by Dave Briggs
photo: Brittany has sold most of its main farm, but will retain 271 acres and keep producing standardbreds from a broodmare band that will be downsized to some 50 mares by the end of the year (by Claus Andersen)
Brittany Farms owner George Segal announced today that a significant portion of the acreage that comprises Brittany Farms has been sold to Maurice Regan of New York.
Regan, an Irish native who owns thoroughbreds through his Newtown Anner Stud Ltd. located outside Clonmel, County Tipperary, purchased 565 acres of Brittany’s main farm on Pisgah Pike in Versailles, KY. Regan will take possession in the middle of June of this year.
That will still leave Brittany with 271 acres, and, according to farm manager Art Zubrod, that’s exactly what the farm needs at the present time to accommodate both its horses and its business plan.
“Our broodmare band will be somewhere in the range of 45-55 mares by the end of the year. We have gotten to the point that we simply don’t need that many acres to support our herd,” said Zubrod, who indicated at least 20 mares would be dispersed this fall from a band that currently numbers around 70.
The 271 acres Brittany Farms will retain includes 150 acres of what Zubrod said is “great pasture on Pisgah Pike… primarily for broodmares” and 121 acres that the farm purchased just recently a few miles south of the main farm.
“The new farm we purchased will be used primarily for raising yearlings and for turnouts,” Zubrod said. “It has some nice improvements on it, but will also need some additional structures. We shed-raise all of our horses, so we’ll need to build four yearling sheds immediately. We’ll also need to build a good number of support structures such as a hay storage building, maintenance shop, and shed.”
Zubrod said the newer property “has two houses and an office that are, basically, move in ready. A little paint here, a little this there, but they’re basically move-in ready. But we will have to come up with some more housing for our long-time employees that do currently live on the (main) farm. We’re not 100 per cent sure whether we’re going to have them on the farm or purchase something in Versailles or the area. We just don’t know, yet. That part is still up in the air.”
Segal purchased the original 411 acres of what was to become Brittany Farms from noted breeder William R. Shehan in December of 1985. Subsequent acquisitions had seen the farm grow to 715 acres before the recent transactions.
The Brittany broodmare band, which has produced numerous World Champions and Horses of the Year, had grown to about 150 mares just a few years ago.
Segal said that he wants to make everyone aware that Brittany Farms is still in business, and will continue to breed, raise and sell champion standardbreds.
“I have been in this business as an owner since 1974, but as an enthusiast for a lot longer. I am still an enthusiast. However, I am also 77 years old and some prudent planning is in order,” Segal said.
“Art, Leah (Zubrod’s wife and Brittany office manager) and I discussed the future of the farm and came up with a plan. One of the major aspects of the plan was the care our racehorses receive after their two-year-old campaign. So many young horses are never as good after their first year of racing, but I always felt that ours most often came back even better.”
Zubrod said Brittany has been for sale for five years and Regan has inquired about purchasing the property off and on for years.
Zubrod said the sale, “pretty much includes everything” including the house where he and his wife, Leah, have lived for 30 years.
“The only thing that wasn’t sold was what we could call overflow pasture. Just pasture and sheds. There’s no barns… just one dwelling,” Art said.
According to Segal, Brittany Farms is very pleased to be able to keep their long-time crew together. In addition to the Zubrods, Patty and Dale Logan and foaling man Bill Walker all have been with the farm since the mid to late ’80s.
Also staying on are the office staff of Donna Schulte and Mary Sewell, both employees of over 20 years, and Stephanie Ball, who has been with Brittany Farms for seven years.