07/17/2013 1:47PM

Hopewell Farm, former home of Skip Away, sold at auction


Hopewell Farm, the Woodford County, Ky.,  operation that once stood 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away and 2002 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Volponi, sold Tuesday at a court-ordered absolute auction, with creditor PNC Bank buying two of the three tracts on offer.

According to the Blood-Horse, PNC Bank bid $11,500 per acre for the 367.16-acre main parcel including 6,500-square-foot Faywood Mansion and seven barns with 111 stalls, including the stallion barn and breeding shed. The bank also paid $12,500 per acre for a 174-acre tract adjoining WinStar Farm’s training and rehabilitation facility; that tract included two 24-stall barns and other improvements.

Dr. Matthew Tutt, a neurosurgeon in Lexington, was the winning bidder for the third tract at $14,500 per acre for 43.27 acres fronted by Old Frankfort Pike.

Swinebroad-Denton of Lexington conducted the auction, with Walt Robertson wielding the gavel.

The Woodford Circuit Court ordered the sale as part of PNC Bank’s bankruptcy suit against Hopewell. The farm had been in receivership since late this spring and previously was listed with Justice Real Estate for $14,675,000. Earlier this year, former Hopewell owner Rick Trontz and PNC Bank had leased the 43-acre tract to brothers Duane and Wayne Murty. In early July, Woodford County Animal Control and Kentucky Department of Agriculture officials opened an animal neglect investigation concerning the Murtys’ care of about 24 horses on the property. The Murtys relocated the horses in advance of the auction, and the investigation is ongoing.

Hopewell, once a well-known commercial breeding and sales operation, has road frontage on both Pisgah and Old Frankfort Pikes near Versailles.