Blue Ribbon Farm
Our farm has been operating in the northwest shadow of spectacular Mt Rainier since 1973 when we began purchasing it from Tom and Donna Arndt who had been operating a family dairy. Many of the outbuildings remain the same but have been converted in use. We maximize the nutrition value of the grass by spreading composted manure, harrowing, and clipping weeds. Fencing is 80% v-mesh wire with the remainder high tensile New Zealand. Paddocks vary in size from an acre up to 5 acres, allowing the post foaling mare the exercise she needs to rebreed efficiently. During the foaling season, a night watch person monitors 5 stalls with closed circuit TVs. Buckley is located on SR 410, 25 miles east of Tacoma, 30 miles southeast of SeaTac airport, and most importantly 25 miles or 30 speeding minutes southeast of Emerald Downs racetrack.
Newborns are kept in stalls at night for the first 3 to 4 weeks of life and turned out with their dams in paddocks during the day both to insure that they are haltered and led daily, and to develop their good behavior. At about 1 month of age, foals and mares are put outside in large fields to get plenty of exercise and Dr. Green (new grass). We wean at 4 months using an across the fence method allowing as stress free situation as possible. In the fall over a two week period, weanlings are separated, stalled and mannered to load in a trailer. The rest of the winter and spring they are allowed to be horses as they develop bone and muscle in 3 to 5 acres fields. The following early summer they are stalled during the heat of the day in preparation for their fall sale. In addition, throughout their lives they are handled regularly to be trimmed and given wormer and injections as needed.
Debbie and Rick have been supporting the Washington Thoroughbred Industry for years dating from the purchase of a share in the Longacres based sales pavilion in the 70's to supporting the construction of the current sales pavilion as well as the construction of the Northwest Racing LLC owned Emerald Downs. Debbie has supported the WTBA as board member, secretary-treasurer, sales committee member and chairman, chairman of the finance committee, member of the WTBA Farm Managers, member of the WTBA Magazine/Website Committee, WSU Vet Hospital Equine Advisory Board, Northwest Race Series Committee Chairman. She was born in Seattle, raised in Ojai, CA, graduated in Astronomy from Wellesley College.(the last always helpful when weaning by the sign!!!)
Rick's dad was a ski pioneer with Big Bromley Mtn in Manchester, VT, where Rick worked summers growing up. He graduated from Dartmouth College with Engineering Science BA and spent a year in Meteorology gratis the USAF which introduced him to the North West via McChord AFB.. His favorite pastime when not repairing fence is sailing his 30ft 1977 Mercator sloop north summers as far as Debbie will let him.