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Commercial Real Estate Kent County News

Dovington Training Center put on the market

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The horse training center in Felton, complete with an indoor equine horse pool and 288 stalls, has been listed for sale. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBBIE BUCKINGHAM

FELTON — A 90-acre farm and a state-of-the art horse training center in Felton, complete with an indoor equine horse pool, is now on the market.

Dovington Training Center on 595 Black Swamp Road was listed at $1.7 million by EXIT Realty at the Beach earlier this month. Through a partnership, the land is owned by Linly Acres LLC but the enterprise is owned and managed by Al Lovely, according to Kent County records.

The horse training center has been placed on the market at least five times in the past 11 years, according to data from Zillow. This time, Exit By the Bay realtor Debbie Buckingham said there is at least one offer on the table and several inquiries so far.

“Mr. Lovely is about to retire and he’s looking to sell it. He built it into what it is today, and the hope is we can find a seller that would be interested in building an indoor arena,” Buckingham told the Delaware Business Times. 

Dovington Training Center, in a prime location on the Mid-Atlantic corridor, has a 5/8th training track certified by the United States Trotting Association, as well as two sand tracks and a 32-inch equine pool. The facility has 288 stalls, with most already occupied from horses owned by people in the tri-state region. The property has 13 buildings — including a two-bedroom farmhouse and a three-bedroom home — and 55 paddocks. There is 33,000 square feet of fencing on the property.

There are 9 acres of undeveloped woodland that could easily be turned into an indoor complex, Buckingham added.

The training center has been used by top trainers and harness racing drivers like Josh Green, Steve LeBlanc, Peter Tritton and home to First State’s own Bart Dalious over the years. Delaware State University’s Equine Team has leased out the facility since 2015 and boards all its horses there.

The DSU equine team has 45 members and competes at Division 1 level in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). In 2017, the team was named United Equestrian Conference Champions. If the property sells, Buckingham said the lease with DSU would carry over to the new owner.

The listing of the Dovington Training Center could not be better timed. Earlier this month, neighboring Cecil County, Md., hosted a five-star eventing competition for the first time after years of lobbying and improvements at Fair Hill. The five-star event is the pinnacle of equine eventing and is considered on par with the Olympics. The only other five-star event in America is held in Kentucky.

“I will say we have gotten quite a few people interested, and most are from the East Coast. One gentleman from England who was looking at horses for his stable in Georgia expressed interest at one point,” Buckingham said. “It’s quite a unique property.”

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