Demand for top class equestrian properties is buoyant judging by recent auction results
Kildare auctioneer Willie Coonan believes the autumn is the best time to sell land and his experience in the auction room over the last week would tend to support this view.
In all, he sold 210ac of land under the hammer and 171ac after auction. Among the buyers was Luke Comer of the Comer brothers who bought yet another stud farm to add to their equestrian empire.
Ballinteskin Stud was the object of their desires this time round and an agent acting for Luke Comer paid €2.53m for the 118ac residential property near Enniskerry in Co Wicklow. A total of 92ac of Kildare ground in three parcels sold for €1.619m or almost €17,600/ac and in a post auction closure Loughtown Stud on 171ac near Dunadea in Kildare sold immediately after auction for a figure in excess of €3m.
The main property to sell under the hammer was Ballinteskin, a fine residential equestrian farm on 118ac located 5km from Enniskerry and 3.5km from Kilmacanogue in Co Wicklow.
The house, originally a smaller Georgian structure has been extended and fully renovated in recent years to include three reception rooms, a fully fitted kitchen, a conservatory, a utility room and a playroom/television room.
Upstairs is the family bathroom and five bedrooms of which three are ensuite.
The equestrian facilities are second to none. A stable-yard immediately to the rear of the house has 10 loose boxes, a tack room, store, stud office and a staff apartment with a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
A large American barn houses 16 loose boxes fitted with 'Loddon' automatic drinkers, a wash bay and a tack room.
Other facilities include a foaling unit, an outdoor and indoor arena and a four-column haybarn with lean-tos at either side.
The land is made up of 118ac of self-draining dry ground fenced with stud rail fencing and sheep-wire.
At auction, the property attracted four bidders when it opened at €1.5m. Bidding continued steadily until the hammer fell in favour of an agent acting for Mr Comer who paid €2.53m for the property.
Mr Coonan also handled the sale of Loughtown Stud near Dunadea in Co Kildare. Set on 171ac the property includes three houses and two apartments with two farmyards.
The farm is renowned having bred the 1963 Irish Derby winner Ragusa. It also hosted Archive, sire of the great Arkle, at stud. Other famous horses associated with Loughtown Stud are Red God and Raise You Ten.
The main house is an extensive Georgian structure in need of complete refurbishment.
Another dwelling, an American ranch style house extending to 2,000sqft in single storey and in cruciform shape, is now the main dwelling.
The accommodation includes an entrance hall, two bedrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen and a large reception room with a large stone fireplace, potentially a great party room.
Located 6km from Clane and 6km from Maynooth the farm is in the heart of Kildare's bloodstock belt.
A portion of 80ac of the land is all around the house, serviced by internal roads with 2km of road frontage to the main road and a by-road that bisects the farm. Paddocked by the best of stud railing, the farm is in 20 divisions ranging from stallion paddocks and nursery paddocks to summer grazing divisions.
The equestrian facilities are laid out over three yards with the main yard located behind the original stone-built dwelling. This yard includes 15 loose boxes, two foaling boxes an observation room and a vets room.
Ancillary buildings include a stallion yard, a four-bay machinery shed, a haybarn, a farm office, four loose boxes and a loading ramp.
There is also a six-animal horse walker, a sand arena and a lunging ring. A new stable yard contains 26 boxes with a matted exercise area.
Located across the by-road is a 91ac parcel of ground with a yard that includes an American barn with 12 loose boxes, a large concreted area and a haybarn with lean-tos
Other residential facilities include a substantial gate lodge with three bedrooms along with two staff apartments located in the yard.
The place was offered in lots at auction with the houses and main yards on 80ac making up one lot. Opening at €1.5m, this attracted two bidders and was bid to €1.85m before it was held.
The 91ac portion with the secondary yard opened at €1m and was bid to €1.05m before it too was held.
Mr Coonan then put the entire to the floor seeking offers in advance of €2.9m. He got one offer of €3m from a Dublin solicitor and with no further offers forthcoming he withdrew the property and sold it immediately after auction to the highest bidder for what is described as a substantially higher sum.
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