Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sanford Stud Farm

Also known as Hurricana Farm. Today we were fortunate enough to be given a personal tour of the restored barns that are now under the care of the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm .

What an incredible place. At one time it covered a thousand acres, or so I have read. It was one of the largest stud farms of its day, housing as many as 150 breeding horses, sending one winner to the Kentucky Derby as well as an American horse to win the Grand National. Native Dancer, northern Dancer and Big Brown spring from horses bred there.

Mare and foal barns, not included in reconstruction area...alas....

The farm barn, which housed teams of pure white mules and dairy and beef cattle
Also unrestored

Saddle racks

Hand made stall hinges, made on site by the farm blacksmith

Saddling area

Jumping horse barn

Today much of the land is under Walmart and many of the buildings are gone. Those that remain are simply amazing. In the jumping barn the stall walls are inch-thick solid cherry. In the mare barn you can still see the marks where the race horses kicked the walls, and the edges of the doors (which are nearly as high as my head) that were chewed by generations of thoroughbreds. The atmosphere in the stables and rooms speaks of a time when life was much different, long before supermarkets and highways. (In the early days of the farm the race horses were walked to the track at Saratoga.) We were most grateful for a chance to glimpse the glory days of racing through our visit to this historic spot.

A medicine cabinet in the jumping barn

Solid Cherry Stalls

Gibson Oat Grinder, the only one in the US

"Suicide Ladder"which goes to the oat bin


nyvolfan said...

It is much history!!! Glad you enjoyed the tour.

Linda said...

Thanks for the tour....I'd love to "really" see it sometime

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...


Floridacracker said...

Beautiful! Inch thick cherry!

Those buildings are wonderful.

June said...

I can almost smell those barns from here...
And where the devil's the oat bin?
On the roof?

NumberWise said...

Wonderful! Your photos speak volumes - I can smell the dust of emptiness along with the warm horse scents from the past.

threecollie said...

NYV, truly an incredible place. Thanks for the opportunity to see the inside

Linda, I hope maybe someday you can get to this area and do so. they have open houses and all kinds of events there through the year. It is pretty incredible

Nita, exactly!

FC, we always loved to drive by the place back when all the buildings were there and speculate about what the inside was like. Imagination did not do it justice!

June, there is a room where the oats were ground and bins in that room with tubes that go up into the ceilings. I missed the explanation of what went where after that, but I guess there were oats going up there somehow. My photo doesn't do justice to just how high that ladder is. Sure glad I don't have to climb it!!!

NW, it was a pretty amazing experience. The gentleman who gave us our tour had the most incredible stock of knowledge about the place that you could imagine. He told us dozens of anecdotes about the horses, the people, the buildings and all and really brought it alive for us. He grew up there and played in the buildings so he really knew his stuff.

DayPhoto said...

Those blacksmiths were something, weren't they? Artist of an amazing ability.


Cathy said...

Great pictures, TC.

It must have been a little haunting to be in a place that was once so full of energy and life.

CTG Ponies said...

What an awesome place! Those cherry stalls are amazing.