Emerald Equestrian Centre is for sale after €1.5m revamp
Following weeks of speculation, it's been confirmed that the Emerald International Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare is for sale, with selling agents REA McDonald Bros beginning a tender process that will end on February 27.
Originally called Jessbrook Equestrian Centre when owned by convicted drug dealer John Gilligan, the facility lay idle for 18 years before being purchased early last year by James Buckley for €500,000.
Work began immediately to turn it into a top-class facility, with an estimated €1.5m being spent on a complete renovation.
Its first major show in November attracted a modest number of entries, and spectator numbers were disappointing.
Despite this, plans for 2015 included three international shows and numerous clinics with leading figures in the industry.
Several international riders had travelled over to test the surface and agreed it had the potential to be a top-class venue.
Show Jumping world-number-one Scott Brash commented at the time: "This is a world class facility with some of the best arena surfaces I have seen anywhere in the world."