05/08/2008 11:00PM

Dickinson seeks buyer for farm


Trainer Michael Dickinson has put his custom-designed Tapeta Farm in Maryland on the market for an undisclosed price, he confirmed Wednesday.

Dickinson, a Breeders' Cup-winning trainer and the developer of the Tapeta synthetic surface that is named for his farm, said he has decided to downsize to a smaller property now that he is no longer training. Dickinson stopped training in 2007 to devote himself to his Tapeta Footings business.

Tapeta Farm covers 196 acres in North East, Md., on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. Dickinson purchased the property in 1996 and developed it as a Thoroughbred training center according to his own design. The farm includes the main residence, 55 stalls in barns built by the Amish, and two Tapeta all-weather surfaces, one a half-mile round gallop and the other a one-turn mile up an incline.

The farm also features a unique set of three turf exercise tracks, one Dickinson calls "Noah's Ark" that is seeded to be resilient during wet weather, a second that is designed for normal conditions, and a third designed for use during exceptionally dry weather.

Tapeta has had no horses on it since December 2007.

"We've had a few inquiries," Dickinson said, adding that he and his wife, Joan, intend to purchase property nearby.

"I don't need a 200-acre garden," Dickinson said. "We're very happy on the farm at the moment, and we love the area, so we're only going to move a mile or two away."