Take a tour of Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, Calif., and see where Seabiscuit trained for his last races.
If you missed Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit: An American Legend and the movie based on the book, you can still visit the final home of the racehorse who stood for hope to Americans during the Great Depression. Seabiscuit lived with his owner, Charles Howard, on Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, Calif., from 1940 until 1947.
"It was here that Seabiscuit trained during 1939 for his last hurrah the following year," says Tracy Livingston, president of the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, which along with the Christ's Church of the Golden Rule Association cares for the 5,000-acre ranch. Tours (private or group) take visitors inside the stud barn, where the knobby-kneed champion munched hay, and to the groom's room, where old Glenn Miller tunes play on a vintage radio. In the dining hall of the restored arts-and-crafts home you can see period jockey silks, a racing saddle, 150 photographs, and a 1940 portrait of Seabiscuit. His unmarked grave lies outside amid old oaks. Information: (707) 459-5992, www.seabiscuitheritage.org.
Photography by Catharine Martin
This article was first published in March 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.