St Albans stud farm with Royal connections reopens for business

Childwickbury Stud in St Albans

Childwickbury Stud in St Albans - Credit: Photo supplied

A St Albans stud farm - once the home of brood mares belonging to both the late Queen Mother and the Queen herself - has officially reopened for business.

Stables and buildings at Childwickbury Stud have undergone an extensive refurbishment programme since the farm was bought four years ago.

Stud manager Max Weston heralded its recent reopening as the start of a “new era”.

He said that a number of services would be available to owners and breeders of thoroughbred bloodstock.

Max added: “Permanent boarding for mares and young stock will be offered, with the option of seasonal boarding for mares outside of the UK, which are visiting British stallions.

“The stud has the facilities to also foal mares on site; this includes CCTV to monitor them 24 hours a day.

“We are ready for an exciting future.”

Most Read

In 2011, the Herts Advertiser publicised the stud and the Hedges Farm land and buildings, a total of 169 hectares off Harpenden Road, being offered for sale.

The site is a prestigious piece of St Albans horse racing history - the Stud was founded by Sir John Blundell Maple, who gifted Clarence Park to the residents of St Albans.

At one stage in the late 1800s Childwick Stud was the largest horse breeding establishment in Britain and home to some high class stallions.

Apparently Sir John used to enjoy racing his coach and horses from St Albans station to Childwick park gates in just 20 minutes.

Sir John was followed by the Joel family - Jack Joel and later his son, Jim, a popular face at the races. Jack and Jim were highly successful bloodstock breeders with an impressive record of Classic wins and places.

Both the Queen Mother and The Queen had brood mares at the Stud and visited the property, which is located between Harpenden and St Albans.

Following the death of Jim Joel, it was bought in 1993 by the Marquesa de Moratalla, who also produced notable winners including Tin Horse, bred at Childwickbury, and which won the 2011 French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp.

But the Marquesa announced in 2011 that she was selling the property to downsize, having enjoyed many successful years in the industry.

Since Mr and Mrs Flatt took over the ownership of Childwickbury Stud in December 2011 it has undergone refurbishment, in keeping with its racing history.