Barber family seek new tenant at famous yard

  • Posted: Friday, 12th July 2019
  • Author: Carl Evans
  • Photo: Carl Evans

Richard Barber’s famous yard and gallops at Seaborough in Dorset will be available to rent from the summer of 2020.

It has been home to licensed trainer Harry Fry since 2012, but in an amicable agreement with the Barber family he is set to leave the premises at the end of the current Jump season. Owners with horses in Fry's yard have been informed of the position.

Barber's son, Jeremy, said: "It has been a hugely successful yard and gallops, initially for my late father, and subsequently for Harry. The gallops have been used to good effect by countless other trainers.

"Harry has given his notice to leave in the summer of 2020, and we are beginning our search to find a new tenant, or possibly two or three if splitting the yard proves to be a workable solution. For a couple of seasons, until my father retired from training, he and Harry trained at the premises from separate yards.

"There are 72 boxes, although there is room for another ten or 20 boxes, horse walkers, two all-weather gallops and 35 acres of turn-out, plus staff accommodation."

Anthony Honeyball, who trains nearby and uses the gallops daily, said: "There is an uphill all-weather and a round sand gallop, and we've trained a couple of Aintree Festival winners and had placed horses at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals through using the gallops. They are well maintained and ride beautifully. It's a great area in which to train horses."

Paul Nicholls, Britain's champion Jump trainer, has also had a long association with the yard, using it for many years as a satellite base that was overseen by Richard Barber. Nicholls said: "I have been associated with the Seaborough yard and gallops for many years, and know it was a great base for Richard and has been a marvellous location for Harry. The gallops are some of the best in the country – it would make a great base for any trainer."

Richard Barber trained point-to-pointers and hunter chasers at the yard from 1986 – the year in which he saddled his first winner – until retiring at the end of the 2014 season. He passed away last month, but Manor Farm enabled him to leave behind a legacy of winners and successful riders that may never be matched.

From there he trained four Cheltenham Festival winners, plus a winner of Aintree's Foxhunters' Chase, and more than 1,000 point-to-point winners. Numerous other point-to-point and licensed trainers have used the gallops, none with more success than Fry, who prepared Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby for Paul Nicholls when Manor Farm was used as a satellite facility for his Ditcheat operation. Honeyball and Barber's grandson, Jack, train from nearby yards but also use the gallops daily, giving rise to the term 'little Lambourn'.

In the past five years Fry has trained 222 winners from the yard, and saddled Unowhatimeanharry to win grade one races in Britain and Ireland. During that time he has gained patronage from a wide-range of syndicates and leading owners, headed by J P McManus and Paul and Clare Rooney.