The 'Castle,' Gallardia, Dixiana Farms Among Recent Sales

The real estate market has been busy in Central Kentucky, starting in November when the successful Keeneland sales brought lookers to the area. Some of the farms which changed hands already have ties to the Thoroughbred industry, while a Versailles landmark could soon be linked to horses.

The most visible property that sold recently was "The Castle," a large structure situated on a 54-acre piece of land on US 60 between Lexington and Versailles. Thomas Post, a native of Lexington now practicing law in Miami, Fla., purchased the property in November for $1.79 million from the Rex Martin Living Trust. It was not on the market.

Martin, who passed away last year, built the gothic structure beginning in the last 1960s. Post is considering a number of options, including leasing the land that surrounds the castle to a Thoroughbred operation. He is also considering opening the facility to groups for use for fundraisers or special events.

William Shively, who bought two farms (the former Blue Ridge and Elk Hill Farms) in Central Kentucky in 2003 totaling 332 acres, recently purchased the 304-acre Dixiana Farm from Mary Lou Wibel for $5 million. Wibel purchased the farm in 1986 for $5,952,400. Shively operates in the name Tomoka Hills. He is involved with the Tower Hill Insurance Group which is based in Gainesville, Fla.

E.K. Gaylord purchased the former Stonewall Farm in Woodford County in 2001, refurbished it, then sold it to his sister, Mary Gaylord McClean, last spring. McClean immediately listed the property for sale with an asking price of $5.25 million for the 179-acre spread. Audrey Haisfield of Middleburg, Va., recently purchased Gaillardia for $4.5 million.

Jerry and Liz Squyres have sold Colonial Ridge Farm, which they purchased in June of 1999, to a partnership comprised of Dr. Mike Spirito, and siblings Kim and Rodney Nardelli. The 258 acres on North Yarnallton in Fayette County sold for $2.7 million. They Squyres are staying in the horse business but boarding their horses elsewhere.

Fred and Janet Davidson of Scottsdale, Ariz., purchased the 126-acre Oakland Farm near Versailles, Ky., for $1.3 million. The farm was previously owned by Bob and Mary Congleton and Tom and Barbara Thornbury in the name Oakland General Partnership.