Michael Dickinson

Michael Dickinson

Anne M. Eberhardt

Dickinson to Sell Tapeta Farm

Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm near North East, Md. is for sale.

Former trainer Michael Dickinson has put his 196-acre Tapeta Farm near North East, Md. on the market for an undisclosed price.

Located at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay, halfway between New York and Washington D.C., the farm’s training facilities include 55 stalls; a seven-furlong gallop made of Dickinson’s patented synthetic surface Tapeta; a half-mile Tapeta oval; and three turf tracks.

Also on the picturesque property is an English-style home that overlooks the farm and includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a three-car garage. 

“We’ve had a couple of phone calls (about the property), but it’s still in the early days yet,” said Dickinson, who hasn’t boarded horses at the farm since last November when he decided to cease training to dedicate all his time to his synthetic surface company Tapeta Footings.

The horses formerly in Dickinson’s barns have been dispersed to different trainers over the last year, as the majority of his time has been spent traveling to promote and monitor his Tapeta product throughout the world.

Golden Gate Fields began using Tapeta for racing last fall. The surface also been installed at Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs, as well as training centers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Dubai, England, and Korea.

A native of Yorkshire, England, Dickinson was a top steeplechase jockey and three-time champion jumps trainer in his native country before relocating to the United States in 1987. In the U.S., Dickinson notched eight grade I wins with five different horses. He is perhaps best known for his work with two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) champion Da Hoss.

Dickinson said when he sells the farm, he plans to relocate nearby. “We’re only going to move a mile or two away, just down the road,” he said. “We haven’t picked out anywhere yet, but we’re going to stay in the area—we like the area very much.”

Dickinson said he may decide to own Thoroughbreds someday, but for the time being, he will continue to concentrate his efforts on Tapeta.

“It’s good, because I’ve still got horses in my life,” he said. “I could never have a life without horses.”