Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Visit Horse Country recently announced that you can now book 2020 tour dates! The announcement had me reflecting on the few tours I took during the Summer of 2019. One of those tours was of Lane’s End Farm.
I had been dreaming of visiting Lane’s End Farm since I first started getting into horse racing. This desire to visit grew even stronger when my favorite racehorse, Union Rags, retired to stand stud there. I finally made that dream a reality in 2019 and decided to compile a short list of five reasons why I think you should visit Lane’s End Farm too!
1. You’ll get to meet Noble Mission, full-brother of the legendary Frankel. Frankel is a legend in the world of horse racing. His supreme talent on the racetrack ranks him among Europe’s greats. His full-brother Noble Mission was no slacker either. He was a 3x Group 1 winner, showing excellent ability with beauty to match. Because Frankel is already standing stud at Europe as a leading sire, Lane’s End Farm imported Noble Mission to bring those same bloodlines to the United States. His pedigree is one of the most desirable in the world. He has already had great success in the U.S. with his son Code of Honor winning the Gr.1 Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. You will be impressed with the charm and elegance of Noble Mission when you see him.
2. You will understand their dedication to tradition. Lane’s End Farm is dedicated to their sire lines, something that will become so clear to you when you tour their farm. You will see older stallions and their sons in the same barns. In the graveyard, you will find the graves of the horses who are the sires and grandsires of those same horses that you saw in the barns. For example, you’ll see a monument of Dixieland Band, the grave of his son Dixie Union, and you’ll meet Dixie Union’s son Union Rags in the barns. New to Lane’s End in 2020 is Union Rags’ son Catalina Cruiser! You’ll see the incredible A.P. Indy and his son Honor Code stabled side by side. The list goes on and on and on.
3. You’ll learn the history of Lane’s End Farm. Lane’s End Farm is a relatively new Thoroughbred farm. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2019 which is quite impressive considering that many successful farms started in the 1900s and earlier! As you take a tour of Lane’s End, your guide will tell you all about the farm’s history and biggest achievements in breeding and racing.
4. It gives you an inside look at the workings of a major Thoroughbred breeding operation. Taking a tour of a farm is one of the easiest ways to access the Thoroughbred industry! You will see where all the horses live and learn of their daily routines. You’ll be shown the breeding shed and be educated on breeding a Thoroughbred racehorse, from the planning process to registering a foal. If you take a look around you, you’ll see the farm’s employees hard at work ensuring that everything is running efficiently and every horse is well taken care of.
5. You’ll get to meet the legendary A.P. Indy! *EDIT: A.P. Indy sadly passed away at the beginning of 2020. Rest in Peace, sweet boy.*
A.P. Indy is a legend in the world of Thoroughbred Horse Racing. He was the top-priced Yearling in 1990, he ran the second-fastest Belmont Stakes (tied with Ease Goer), and won the Breeders’ Cup Classic! When he went back to his home of Lane’s End, he became a breed shaping sire! His progeny have been successful on the racetrack and in the breeding shed! He is 30 years old, almost 31 now. Even so, he is playful and happy when meeting fans. He really enjoys the soft peppermints he gets!
And if you even need another reason -- when you visit, you will get a stamp in your Horse Country Passport! You can get one of these passports at a participating farm (I got mine at Lane’s End!). Each time you visit a farm in the passport, they will stamp it.
Once you have collected all the stamps, you can mail it to Horse Country or return it to any tour guide and Horse Country will return it with a commemorative gift for you. It’s just a nice and fun incentive to visit as many farms as you can!