Working yards worthy of an old-fashioned story book aren’t always easy to come by, but when they do, their associated listed status needn’t cause the headache buyers dread, finds Madeleine Silver
IN a woodland adjacent to The Durdans Stables in Epsom is the grave of 1838 Derby winner Amato. Joining him are fellow Derby winners Ladas, Sir Visto and Cicero. But the horses standing in the Grade II-listed stables today are blissfully unaware of their illustrious predecessors – or the longevity of the Victorian bricks and mortar around them.
A decade ago, Vanessa Johnson and her husband Brett, a dual Flat and National Hunt trainer, bought the yard to house the racehorses as well as their liveries.
“This place has amazing facilities with stabling for more than 50 horses and plenty of land [58 acres]. And because the stables are old-fashioned, they’re huge, so they’re really good for the horses that are in for a lot of the day,” says Vanessa. “In the summer, or on a really frosty morning, you do look around at the yard and think it’s incredible.”
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