Richard and Frances Hessee, owners of R & R Farms near Goliad, Texas, have purchased trainer Robert Holthus’ Kilkerry Farm and Training Center near Royal, Ark. The Hessees plan to use the 138-acre farm as a training center and as a place to board stock. The farm has been in Holthus’ family more than 40 years.
“We needed a training track, and Kilkerry is a good one,” Richard Hessee said. “The staff, which is an experienced group, is staying.”
Kilkerry manager Carl Chapman has worked there 40 years and his wife, Dolores, has been there 38 years. Horses broken and trained at Kilkerry include champion Lawyer Ron and grade I winner Proper Reality, both of whom were trained by Holthus.
“We’ll be operating the training center and will offers trainers a place to keep their horses during the Oaklawn Park meeting,” Hessee said. “We’ll be boarding mares, and will relocate the stallion Morluc to the farm.
“We also plan to be breeding mares in Arkansas. The Arkansas breeding program is better than the Texas program.”
Holthus, who will continue to train horses, decided to sell after experiencing a downturn in the industry.
“The horse business has slowed down a lot here in Arkansas,” he said. “There aren’t the number of mares or boarders like there were 20 years ago.”
Hessee said the deal is scheduled to close Aug. 5.