Eyrefield Lodge produced generations of Classic winners, some of them laid to rest on the land where they were bred and trained, reports Jim O'Brien
Eyrefield Lodge and Stud on 160ac at The Curragh - home to renowned known bloodstock breeder Sir Edmund Loder - is on the private treaty market with a guide price in excess of €4m.
Sir Edmund is retiring from the business and the top-class equestrian facility at the heart of stud-farm country is sure to attract national and international bloodstock interest.
Located between Kilcullen and Newbridge, the property is 3km from the Curragh Racecourse, 16km from Goffs and 50km from Dublin, with easy access to the M7 and M9.
The property began its life as a hunting lodge in 1760 but when it came into the ownership of Henry Eyre Linde in 1879 its status as a breeding operation began to flourish.
It was bought in 1897 by Major Eustace Loder (pictured below), also known as 'Lucky Loder'.
"You may put all the brains you have into racing, but you will be nowhere unless you have luck," was his verdict on the vagaries of thoroughbred ownership.
He set about further development of the farm and the stock. True to his credo, he enjoyed good fortune and was handsomely rewarded when his horses won the Irish Derby and the Oaks in 1900.
Within a year he bred the history-maker Pretty Polly, who won 22 of her 24 starts. Not one for winning by tight margins, Pretty Polly was a record breaker who liked to leave plenty of daylight between her haunches and the rest of the field.
She won the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks, the 2000 Guineas and the St Leger. Other victories included two wins of the Coronation Cup, the Champion Stakes and the Jockey Club Cup.
Her descendants are still among the stock at Eyrefield, while more recent winners include Unite, Caerwent, Marling, Marwell, Vintage Tipple and Overbury.
Eyrefield Lodge sits on a wonderful setting with mature stands of trees. The residence is surrounded by grounds that include lawns with herbaceous borders, a rose garden, a vegetable garden and greenhouse.
The graveyard at the end of the fern walk contains the graves of its equine luminaries including Pretty Polly, Spearmint, Spion Kop, Marwell and Marling.
The main residence extends to 5,048 sq ft with accommodation that includes a drawing room, sitting room, dining room and library, all with vaulted ceilings and looking out onto the distinctive veranda and the lawn paddocks.
Other accommodation includes an office, a library, a fully fitted kitchen, breakfast room with Aga cooker, while the sleeping area comprises seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, with the master suite including a dressing room and bathroom.
There is plenty of staff accommodation that includes a groom's house, the gate lodge, an apartment in the yard known as the Oat Loft Flat and a separate Eyre Cottage.
Along with 55 boxes laid out in three yards the equestrian facilities include an automatic walker, an indoor arena, tack and feed rooms.
The limestone land is all top quality.
Laid out in 17 post-and-railed paddocks with tremendous shelter, good fencing and piped water, there is also an internal farm road giving easy access to all paddocks.
Commenting on the sale Paddy Jordan said that it is one of the most important stud farms to come on the market in Kildare, with all the ancillary facilities available for a stud operation on some of the best land in the county.
For sale by private treaty Jordans are inviting offers in excess of €4m.