11/01/2010 1:54PM

Dixiana Farms mansion burns down


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The unoccupied 19th century mansion at Lexington’s historic Dixiana Farms was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning, but no horses were injured in the blaze.

One firefighter sustained minor injuries while trying to stop the blaze, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. A night watchman noticed the fire at about 5 a.m. Saturday. The cause was under investigation Monday.

William Shively of Gainesville, Fla., owns the farm but has not lived in the main house.

Dixiana has been famous in both Thoroughbred and American Saddledbred breeding. Former Confederate major Barak Thomas founded it in 1877 and named it for his favorite broodmare, Dixie. Thomas sold the farm in 1890, and its owners since have included James Ben Ali Haggin, Thomas Carson, and James Cox Brady. It has produced such runners as Roseben, Highball, Himyar, and Mata Hari.

In 1947, Dixiana’s then owner, Charles Fisher, sold some of the farm property to Royce Martin, who named in Domino Stud after one of Dixiana’s most famous horses, champion and sire Domino. Shively bought the remaining Dixiana portion from Mary Lou Wibel in 2004 reunited the properties in 2009, when he purchased the Domino land from the late Kenneth Jones’s family.