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History of the Stables

The Sledmere Stable Yard was built in 1751 and enlarged in 1777 by Sir Christopher Sykes 2nd Baronet. The Stable Yard formed the 'nerve centre' of the Sledmere Stud which was founded in 1801 by Sir Mark Masterman Sykes 3rd Baronet and in time, became Britain's most successful commercial stud.

Sir Tatton Sykes 4th Baronet (who was said to be the most popular man in Yorkshire) built the Stud to a size that was described as the largest in England; at its height there were over 300 horses at Sledmere.  He concentrated on breeding horses which he sold as yearlings at the Doncaster and Newmarket sales. Sir Tatton even had a racehorse named after him and this horse won the 2000 guineas, St. Leger and was 2nd in the Derby in 1864.

The 5th Baronet, also Sir Tatton, was responsible for establishing the Stud's reputation as a top class nursery. Sledmere was totally dominant at the Tattersalls sales at Doncaster.  In 1863 he sold all the horses for what was then the huge sum of £30,000 and people came from all over the world, Hungary, Belgium, France, Prussia and even Australia to purchase the Sledmere horses.

Craganour, a horse which was reared at Sledmere after being bought along with her dam, went on to finish in the 1913 Epsom Derby, in which, Miss Emily Davison, a suffragette, jumped in front of the King's horse.  Craganour was later disqualifies from the race but went on to be a great success at a stud in Argentina.

In 2002 the Stud was drastically scaled back to just 2 Sledmere mares before coming to an end of breeding at Sledmere in 2006.


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