Few indeed are the original houses of Kentucky's Bluegrass that have
such celebrated lore as has Buck Pond, founded in 1783 by Col. Thomas
Marshall. Buck Pond farm has been the home of many legendary
racehorses, including two Kentucky Derby winners and countless other
champions. For well over a century Buck Pond Farm has proven to be the
ideal setting for providing just the right combination of rolling
paddocks and nutrient rich pastures that it takes to produce strong and
A hero of the Battle of Brandywine, Marshall was appointed Surveyor
General of the lands of Fayette County by good friend and President
George Washington. The house at Buck Pond was completed in 1785 and
around 1800 the elder Marshall turned Buck Pond over to his youngest
son Dr. Louis Marshall and wife Agatha Smith. Six generations of the
Marshall family called Buck Pond home under the Revolutionary Grant to
Col. Thomas Marshall.
The first deed to the place was written after Dr. Louis
Marshall’s death when the estate was purchased by Major
Thomas C. McDowell. It was Major McDowell who first brought
thoroughbred horses to Buck Pond. The pride of the McDowell stable was
Alan-A-Dale, a son of 1895 Kentucky Derby winner Halma. Bred, owned and
trained by McDowell, Alan-A-Dale went on to win the 1902 Kentucky Derby.
Buck Pond was held by the McDowells until 1936 when the McDowell heirs
sold the property to Joseph Kaye Nelson, a native of Woodford County.
In 1952, it was then sold to Mr. and Mrs. Douglas M. Davis Jr. who
renamed the place High Hope Farm. Davis, a very successful horseman
bred and raised 1973 Travers Stakes winner Annihilate’Em at
In 1973, Davis sold the farm to the Proskauer family who again called
the farm Buck Pond. Susan Proskauer had escaped Nazi Germany by skiing
over the Swiss Alps and after obtaining a Visa into the United States
settled in New York. She began working as a dress designer designing
under the name Susan Garber in which she enjoyed widespread success
with her own line of ladies suits and dresses.
Mrs. Proskauer took an avid interest in thoroughbreds and began
acquiring breeding stock when relocating to Buck Pond. The Proskauers
continued the rich history of breeding champion racehorses at Buck Pond
Farm, including Horse of the Year and three time divisional champion
Spectacular Bid as well as two-year-old champion Lord Avie. The great
grass filly, Drumtop, who set 4 course records, Manitoulin, a stakes
winner in Ireland and the U.S., and Group Plan, winner of nine races
including the Jockey Club and Hawthorne Gold Cup were all bred and
raised at Buck Pond. Other thoroughbred greats such as
Margaret’s Number, Gamacene, Reboboy, Laomedante and Ancient
Wisdom were bred and raised on the lush pastures of Buck Pond.
Doug and Karen Arnold purchased the magical 300 acres of Buck Pond in
1994 and the priority of breeding excellent racehorses continues with
great success. G2 winner March Magic, one of Evansville
Slew’s best sons along with Ruler’s Court, one of
the leading juveniles of 2003, were both bred and raised at Buck Pond.
Today the residence of Buck Pond still looks down the long avenue of
maples, oaks and other assortments of trees. The house has seen changes
over the years, but the simplistic beauty of the original structure
pervades along with the high standards of producing champion racehorses.