Hampshire is a good choice for equestrian property buyers due to the natural topography, stunning downland and rolling countryside. This rural landscape particularly lends itself to equestrian pursuits such as hunting, polo and the various Pony Clubs in the region.
The county is home to the Hackwood Point to Point course which hosts various meetings which tend to be very popular amongst locals, a ‘must’ event in many social calendars and for those further afield with a real passion for the sport.
There are also numerous Pony Club competitions taking place as well as Polo which are a good reflection of the equestrian society in and around Hampshire. The equestrian hot spots in the county tend to vary depending on the level of riding experience, however, they will mainly be found around the South Downs National Park or on the Hampshire Downs.
Where children are being introduced to riding ideally they will have a field attached to or near their house. Looking after a horse or pony is as important as actually learning to ride. With more advanced Pony Club enthusiasts a couple of fields, stables and preferably a ménage are appropriate. This is similar to the requirements of someone who competes, hunts or enjoys Point to Points. Finally, the professional rider will likely seek a small farm that can be turned into an equestrian property. If the property is intended to be a business then the requirements change again where it is likely they will need 15 plus stables, an indoor and outdoor school, turnout paddocks and sometimes even gallops.
Schools such as Sparsholt Agricultural College which houses a large indoor arena and two outdoor arenas, a variety of stabling facilities, a horse walker and even an equine weighbridge are fantastic for those who are interested in learning more about the equestrian business.
When people come to us wanting to buy an equestrian property with a view to running a business we always advise that one of the most important features to look at is the suitability of the land. When looking after horses the land needs to be free draining with no standing water or flooding in the paddocks. There must also be a water supply for the horses. In our opinion the second most important feature for this sort of venture is accessibility to areas where one can exercise the horses. This doesn’t have to be on bridleways, it can be arenas, gallops and open spaces such as heathland and downland, which makes Hampshire a great choice. Last, and certainly not least, there must be access to good veterinary facilities, supply farriers and feed merchants nearby.
Property demand outstrips supply for best in class Hampshire properties which means that there is almost always competition for these properties.