07/09/2012 2:13PM

Highcliff horses relocated to Mill Creek Farm


The late Carl Lizza’s Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y., closed this week, but its longtime managers have relocated the horses and will continue operating a Thoroughbred breeding business as Highcliff at Mill Creek Farm.

Highcliff’s general manager and resident veterinarian, Lynwood “Doc” O’Cain, and his wife, Suzie, who handled business management, promotions, and stallion marketing for Highcliff, relocated 65 horses from the Delanson property to Anne Morgan and Tom Little’s Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, N.Y., five miles from Saratoga Race Course.

The O’Cains shipped the 65 horses – including Highcliff stallions Congaree, Cosmonaut, Stonesider, and Maybry’s Boy – to Mill Creek over the first week of July.

“Carl Lizza died a year ago, and it’s been a year of unbelievable concern on Doc’s and my part for what’s the future, the crew, the horses, our commitments to mare owners and stallion owners, and what we were going to do,” Suzie O’Cain said. “It’s been a roller coaster.”

The Lizza estate sold about 250 horses over the last 12 months, and the executors of the estate told the O’Cains that Lizza’s heirs did not wish to keep the 600-acre farm. O’Cain said the couple considered purchasing the Delanson property, where they also lived.

“We’ve moved Highcliff and incorporated it into another farm, Mill Creek,” O’Cain said. “We’ve taken some of our key personnel there, and Doc’s up there as veterinarian. This is perfect. They have not had a stallion in a few years, and they don’t enjoy the stallion stuff that I really love. All of us have something different to bring to the table. Doc is going to do the veterinary work, I’m going to promote the stallions. The farm is a showplace.”

O’Cain said Mill Creek owners Morgan and Little will continue to manage the farm and its employees, and the O’Cains will reside in Saratoga.

“There’s a great story of goodwill, first of all, with these clients of ours all being so willing to move with us,” she added. “How much more of a reward can you get for 23 years than that?”