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Ireland’s largest purpose-built equestrian centre for sale

A back injury has forced former showjumper James Buckley to put his newly-refurbished Emerald International Equestrian Centre up for sale.

The centre, set in 58 acres in Co. Kildare, is Ireland’s largest purpose-built equestrian centre.

Mr Buckley bought the property from the Irish government last year and turned it into a useable equestrian centre, installing a jumping surface.

However, the only major event held at the centre since the completion of the works last autumn was an Irish Masters show in November.

Mr Buckley is now having a back operation and will be out of action for much of the year.

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“This has been a long and difficult decision and not one I have come to easily,” he said.

“Emerald International will require a huge commitment from myself and due to health reasons, I am now no longer in a position to give such a commitment.”

The centre’s three international shows planned for 2015 have all been cancelled (24 March, 2 June and 10 November). They have not been reallocated.

“We were told to cancel the shows in the light of the sale of the property,” said a Horse Sport Ireland spokesman.

“We really hope the centre continues to be run as an equestrian facility.”

The centre has two indoor and three outdoor jumping arenas, two bars, a restaurant, extensive office space and 44 permanent stables.

The main indoor arena is one of the largest in Europe and has seating for 3,000 people.

“This is a world-class facility with some of the best arena surfaces I have seen anywhere in the world,” said world number Scott Brash after visited last year.

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The agents are expecting bids of “several million” for the centre, which is five miles from Enfield, and 30 minutes drive from Dublin.

“Ideally the centre will be sold for equestrian use but there has been interest from people looking for industrial premises,” selling agents REA McDonald Bros told H&H.

The private tender process ends on 27 February, with the centre being sold in two lots — lot one is the equestrian centre on 49.55 acres, while lot two is another 8.73 acres.

Lot one includes a fully equipped four-bedroom apartment and another one bedroom apartment.

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