Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Calumet's Fields are Full Once Again

Almost five months after Calumet was sold amid weeks of rumors, horses have returned to the pastures of the historic farm.

Calumet's storied history has been full of up and downs over the last 30 years with the farm filing for bankruptcy in 1991. The farm was bought at auction by Henryk de Kwiatkowski the following year for $17 million with the promise that "The fences will be painted white as long as I live."

De Kwiatkowski died in 2003 and the farm became part of the late owner's trust with his children as the beneficiaries. Like their father, the younger de Kwiatkowskis kept the fences painted white for nine more years, even bringing stallions back to the farm with Ice Box and Cactus Ridge standing at Calumet in 2012.

But when it was rumored that Calumet had sold in mid-April on the Paulick Report, Lexington held its breath. 

Calumet isn't just one of the many historic farms in the area, its the white-fenced farm that many people see when flying into Blue Grass Airport. The farm is the very symbol that Lexington, and Kentucky, are known for with its sprawling pastures and thoroughbreds grazing in the fields.

But the collective breath was let out when the rumor became true a few weeks later and it was announced that the 800-acre farm would be leased to horse owner Brad Kelley. The Lexington Herald-Leader also announced in their article that "The investors, who were not named or numbered, "plan to continue to keep it the way it is."

Even though the farm was in safe hands after the sale, it was still a little sad to drive by the farm and see empty pastures. The farm seemed to be a ghost town for most of the summer until tractors with mowers attached appeared in the fields in mid-August, signaling that something was about to happen. 

And happen it did.

One morning as commuters drove by the farm on Versailles and New Circle Roads, they saw the familiar sight of horses in the pastures. By that afternoon, many of the pastures of Calumet were full and the Bluegrass' symbol was back.

While it will take a long time to restore Calumet to its former glory, the promise by Kelley that there are currently no plans to develop any part of the farm is a definite relief. 

In addition to Kelley's promise, de Kwiatkowski Trust Spokesman Bud Greely left everyone with this quote.

"I feel confident your new buyer is going to spend a lot of money on the farm. I think everybody's going to be very pleased."

In a time where change is the only thing for certain in the world, it's nice to know that some things can go back to being the same.
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