Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky is a premier Thoroughbred breeding operation. The Southern charm, pristinely painted yellow and white barns, and perfectly groomed stallions show that this place has it all. It is historical, beautiful, and successful.
I visited Claiborne Farm on June 14, 2019 for a tour. It was the first farm tour I had ever been on and my mind was blown. Everything I had been seeing in old photographs and on commercials was finally right before my eyes. It was an experience I will never forget and an experience I think everyone should have.
Here are five reasons why I think you should visit this farm too:
1. It is downright beautiful! The moment you turn down their long driveway towards the visitors center, you are transported to another world. Trees shade your path; sunshine makes the stream in a nearby pasture sparkle. Every building and barn is painted in a bright yellow and white, so clean and beautiful that you can hardly believe that animals sleep in them. Even the bathroom in the Visitors’ Center is nice!
2. History was bred, born, raised, and retired there. Claiborne Farm has been around for over a century. Countless legendary horses have called Claiborne Farm their home at some point in their lives. Half of our Triple Crown winners were bred in Claiborne’s breeding shed. You can feel this history while you’re there. You can look at the pasture that was once Secretariat’s and swear you could see him running. When the groom pulls War Front out of his stall, you’ll feel as if you’re seeing the ghost of Danzig. Take a walk through the farm’s graveyard and your mind will flood with visions of Gallant Fox with roses on his back and Nasrullah reaching for the sky on his two hind legs. There is no doubt that this farm is the home of champions.
3. You’ll get to meet the most wanted stallion in North America. If you ever dreamed of touching $80 million, Claiborne Farm is the place to do it. Claiborne is the home of the incredible stallion War Front. At $250,000, his stud fee is the highest in North America (yes, even higher than Tapit!). He is estimated to be worth a cool $80 million. While most businesses would lock something worth $80 million away in a safe somewhere, Claiborne Farm’s grooms will gladly take War Front out of his stall and allow everyone on the tour to pet him and have a picture with him. They’ll even let you feed him a peppermint (which he LOVES)! It is definitely an opportunity you do not want to miss out on.
4. You’ll learn a lot about the sport of horse racing and Claiborne Farm’s history. The moment you walk into Claiborne’s visitors center, you are bombarded with information. I encourage you to walk around the Visitors Center as you await your tour guide. There are incredible books to look through and plaques to read. The moment your tour guide greets you, they will begin telling you about the farm; how many people work there, the family that owns it, etc. They take you through all aspects of the breeding industry and show you everything from the breeding shed to the graveyard. Plus, they will answer any questions you have!
5. You’ll get to see some incredible stallions. When you attend a tour at Claiborne Farm, you’re going to see some incredible stallions. Look into Secretariat’s former stall and see Runhappy snoozing in his comfy bed of straw. After getting your picture taken with War Front, enjoy the show Blame puts on for peppermints, drooling and sticking his tongue out at the crowd. See Lea stretch his head over his stall door, begging for a peppermint that he knows the tour guide has. Watch Kentucky Derby winner Orb greet his fans with an air of confidence!
Claiborne Farm is a place you need to see, filled with horses don’t want to miss out on and history you need to know. Next time you're in horse country, make a point to book a tour there. You will not regret it!
[Video: Watch our tour of Claiborne Farm]
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