Uniquely Val d’Argent is able to offer accommodation to both horse and rider where for those interested, they can bring their horse to the property enjoying riding it for each of the days of their stay whist if they wish receiving a horse riding lesson from a local, well accomplished instructor. Val d’Argent is also a popular destination for those not necessarily interested in horses but wishing to visit the Hunter Valley in the process availing themselves the use of the range of tourist offerings including the very popular outdoor concert series conducted each year by a number of the nearby vineyards. Val d’Argent is located no more than 10 minutes from both Hope Estate and Bimbadgin, two popular outdoor concert venues.
Recently much of the existing combination on the property was converted to B&B/Farm stay use. This is entailed the construction of two new apartments in the stable complex providing a total accommodation for 18 visitors to the property. The property takes its name from a French “bastardisation” of Brian Silvia’s family name of da Silvia.
The first of Brian’s family had arrived in Australia in the 1830’s from the Portuguese Azurian Islands located in the mid Atlantic. The family resided is Watson’s Bay, becoming prominent members of its Roman Catholic community until the early 1940’s. The property name in French means Valley of Silver.
Val d’Argent was established as a Warmblood horse breeding facility on the current location by Brian Silvia (its owner). Brian had started breeding Warmblood horses a little earlier with the Stud’s first born foal Argentille Shamada becoming a Grand Prix Dressage Horse. During the 1990’s Val d’Argent imported a total of 5 Warmblood Stallions both German and Dutch origin into Australia. Val d’Argent was the first exporter of frozen Warmblood semen into New Zealand from which foals were produced.
Val d’Argent horses have been highly successful, particularly in dressage where horses owned by the Stud or in which it had an interest won a total of 9 Australian Dressage Championships in the 1990’s including Grand Prix. The Studs most successful Dressage Competition Ambassador was Argentille Gullit who following his sale was ridden by Carl Hester for Great Britain in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Carl Hester of course was a gold medalist at the London Olympics.