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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

A sneak peek into Johnny Depp's horse farm in Kentucky  

The actor's Fayette County farm is on the market for Dh10.6 million 

Johnny Depp reduced the price of his Fayette County Farm in Kentucky from $3.4 million to $2.9 million
Johnny Depp reduced the price of his Fayette County Farm in Kentucky from $3.4 million to $2.9 million

He may be in the midst of a financial crisis, but the unflappable Johnny Depp has no intention of selling the horse farm he owns in his home state for less than its asking price

Save for four years in the early 2000s, the Kentucky-born actor has owned this 41-acre estate since 1995, when he first bought it for his mother, Betty Sue Palmer. The Pirates of the Caribbean star has a penchant for collecting and furnishing properties, and had this place running as a fully functioning horse farm until late last year.

The Greek Revival-style main house was built in 1915. It has 6,000 square feet of living space, spread over six bedrooms and seven baths, plus a dining room, family room and sun lounge. The master suite and open-plan kitchen were recently refurbished, with the latter featuring a Scandi-style island countertop and new appliances.

The home is full of art, photographs and sculptures
The home is full of art, photographs and sculptures

The manicured grounds feature a guesthouse, a swimming pool with a slide, a patio, four-car garage and three barns. The stables are the main highlight, however, and are made up of 15 stalls and 10 paddocks with a state-of-the-art automatic-watering system. The paddocks are protected by the stately dark wood fencing that the area is known for, and built on a lush patch of bluegrass, the fodder of choice for pure-breed racehorses.

The grounds include 15 stalls and 10 paddocks with an automatic-watering system
The grounds include 15 stalls and 10 paddocks with an automatic-watering system

Depp was born in nearby Owensboro and grew up surrounded by horse farms. In fact, Lexington is known as the “horse capital of the world”, with similar such farms dotting the countryside, along with thoroughbred racetracks, most notably the Red Mile and Keeneland. Of course, few of the other farms will have the plush rugs, quirky artwork, pure wood flooring and cabinetry, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, gigantic screens and futuristic-looking fireplaces found at Depp’s luxurious ranch. Framed film posters, ceramic plates, abstractly shaped mirrors, and even a gold-hilted sword take up almost every inch of wall space; while the master suite has a watercolour of a vest-clad Depp playing the piano.

A portrait of Johnny Depp playing the piano hangs in one of the rooms
A portrait of Johnny Depp playing the piano hangs in one of the rooms

The estate was put up for auction last month, and caught the eye of American radio presenter and fellow farm enthusiast Rick Dees, who made the highest bid of US$1.4 million (Dh5m) against an asking price of $2.9m. His offer was promptly turned down. Considering the financial rut that Depp appears to be in right now – what with a seven-million-dollar divorce, coupled with his allegedly lavish lifestyle – it all boils down to numbers, of course.

Fayette County officials have assessed the fair cash value of the farm at $2.3m, which perhaps explains why Depp originally reduced the price from $3.4m to $2.9m, but also why he refused to sell to Dees, who admitted himself that his bid was “too low for such a valuable property”. Not to mention that Depp first bought the property in 1995 for $950,000 and sold it in 2001 for a mere $50,000 more, only to buy it back in 2005 for $2m.

The actor also owns a 45-acre château in the south of France, and multiple other homes in the US, including several penthouse lofts in Hollywood and Los Angeles, many of which are currently on the market, much like his beloved horse farm.

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