A professionally built horse training track, with stables and wash-down yards, along with an orchard and luxury home, are encompassed in a property for sale in the Canterbury town of Rangiora 29km north of Christchurch.

The sale of Ireby Estate presents multiple opportunities for commercial or recreational redevelopment of the lifestyle property, says Jan McCormick of Bayleys Rangiora who is marketing 66 Coldstream Rd for sale by deadline negotiations with offers closing at 4pm on Thursday July 4.

McCormick says the 7ha countryside estate, with a designer three-bedroom, two-bathroom residence as its centrepiece, is owned by successful horse trainer Gavin Court and his wife Sandra.

The Courts, who are now planning their retirement, have owned, bred and raced pacers for the past nine years – producing 10 winners over that period. "Among the most notable steeds to have emerged from their stables are stud mare and Westport Cup winner, Just Lucy; nine-time race winner, Shark N Tatie; eight-time prize-money winner Ireby Betty; and, more recently, Ireby Meg and Ireby Gus.


"Many of the Court's horses were trained at their Rangiora estate which was named Ireby after a small village in England's Lake District where Sandra's family emigrated from, before settling in Canterbury."

McCormick says the rear portion of Ireby estate houses the professionally-built 350m oval-shaped horse jogging and training track, along with a full complex of commercial-standard horse grooming stables and wash-down yards immediately adjacent. The track and stable areas are surrounded by fenced paddocks – each with their own stock watering troughs.

The orchard produces feijoas, apples, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines and figs. Photo / Supplied
The orchard produces feijoas, apples, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines and figs. Photo / Supplied

"While equestrian activities have been Gavin's passion, Sandra's recreational zeal has been gardening. So much so, that the middle portion of Ireby Estate is dedicated to a 'showcase' landscaped English garden, that has featured prominently as a designer botanical grounds in many house and garden tours over the past decade."

McCormick believes the scale and quality of the equestrian infrastructure at Ireby will attract buyers of the property who will probably have a strong association with equestrians sports; and who will wish to continue professional horse training or breeding activities on the property, or through their children.

"It would be relatively straightforward to convert the property's horse track into a show jumping or dressage arena with hurdles and fences.

"However, on the flip side, Ireby could also attract a passionate gardener, interested in converting the horse training track and adjacent paddocks into expanded flower and shrub plantings.

"A buyer may also want to develop the property into commercial market gardening activities; upscaling the plantings of fruit and nut orchard trees to a commercial level - utilising the equestrian buildings on site for machinery and equipment storage.

"Fed by the manure produced on a daily basis from Ireby's equestrian activities, it's easy to see why the orchard has flourished so prolifically with feijoa, apple, pear, plum, peach, nectarine and fig tree plantations within the nutrient-rich soil."


McCormick says the single-level Ireby Estate homestead was built in 2003 with a lounge overlooking the expansive flat terrain of gardens interspersed with oak and silver birch tree-plantings, as well as three separate outdoor entertaining courtyards and a farmhouse-style kitchen.

"For a homestead which has supported equestrian activities on a daily basis over several years, the interior styling and lay-out of Ireby, is like a residence featured in the pages of glossy home-design magazines rather than a rural house," she says.