IT was first and foremost the equine facilities that attracted Karen Bourdon and her family to Horsehay Farm, followed by
IT was first and foremost the equine facilities that attracted Karen Bourdon and her family to Horsehay Farm, followed by its location.
The property boasted a state-of-the-art equestrian facility set in 48 acres. “Having lived all my life in London, I wanted to be able to get back to the city quickly. The location of Horsehay Farm was perfect the slightly elevated position meant the property is not overlooked and we had the best of both worlds with fantastic hacking but just an hour from London.”
Karen, head of international sales for Barry Hearne, and her investment banker husband Paul have lived at the farm for 17 years, raising their two sons who are now aged 10 and 14.
Karen said: “It has been a fantastic place for the boys to grow up. Although they ride, they also play football and rugby and we’ve had dogs, cats and tortoises.
“The tennis court has been the location for numerous fun sports days over the years including archery and treasure hunts while the heated swimming pool has been the venue for plenty of pool parties, its location providing the perfect sun-trap all summer long.”
But take away the accessible location, the equine facilities and the fantastic outside space and the property itself could woo even the most demanding of house-hunters.
A stone entrance with wrought iron gates and a driveway leads to this most attractive farmhouse built from Cotswold stone and offering generous accommodation. While boasting plenty of character features, there is also a contemporary feel to the decor, the old and the new merging easily to offer a pleasing combination. The drawing room features a large stone inglenook fireplace and attractive polished stone floor, the dining room has a fireplace, which houses a wood-burning stove and has glazed doors to outside.
The kitchen/breakfast room is the hub of the house and is fitted with a range of kitchen furniture and is large enough to house a farmhouse-style table. A stable door leads to the conservatory which has doors opening on to the pool terrace. The master bedroom suite has a vaulted ceiling with timber beams, a spacious bathroom and concealed clothes storage.
Bedrooms two and three also benefit from en-suite bathrooms, with the two further bedrooms sharing the family bathroom. Outside there is a heated swimming pool which is enclosed by a high wall with built-in barbecue.
There is a modern detached, two-storey stone building, built in 1990, housing two staff cottages (one with one bedroom and the other with two bedrooms), a games room, a covered car parking area and steps down to a useful basement store.
Beyond this building there is a horse walker (available by separate negotiation) and a hard tennis court with summer house. Foundations are also in place next to the hard surfaced court for an astroturf court.There is also further potential to extend the current farmhouse if required, subject to the usual consents. Planning permission was granted but lapsed in 2010.
The grounds of approximately 48 acres include paddocks, some woodland with a pretty stream, all of which provides the ideal opportunity for a purchaser with equestrian interests to benefit from a ready to occupy estate set amongst beautiful Oxfordshire countryside with excellent hacking close by.
Across the courtyard from the house, there is a stable yard comprising 12 loose boxes, tack room, hay room, wash room and feed room.
These are laid out in the traditional ‘U’ shape, with a large raised bed in the centre. The gardens are predominantly laid to lawn with sporadic mature trees and shrubs.
The equestrian facilities at Horsehay Farm are first class, the majority of which are set away from the house and benefit from an additional and separate road access.
There is an outdoor manège measuring about 22m x 55m with a rubber Equi-sand surface.
The large American barn has 10 loose boxes. To one side, there are four outdoor corrals (one per two loose boxes) allowing the horses outside.
There is also a tack room, wash area, hay store and feed store. To one end of the American barn, there is a reception area with disabled WC, staircase hall with storage cupboard, kitchen with fitted units and a store room.
The latter has access back into the stable. Upstairs, there are two spacious offices, WCs and a fitted kitchen. There is an entertaining room with views over the manège and farm.
Karen said the property could provide a range of options for interested parties offering space for a growing family with older children looking for a degree of independence in one of the cottages, they could offer peace of mind for a family with elderly parents or provide numerous business opportunities.
She added: “It will be a wrench to leave our home but at the same time we are excited about the move and a new chapter in our lives.”
The property is available through Sotheby’s for a guide price of £2,750,000. For more details, call (01491) 410673.