Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Stabling Frankie

Frankie Dettori puts his Voysey designed country house up for sale


Champion jockey Frankie Dettori is best known for his “flying dismounts” and for having won seven out of seven races at Ascot in 1996. He currently lives at Stetchworth on the Cambridgeshire-Suffolk border near Newmarket but is now selling his home there.


Frankie Dettori and his wife Catherine
Frankie Dettori and his wife Catherine
White Horse Stables has been home to the Dettori family since 1998
White Horse Stables has been home to the Dettori family since 1998

Priced at £2,450,000 and 7,300 square foot in size, White Horse Stables features 5 reception rooms, 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. It was designed by the renowned architect Charles Voysey in 1905 for the Earl of Ellesmere and is described as being “a fine example of Arts and Crafts architecture.


As well as a leisure complex complete with a swimming pool and gym, the property – which stands in approximately 15.4 acres and comes with guest accommodation and a 1,025 square foot cottage – includes a traditional stable yard with 7 stables, 14 post and rail paddocks and an oversized floodlit manege. It has been home to Dettori for 16 years and he is now selling as he and his wife, Catherine, are building a new house at Hare Park Stud at Six Mile Bottom.


The house is contemporarily decorated and includes open plan reception areas
The house is contemporarily decorated and includes open plan reception areas
Amongst the current residents of White Horse Stables is an emu called Bruce
Amongst the current residents of White Horse Stables is an emu called Bruce
There are nearly 15 acres of paddocks
There are nearly 15 acres of paddocks

Of White Horse Stables, Dettori told The Telegraph:


“We moved in straight after our wedding, and our children have grown up here. The house is full of happy memories, and we have had some wonderful times together as a family, from Christmases to summer barbecues”.


“I used to keep quite a lot of racehorses in the stables, but as my children have grown up, the animal cast-list has changed. We now have several ponies, two miniature donkeys and an emu called Bruce. And, by the way, they don’t come with the property. You can take my wife, but not my animals!”


“Before the Second World War, it was a coach house which doubled as a small hotel. The Queen Mother used to stay here when she was visiting Newmarket. We have tweaked the property inside quite a bit, to reflect our own tastes, and installed a big, open-plan kitchen, suitable for a large family. But in essence, the house has the same appeal it would have had 100 years ago. It has views of the surrounding countryside and, with the green belt running right up to the front of the house, that is not going to change”.


White Horse Stables is for sale through the Long Melford office of Carter Jonas.



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    1. I lived in the house for about a year from Sept 1960 to June 1961. My father, a USAF LtCol, was stationed at RAF Lakenheath from 1960 to 1963. When we arrived in the UK, my father rented the White Horse awaiting an available on-base house at RAF Lakenheath. As a 14 year old young American boy, living in the house in Stetchworth (“on the economy” it was called) was quite an “adventure.” To say the house was *much* bigger than our needs is a gross understatement. With only my mother, father and 3 year old brother, we only
      used a few of the rooms. The rest of the house was empty and during the winter we had to wear coats when
      going from the bedrooms to the bathroom or downstairs to the one room we used as a living room next to the kitchen. This all being *years* before the house was renovated ergo. the only heat was coal fireplaces and paraffin (kerosene) heaters. In fact, the paraffin was kept in big containers in the otherwise empty “billiard room.” Likewise, I spent many an hour in the coal bin collecting coal and coke to start the morning fires and water heater before I rode a bus to high school at RAF Lakenheath. I also recall using the very back room (now an indoor swimming pool) as a place to hit tennis balls up against the wall! I also remember a “green grocer” almost next door to the White Horse where I bought (too many) Cadburys chocolate bars. Mr. Johnson and family comes ot mind (?). I also recall the games keeper for the Ellesmere estate (?) bringing freshly shot pheasants to the door as a Christmas gift (much to my mother’s chagrin as to what to do with them!).

      Ironically, I revisited the house once in 1976. I was by then a Lt and US Navy pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. While deployed to the Med, during a long port visit in Naples, IT, my wife came over and we took a trip to the UK. We went to see the house and I was shown around the house by the owner, a Brit and his, I believe, Swedish wife (?). He was as I recall a retired jockey who had raced in the US. He obviously had done well with a Rolls and Ferrari parked in front of the house! He enjoyed giving me a tour of the house, now fully restored, as I described what the house was like in 1960.

    2. Jim, an interesting and evocative account of an obviously happy childhood. It reminds me, too, that when I was young CH really didn’t exist and one just had to dress in many layers to keep warm.
      Thanks for a charming and interesting comment.


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