Equest 16

Last week we posted on the Tolkien-inspired home and garden tour event in Preston Hollow April 6 to 8 you can attend to benefit Equest.

More details on the whimsical property: the main house is 9,000 square feet and, along with an Old World forest garden, there’s an underground hobbit-friendly guest house with a secret passage, indoor slide, and child-sized furniture, all of which will transport you to the enchanting Middle Earth realm of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. The event is this upcoming weekend, so RSVP pronto if you haven’t done so!

And, here’s more news: Equest has put its 42-plus acre prime horse facility on Lake Ray Hubbard up for sale. They are consolidating operations at the Texas Horse Park in South Dallas in order to make the best use of resources to serve the 1,200 clients each year who benefit from the organization’s equine therapy programs. Purchasing the Wylie land is another way you can assist this wonderful organization to bring comfort, joy, and healing to children and adults through therapeutic horse-related activities.



Aerial view of home and stables.

Aerial view of home and stables.

Always wanted to have a little place in the country where you could stable a few horses? A 100-acre horse ranch in Anna is your dream come true. And it has some features you probably don’t know you need or want … until you see them.


Looking for more green acres and less barn drama? This home in Bluebonnet Ridge could be just the solution.

Looking for more green acres and less barn drama? This home in Bluebonnet Ridge could be just the solution.

“For better or worse, current boarding barn arrangements are often front-and-center on the list of concerns brought to me by virgin horse property buyers,” says Farm and Ranch columnist Kathryn Roan. “Moving to horse property represents freedom — freedom to feed your horses whatever you’d like, turn them out whenever you’d like, provide as many shavings in their stalls as you want, feed any supplement you want … The list goes on.”

But when choosing to leave “barn drama” behind, sometimes horse owners are worried about the tradeoffs, about being lonely, about having people to ride with.

Could equestrian subdivisions be the answer? See Roan’s latest column on SecondShelters.com.



The sudden death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this weekend in West Texas throws yet another Texas ranch property into the spotlight: Cibolo Creek Ranch, owned by Houston billionaire and Washington D.C. insider John Poindexter.

Ciobolo Creek vista

Established in 1857 by Milton Faver, known as the first Texas cattle baron west of the Pecos, Cibolo Creek Ranch is a five-star resort, a rugged oasis of a retreat, once a grouping of real life forts where Indian attacks were fended off. One of the more artistic forts remaining is  “El Fortin de Cibolo.” Many millionaires and celebrities have visited the 30,000 acres near the Chinati Mountains including Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones. One of the Dixie Chicks, Emily Erwin, was married there. Rooms run $350 to $700 per night. Cibolo Creek Ranch was bought by Poindexter in 1988 when it was not in the best of shape. He meticulously renovated three of the forts into a luxury, 33-room resort with a pool, dining room, horseback riding facilities, hunting and private airstrip. The atmosphere is comfortable luxury — lots of sinkable leather chairs and sofas, luxurious rooms with a ranch theme. Located about 30 miles south of Marfa, most guests fly in by private plane to the airstrip or fly to Midland and drive 3.5 hours to the remote ranch near Shafter and Marfa. Yep, those are mountains! We took a look at the ranch, and the ranch’s interesting founder, over on SecondShelters.com…

Cibolo Creek ranch porch

Waggoner Ranch

Man, 2016 is gearing up to be a watershed year for billionaires buying up trophy properties. We’ve got Andy Beal snapping up the Hicks estate and possibly more, and we’ve got Jordan Spieth moving on up to the Creeks of Preston Hollow. Now comes word that the owner of the L.A. Rams, Stan Kroenke, and his wife, billionaire Ann Walton Kroenke, a niece of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and heir to the Walton family fortune, was approved by the courts to buy up the $725 million Waggoner Ranch, located northwest of Wichita Falls near the Red River.

Dating back to the wild west of 1849, it’s the biggest contiguous ranch property in the U.S. The King Ranch is about 825,000 acres across multiple parcels, while the 510,000 acre Waggoner ranch is spread over six counties and is almost 800 square miles.

It is quite possibly also the most expensive piece of dirt currently in the U.S. Local brokerage Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty was the major broker involved in the historic transaction. Closing will take place in “a normal time for a deal like this,” says the Briggs Freeman agent who pulled off the deal: Bernard “Bernie” Uechtritz.

And what a deal: this is the first ever sale of the historic ranch.

“This shows that iconic ranches like this can be sold in today’s market with the right strategies and international exposure,” says Robbie Briggs, “We had potential buyers from all over the world. But it turns out the buyer has very strong Texas connections.”

Bernie’s office, of course, is on Fairmount at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Real Estate’s Ranch and Land office, but Robbie says he spent more spent more than half his time at the Waggoner Ranch headquarters in Vernon, where he put together an information data room, a veritable sales War Room that sure paid off.

“It was a series of rooms at Waggoner headquarters, tables and tables of folders and schedules, maps, anything you could think of relative to a complex operation like this,” says Bernie. “We created an intensive electronic data room one could only visit once they had been heavily pre-screened, and that was, of course, available virtually as well.”

Bernie told me there was also a “low level” data room for the hundreds who came by inquiring. When asked how many potential buyers were from foreign countries, Bernie said many. That man’s Rolodex should probably be stored at Fort Knox.

“We had a tremendous amount of international interest from South Korea, China, Russia, South America, really from everywhere,” said Bernie.

Waggoner Ranch Red River (more…)

Candy Grand Vie Ranch

Just about every real estate brokerage has a farm and ranch division now, which is a far cry from not long ago when you couldn’t pay people to move to the “boonies,” Candy says in her latest column inside Grand Vie: Luxury in Living. Now there are some amazing, luxurious, and enviable ranch properties on the market that are worth a look.

Take the amazing equestrian facility in Athens, the Honey Hole Ranch, or Mustang Ranch. All of these properties give horse lovers what they want, with excellent soil, beautiful vistas, and heart-achingly luxurious appointments throughout.

Jump to see the incredible video Candy starred in for this issue of Ebby Halliday’s and Williams Trew’s fabulous glossy mags.



I heard this might be happening: Alice Walton has decided to sell her Rocking W Ranch in Millsap, Texas, out in Palo Pinto County. One of the billionaire heirs to the famed WalMart fortune has listed the ranch with the Fort Worth ranch sales king himself, Allen Crumley of Williams-Trew, an Ebby Halliday company, for $19.75 million.

According to Forbes Magazine, Alice Walton is the wealthiest woman in Texas and has a personal fortune valued at $39.4 billion, with a B.


The 1,435-acre ranch is one of the largest cutting horse ranches in Texas. It sits along the county line between Parker County and Palo Pinto County in Millsap, which is a 45-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth. Beautiful country.Alice-Walton



I was thinking the only thing worse than living with all this rain and mud and mess is living where there is a whole lot more mud & mess all the time — like the country. Horse farms. So I reached out to our Farm & Ranch correspondent on SecondShelters.com, Kathryn Roan, who is ready to hit the next person who says, “but we need this rain”!  Imagine living in the country where there is dirt everywhere, which is now slimy mud everywhere, because the ground has been getting saturated for about 90 days. Almost half the days in April were rainy. And the grass is out of control, but you cannot mow, no way, because tractors get stuck in the mud. So every country property looks like an overgrown jungle. Have they sold out of Snake-Away at WalMart yet?

Arenas have become ponds, and swimming pools have overflowed to the point where you cannot tell where the puddles or pool begin. Sure is fun… who wants to take clients out in this?