Shannon White, who has served as general manager of Issam Fares' Fares Farm near Lexington for the last 12 years, is a firm believer in the saying that when one door closes, another one opens.
In the wake of the dispersal of all the horses that had resided on the 760-acre property at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, White made plans to start her own Thoroughbred venture.
"I just signed on a little farm, but I won't officially take possession until April," said White of the 112-acre Ballantrae Farm, located on Old Frankfort Pike near Lexington.
While there are more details to iron out, White plans to operate the farm as a breeding facility. She has already hired several former Fares employees to join her, including farm manager Carrie Clark.
"A lot remains to be determined—I will figure out some of those details after the sale," said White. "But I have faith and confidence because we have a good team. You take care of the people that take care of you. There was some anxiety at first (when it was announced that Fares Farm was dispersing its horses) and (the employees) were looking for some leadership and I didn't have an answer, but I thought, 'Well, we'll find one.' So through patience, it worked out."
In addition to the riding horses owned by White's three daughters, other horses that will reside on the farm include lots she bought out of the Fares dispersal: Fiscal Year, a $57,000 daughter of Half a Year—Fiscal Gold who is in foal to Hard Spun ; Airizon, a $22,000 daughter of Boston Harbor—Airistar who is in foal to Macho Uno ; Fabulous Finish, a $35,000 daughter of Grand Slam—Varnish who is in foal to Mineshaft ; Dixietwostepper, a $40,000 daughter of More Than Ready —Dixiechickadee who is in foal to Eskendereya; Tres Coronas, a $10,000 daughter of Chief's Crown—Scapegoat who is in foal to Hat Trick; and an $8,000 yearling colt by Exchange Rate—Rich Fantasy.
David Thornton signed the ticket for the mares, who White owns in partnership with others.