10/23/2014 12:31PM

Major California operation Golden Eagle Farm closing

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Golden Eagle Farm, one of California’s leading boarding and breeding operations, will close Oct. 31 after four decades in business.

The 560-acre farm in Ramona, Calif., will be sold, and its lone remaining sire, Stormin Fever, will relocate to Rancho Temescal in Piru, Calif., for the 2015 breeding season, where he will stand for an advertised fee of $2,500.

John and Betty Mabee founded Golden Eagle Farm in 1972, and built it into not only one of California’s top breeding farms, but a national-level program. The Mabees earned Eclipse Awards as outstanding breeder in 1991, 1997, and 1998. The operation bred and campaigned Hall of Famer Best Pal. Other top runners for Golden Eagle included Dramatic Gold, Excellent Meeting, Event of the Year, and General Challenge.

John Mabee died in 2002, Betty died in 2010, and their son Larry followed two years later.

“The family has put a lot of thought into this decision since the passing of Larry Mabee in December 2012,” said Golden Eagle Farm general manager Janine McCullough. “Larry’s son, John R. Mabee, is the one of three children with interest in the business. John R., who was named after his grandfather, John C. Mabee, the founder of Golden Eagle Farm, will continue the racing stable. 

“John R. grew up spending many days going to the track with his grandfather and has a passion for the sport,” McCullough continued. “He genuinely loves the horses and is excited about continuing the famous Golden Eagle silks. We have several exciting horses in training right now and look forward to 2015. I will be staying on as John’s racing manager and continue to manage the stallion Stormin Fever, who moves to Rancho Temescal for the 2015 season.”

Stormin Fever, a 20-year-old son of Storm Cat, has sired 12 crops of racing age, led by 2010 Canadian Horse of the Year Biofuel, as well as Grade 1 winners Sweet Talker, Check the Label, and Tarlow, Grade/Group 2 winners A Little Warm, Storm Wolf, and Howick Falls, and Grade 3 winners Whirlie Bertie and Misty Rosette.