Past President Michael Smith kindly provided this memory and photos of our Club's visit to the Manor House Stables owned by the famous Liverpool and England footballer, Michael Owen.
St Lukes Hospice had arranged for a guided visit to Manor House horse racing training stables near Malpas. Approximately 30 Probus members and their guests assembled at the Stables for coffee and pasties provided by the ladies of St. Lukes. They were joined by approximately 40 members of the general public.
The stables are set in 160 acres and were converted from a cattle barn by former footballer Michael Owen and his wife in 2006, before commencing business in 2007 as a training yard with 30 horses. By May of 2009 improvements to the facilities meant it had grown to accommodate 90 horses. Further expansion in 2012 took place with investment in state of the art facilities for the horses, including a hydrotherapy pool and spa, hostel accommodation for staff and an impressive lounge for owners. A significant role in the stables is carried out by Andrew Black, co-founder and original designer of the internet phenomenon Betfair. The Trainer is Tom Dascombe.
The tour commenced with a visit to the gallops and was followed by a viewing of a horse having treatment in the equine pool, then onwards to the stables to see the race horses in their stalls, the veterinary area, the equine spa and finished with coffee and muffins in the owner's lounge.
Thanks to Peter Robinson for arranging the visit.