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  Grave Matters: Stone Farm, Paris, Kentucky

Photos by Kurt Lemke ©Kurt Lemke 2013; all rights reserved.

Top (left to right): Cabin, Cougar II, Halo
Bottom (left to right): Harlan, Herculean, Skywalker

STONE FARM was established in 1970 but Arthur B. Hancock III, oldest son of Arthur Hancock, Jr. of Claiborne Farm. Initially a broodmare annex for Claiborne Farm, the younger Hancock purchased the property to start his own breeding operation. Stone Farm began to stand stallions about 1974, starting with the well bred CABIN and HERCULEAN and the great Chilean-bred runner COUGAR II.

Hancock bred 1982 Kentucky Derby winner GATO DEL SOL (c. 1979 by COUGAR II - Peacefully by Jacinto) in partnership with Leone J. Peters. Gato Del Sol retired to stud at Stone Farm, was sent to Germany in 1993, but returned to his birthplace and pensioned in 1999, dying at Stone Farm in 2007. In 1978, Kentucky Derby/Belmont winner BOLD FORBES retired to stud here, and after his retirement, was sent to live out his days at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1991. He died there in 2000 and is buried at the Horse Park.

In 1984, Hancock took over management of the important stallion HALO, who arrived at Stone Farm that year from Windfields Farm in Maryland. HALO sired Sunday Silence (1986 by Halo - Wishing Well by Understanding), who was bred by Oak Cliff Thoroughbreds but foaled at Stone Farm. Sunday Silence did not reach his reserve as a yearling, and as consignor, Hancock bought him from his breeders privately, and ran him back through a 2-year-old sale in California, where he was another buy-back at $32,000. Sunday Silence went on to win the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was second in the Belmont Stakes, and voted Horse of the Year. He was sold to Japan and was the Leading Sire there fifteen times. HALO was the Leading Sire in 1983 (the year his Sunny's Halo won the Kentucky Derby) and 1989, and also sired Hancock-bred Strodes Creek, who ran second behind Go For Gin in the 1994 Kentucky Derby. Strodes Creek stood briefly at Stone Farm and then was sent to Japan. HALO died at Stone Farm in 2000. Halo's good daughter COUNTRY ROMANCE produced homebred HARLAN (1989 by Storm Cat) who was a good but short-lived sire at Stone Farm, dying here in 1999, but leaving behind the good runner and sire Harlan's Holiday, as well as 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Menifee (1995 Harlan - Anne Campbell by Never Bend), another Hancock homebred who stood at Stone until his sale to Korea in 2006.

Hancock is also co-breeder, with Leone J. Peters, of 1988 Preakness/Belmont Stakes winner Risen Star (by Secretariat - Ribbon by His Majesty), who was sold as a yearling for $210,000 to Louis J. Roussell, and also third in the Kentucky Derby. In 1996, the successful stallion SKYWALKER arrived from California, dying here in 2003. In 2000, the Kentucky Derby was won for a third time by a horse bred by Arthur Hancock III, this one was Fusaichi Pegasus, bred in partnership with Stonerside Farm, and sold as a yearling for $4,000,000. He now stands at Ashford Stud. Hancock, his wife Staci and family continue to raise horses at Stone Farm. -- A.P.

STONE FARM BURIALS (not a complete list):
Stallions Mares
Cabin (c. 1968-1990)
Cougar II (c. 1966-1989)
Gato Del Sol (c. 1979-2007)
Halo (c. 1969-2000)
Harlan (c. 1979-1999)
Herculean (c. 1971-1986)
Skywalker (c. 1982-2003)
Anne Campbell (f. 1973-2001)

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