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Sunday 21 January 2018

Emerald Equestrian Centre is for sale after €1.5m revamp

Siobhán English

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.

'World Class'

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."

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However, in the weeks following the November show, some clinics were cancelled.

The venue advertised training shows for February and March, but last week Brian Hennessy, press officer for Emerald Equestrian, confirmed the facility is for sale.

Set on 58ac, the centre boasts an indoor arena with seating for 3,000 people, two bars, a restaurant, toilets and extensive office space.

The property includes two indoor and three outdoor jumping arenas. It also boasts ample car and truck parking, along with 44 stables. It also includes a separate building with a fully-equipped four-bedroom apartment, along with a further one-bedroom apartment.

It is available for sale by private tender in two lots. Lot one consists of the equestrian centre on 49ac, while Lot two consists of 8.7ac.

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