Plans to improve facilities for Sheikh Mohammed’s endurance string at Wood Ditton Stud at Newmarket have been given the go-ahead by the district council.

Major redevelopment to the property has been approved, including stabling for 36 endurance horses and a new 10-bedroomed house for grooms’ accommodation – a substantial establishment by endurance standards.

While Sheikh Mohammed’s pure-bred Arab endurance horses make up a small proportion of his overall equine assets, they are ridden by the sheikh himself and members of his family at major competitions worldwide.

Some of the sheikh’s endurance horses already spend May to October in Britain, and the new development is not necessarily expected to lead to a sudden increase in the number of his horses in training here.

The property, bought by Darley Stud Management on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed a year ago, is expected to continue as a foaling farm for visiting mares, with initial building work likely to be completed in the next 12 months.

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