While our top showjumpers are dispersed across the country and there are thriving equestrian centres nationwide catering for jumping enthusiasts, property expert Carla Passino says that West Sussex tops the charts as the county to head for if showjumping is your number one priority. Here, she explains why…
Why should showjumpers make a beeline for West Sussex?
Hickstead, of course (above). The showground hosts two of the world’s top showjumping events — the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting and the Longines Royal International Horse Show — plus a bevy of other events, including the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Championships and the All England Jumping Championships.
Who are the top riders living in West Sussex?
Shane and Chloe Breen are based at Hickstead and offer a training and livery service. Plus, says James Machell of Knight Frank, “there is a long list of well-known trainers and riders across all disciplines”, such as Scott Brash.
Where are the best places to train?
Coombelands Equestrian in Pulborough has an excellent all-weather arena, as do Felbridge Showground near East Grinstead and Pyecombe Equestrian in Pyecombe.
Where are the competitions and shows held?
There’s more to West Sussex than “just” Hickstead. With venues such as Coombelands, Felbridge, Ardingly and Pyecombe, the county offers “comprehensive and varied affiliated and unaffiliated showjumping”, according to Rebecca Butler of Batcheller Monkhouse. Good transport links also make it easy to reach venues across the UK, notes Diana Rowell of Churchill Country & Equestrian, adding that “because of the ease of transport to overseas competitions via the Channel Tunnel, many ferry routes, Gatwick or Southampton airports, this is the county of choice for the professional jumper or producer”.
What are the property prices like?
As a guideline, Batcheller Monkhouse is asking £1.3 million for a house with four bedrooms, holiday cottage and equestrian facilities set in 25 acres in the South Downs National Park.
Don’t miss our 11-page property special in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (28 May 2015)