Kingsclere is undoubtedly one of the best equipped and most beautiful private training establishments in the world. The facilities have been constantly updated and improved since the yard was originally built in the late 1860s and, being private, can be used in whatever way and at whatever time best suits the effective training and care of the horses.
Today the yard contains 223 boxes. These are split between 9 separate yards ranging in style from the original brick-built yards to new American barns, allowing horses to be housed in appropriate groupings and conditions.
Within the yard area there are two lunge pits (one covered, one open), three covered horse walkers and a two furlong circular indoor ride, ensuring that horses can be exercised whatever the weather. There is also a digital weighbridge for the monitoring of horses’ weight – often an indication of their health and wellbeing.
Equine Pool & Treadmill
Kingsclere was one of the first training establishments in the country to be equipped with its own equine swimming pool. This has made it possible to include swimming as an integral part of the training regime of many horses, particularly those that may be mentally or physically fragile and are unable to ensure the rigours of ridden exercise, or those that require additional fittening work.
The yard has a high speed treadmill, which enables horses to be exercised without a rider on their backs. Whilst not a part of every horse’s training programme, the treadmill is particularly useful for horses requiring very controlled exercise as part of a rehabilitation programme after injury, for horses which become sour on the gallops, and for those suffering from minor ailments which prevent ridden exercise (such as a sore mouth, girth or back).
The main gallops used on a daily basis are situated less than half a mile from the yard itself. Horses go to and from the gallops via purpose-built tracks and tree-lined avenues within the Park House estate, avoiding the need to contend with traffic on the roads.
The artificial gallops include a four and a half furlong polytrack straight gallop (resurfaced in 2018), a five and a half furlong fibresand gallop, a four furlong circular all-weather gallop and a 3 furlong uphill woodchip gallop. In addition there are three separate grass gallops, a schooling field for the jumpers and a further 15 acres of grass for walking and trotting.
Kingsclere also offers a further 100 acres of downland gallops on nearby Watership Down, which are used regularly for faster work. This area contains a total of eight individual grass gallops, varying in nature and ranging in distance from 5 furlongs to 1 mile 6 furlongs. The turf has been laid for over a hundred years and consequently provides a cushion for the horses, even at times when there is little rain. The area also boasts a mile all-weather gallop, together with extensive schooling facilities for National Hunt horses.
The yard has eight grazing paddocks of varying sizes, allowing horses to be grazed in hand after exercise or turned out in the afternoons or during their post-season break. There are also two turnout pens for more restricted turnout.
The yard has three sets of starting stalls. Over the course of their education young horses progress from following a schoolmaster through a single static stall within the yard area, to walking through a set of stalls on their way to or from the gallops, to jumping out of a further set of stalls and galloping away. This means they are as prepared as possible for their first appearance on the racecourse, and also that any stalls-related problems can be ironed out at home.
The travelling of horses to and from the races is an important function within any racing yard and Kingsclere has three horseboxes which are used exclusively for horses trained at Park House. The vehicles are maintained to meet all welfare requirements and to ensure that transport is safe and comfortable for horses and humans.