Illinois' Horizon Farms to Close in September

Horizon Farms near Barrington, Ill., will cease operating as a breeding and boarding operation on Sept. 1. Currently the farm stands three of Illinois' top five stallions, including the state's leading sire, Unreal Zeal.

The farm's founders, William and Jane McGinley, died in January of 2001 and February of 2003, respectively, and their family members have decided not to continue the Thoroughbred operation. Currently about 125 horses are boarded there, but no Thoroughbreds are owned by McGinley family members. Beyond Unreal Zeal, stallions Demidoff, Classic Account, and Canyon Run stand at the farm. All are owned by syndicates.

Sharon Wilson, who has worked at Horizon for 16 years and is the current manager, said it is possible the 400-acre farm could be leased in its entirety to another party, or in portions for other equine-related uses. Currently three of the farm's 11 barns are leased for polo, hunter-jumper, and training operations.

"There's a lot of things that are up in the air right now," said Wilson. "At the moment there are no long term plans. For the short term, we would be willing to rent the barns."

The McGinleys founded Horizon Farms in 1978. It is located less than five miles away from Richard Duchoissois' Hill 'N Dale Farm, one of the state's most prominent Thoroughbred operations.