Epsom’s Equestrians are calling on the public to help save a historic horse racing yard after its trainer was ordered to leave last month.

Caroline Baldock, chairwoman of the Epsom Equestrian Conservation Group, is urging people to sign a petition to save Downs House - a training yard which was once the home of Eclipse, a thoroughbred from whom 95 per cent of today’s bloodstock is believed to be descended.

Epsom and Ewell Council, which owns the property, decided against renewing trainer Philip Mitchell’s lease in 2007, and a judgement at Guildford County Court on June 11 ordered him to vacate the premises by July 20.

Ms Baldock said the group believes the council now plans to convert the historic space into an exhibition facility - which must be prevented at all costs.

The council has refused to say what it plans to do with the site, until after the eviction and any appeal by Mr Mitchell.

The petition states: "We are campaigning to make sure that no change of use is agreed because we know there are many racehorse trainers who would like to train from this ideal spot.

"We believe that plans are afoot to convert the space into an exhibition facility.

"This must never happen.

"No change of use must be allowed to go through the planning process.

"The Downs were purchased for the training of racehorses and the running of the Derby. These uses must be protected."

The petition will be put in public places but can also be submitted to carolinebaldock@museumofthehorse.org with your signature and the statement ‘I The Undersigned support keeping Downs House as a racehorse training facility and do not support any change of use’.