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Gallops of critical value to any sale

Gallops – You cannot train horses from boxes alone The task of getting and keeping horses in training fit can be a challenging one at best; the single most important tool in this undertaking being access to good gallops. Gallops are often the determining factor in the sale or lease of a training yard and the draw of well renowned and managed gallops will often add to the rental or sale value significantly. To their owners, gallops represent a useful source of income when managed effectively, however they are expensive to install, being up to £20,000 per furlong for the most modern surfaces, and expensive to maintain with a requirement for machinery which depreciates with alarming rapidity. The labour requirements for gallop owners are equally onerous and the cost of a gallops man has to be factored in to the equation. Additionally gallops assessed for business rates can have rateable values of £500 per furlong per annum for woodchip and £600 per furlong per annum for some waxed surfaces. To those involved in the practical aspects of training; this is no doubt stating the obvious; however the financial implications are as significant to those who use them as they are to those that own them. Gallop fees vary from £110 per horse per month, in Newmarket and Lambourn, where the Jockey Club Estates’ team painstakingly manicure every inch of the 2,500 acres of gallops in Newmarket, where St. Gatien Cottage Stables, with 37 boxes and 4 bedroom house, is on the market just 200 yards from Warren Hill. In Lambourn the Jockey Club’s investment in their 500 acres of training grounds in Lambourn is really paying dividends. Flemington Stables with a house and 34 boxes in a prime position has just come to the market at offers of over £750,000. The variety and quality of these gallops ensure vendors and landlords of training yards within horse walking distance of them are able to command a premium. At the other end of the scale, in terms of price alone, the Middleham Trainer’s Association charge only £59 per horse per month for use of the historic gallops on Middleham Moor. Away from the training centres the high profile independent establishment often align their charges with the jockey club’s. Numerous privately owned gallops are available in the range of £75 - £85 per horse per month. Currently on the market for sale are the training facilities at Hamilton Stables, near Newbury; with around 85 acres of some the country’s finest grass gallops, 61 boxes and a variety of houses. The property would suit those seeking an investment as well as those seeking to use the outstanding gallops. Training yards to rent with access to exceptional gallops include Danebury, near Stockbridge, Hampshire; with access to two all weather gallops and a mile of grass gallops at £85 per horse per month and a choice of 25, 38 or 63 boxes at a rate of £20 per box per week, Danebury cannot be considered an expensive place to train racehorses. For trainers the gallop fee has to be weighed very carefully against the quality of the facilities. In some instances the charge for gallop fees can be passed directly to owners via the use of a Weatherby’s Account as is the case with the majority of communal gallops, helping many trainers’ cash flow. However they are funded, gallops, their proximity and access are likely to be the single biggest determinant of the value of a training yard. This is in line with the adage that you cannot train horses from boxes alone.