Hampshire
Originally owned by Massachusetts governor Alvan Fuller, Runnymede Farm is located on the south side of Atlantic Avenue in North Hampton on the banks of the Little River. Peter Fuller, a well-known businessman, philanthropist and thoroughbred expert, bred and kept horses here until the early 1980s. The farm comprises a main 4,080 sq ft barn, 3,000 sq ft caretaker’s residence, expansive paddocks and a riding/jumping arena. The main barn boasts 12 stalls, a bathing bay with hot and cold water, a heated tack room, office and kitchen. Another 1,150 sq ft barn provides additional equestrian possibilities and the infrastructure has been upgraded to provide for a potential indoor riding ring.
Property ID: PHDFDK
Tate & Foss Sotheby’s International Realty
Tony Jalbert +1 603 498 6241