Former boxer and scrap metal merchant Mick Welling knows he has upset fellow harness racing enthusiasts by putting his house and business up for sale, but the pull of Bow Bells has proved too strong to resist.
London born Mick, who rescued and renovated the York Harness raceway before establishing a stud and building a new 3,000 sq ft home on the land, is homesick for the south.
He says: “My family and friends are all down there and I am really homesick so the plan is to buy another property for my stud, no more than an hour away from London.”
While he is happy to sell to someone who wants to run the raceway, he knows that the chances of finding that buyer are slim, which is why he is open to offers from others with equestrian interests.
According to Nick Talbot of Jackson Stops, the property would make an ideal livery, dressage facility or stud. He says: “It is a fantastic property and incredibly well equipped. It’s also in an excellent location close to the A59 and the A1.”
Mick, who once fought Lloyd Honeyghan in the 1980s, bought the track ten years ago. A long-time harness racing enthusiast and competitor, it was the first track he ever visited so when the chance came to buy it, he took it. He has since spent a small fortune on upgrading and adding to the facility.
The property, which is offered for sale as a whole or in three separate lots, includes a large five bedroom house, 101 acres of land, an all-weather racecourse, a clubhouse with a licenced bar and catering space, a spectator stand, a large all-weather ménage, stable blocks with 50 loose boxes, a wash bay, tack room, workshop, steel portal barn and a horse walker.
Mick’s Camden Stud, which will relocate from the Nun Monkton site, is one of the leading standardbred studs in the country and imports mares and stallions from Canada and the US. He says: “I might look for a new place around Newmarket, which is a lot closer to London than York is. The four hour drive from Yorkshire to London has just proved too long for me.”
*For details on York Harness Raceway contact Jackson-Stops-Staff estate agency, York, tel: 01904 625033 or visit www.jackson-stops.co.uk
*York Harness Raceway enjoys a private, semi-rural setting close to the sought-after village of Nun Monkton, which is just off the A59 between Harrogate and York. The A1(M) is 6.5 miles to the west and there are rail services at Kirk Hammerton and Cattal linking with mainline railway stations at Leeds and York.
Would-be purchasers should note that the house is subject to an occupancy restriction relating to the use of the commercial property.
York Harness Raceway, Nun Monkton. Price £1.85m