Historic racing stud looks set to be a favourite

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ONE of the country’s most historic racing stables has been opened to the public for the first time.

Visitors to Sledmere House, near Driffield, can now tour the handsome buildings where the Sykes family bred famous racehorses, including 1906 Derby winner Spearmint and Polly Agnes, whose foal Lily Agnes was the dam of unbeaten Triple Crown winner Ormonde, whose descendants include Northern Dancer and Shergar.

They can also meet the former stud’s new inhabitants – a thoroughbred racehorse, a small riding pony and a driving cob - and see them as they are being put through their paces.

People can see the tack rooms, foaling box, as well as the racing plates from some of Sledmere’s most famous horses, racing silks in the Sledmere colours of orange and purple and stud yearbooks.

Among the displays is a film of the 1913 Derby, during which suffragette Emily Davidson was fatally injured trying to tie a scarf to the bridle of the King’s horse.

Sledmere horse Craganour, owned by the notorious Ismay shipping family, was first past the post, but disqualified in a controversial decision still debated today.

The stud was opened in 1801 by the first Sir Tatton Sykes (1772-1863) who at one time owned over 100 mares. It closed late last year. Sir Tatton Sykes (the horse) won the 1864 2000 Guineas and St Leger. The stables will be managed by Hannah Dring, who has worked at many stables and studs around Yorkshire.