Lantern Hill Farm: Dreams Can Come True
Friday, June 6, 2014 Share on Facebook RSS Feeds

Lantern Hill Farm: Dreams Can Come True

 
Suzi Shoemaker, owner/general manager Lantern Hill Farm shown with
G1 winner Capt. Candyman Can who was co-bred with Joe Rauch and Dave Zell

From dream to reality, Suzi Shoemaker has proven that with enough passion and drive you can make dreams come true.  Shoemaker grew up in upstate New York with very few ties to the Kentucky equine industry let alone the Thoroughbred industry.  She rode Saddlebreds, showing from the time she was 15 until she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Animal Science.  It was on a vacation during college that she fell in love with Kentucky. 

“I must have lived here in another life,” Shoemaker explained.  “I love it so much and feel such a kinship with every part of it.”

Shoemaker relocated to Kentucky and initially took a job working with Saddlebreds.  The farm housed both Saddlebreds and Thoroughbreds, and after her exposure to Thoroughbreds, she realized that working in the Thoroughbred Industry was her ultimate goal.  She leased a tiny piece of land on the edge of Lexington and called it Lantern Hill Farm after the fictional lighthouse on Prince Edward Island in the novel Jane of Lantern Hill.  


 

In 1982, Shoemaker began investing in Thoroughbreds. She bought a 16-year-old broodmare from the Keeneland January sale named NO CRIME, as she says, “thanks to a loan from a sympathetic banker.”  Within a year of the purchase, NO CRIME had two of her foals earn black-type.  Lantern Hill Farm sold the broodmare along with her yearling to pay off the bank and made a large profit. After her initial success, Shoemaker did not want to push her luck and actually got out of the business for a couple years.  It wasn’t until her mother, Audrey Daniels, suggested partnering in the purchase of a few mares that Shoemaker got back into the business.  In 1989, Shoemaker purchased a 75-acre farm on Paynes Depot in Scott County thanks to the proceeds from the sale of a yearling out of the mare MURIELS DREAM.  


A 2014 foal by Hansen out of the mare Ablaze at
Lantern Hill Farm

In 1995, Shoemaker bought Lantern Hill Farm’s current residence on Leestown Road in Midway, KY.  The original 144 acres was part of the former Parrish Hill Farm which was the birthplace of 1984 Eclipse Award winner as Champion Older Mare, PRINCESS ROONEY.   In 2005, an adjacent 40-acre tract was purchase by Shoemaker to take the farm to its current 184 acres.  

“I feel really fortunate to have been able to buy this farm from the Roach family, as I often drove by the property thinking how cool would it be to have and live on that farm,” Shoemaker described.

Lantern Hill Farm has bred, raised and/or sold a number of quality horses since its inception. DREAMING OF ANNA, 2006 Eclipse Award Champion two-year-old filly, was foaled and raised at Lantern Hill Farm for breeder Frank Calabrese.  Other Grade 1 winners include CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN, ORDWAY and PAMPERED PRINCESS; Grade 2 winners include LEWIS MICHAEL and SKYBOUND; Grade/Group 3 winners include CARTHAGE, COZY BLUES, MELROSE AVENUE, MOTOR CITY, MR. JOHN, SABERCAT and TERRIFIC CHALLENGE; and stakes winners include CONCHACER, SATULAGI, RETURN TO PARADISE, LORD CARMEN, OLIVINE, KING HESPERUS, LAUNCH A DOUBLE, and SEPTEMBER SPLENDOR.


Champion filly DREAMING OF ANNA (left) and G2 winner 
LEWIS MICHAEL (right) were raised at Lantern Hill Farm
(Photo credit: Lorie Hull Elverd)

Shoemaker has always been a preservationist. Viewing herself as a caretaker of the land, she has mcaptade minimal changes to existing structures only tearing down one building and consciously adding only necessary structures for the operation of the farm.  In December of 2009, Shoemaker in conjunction with the Bluegrass Conservancy protected Lantern Hill Farm with a conservation easement.  She recognizes the significance of the accomplishment and she is grateful to have the ability to protect the land.  Shoemaker has a passion for her operation and the Thoroughbred industry and would like to serve as a reminder to all young women if passion and determination are there achievement is sure to follow.


The 100 year old tobacco barn which was moved and 
renovated to add 16 horse stalls and office space in 2006

For more information about Lantern Hill Farm, please click here to visit their website.

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