07/20/2010 1:48PM

Stonewall entities file for bankruptcy


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Audrey and Richard Haisfield’s Stonewall Thoroughbred operation will relocate its stallions to Ocala, Fla., after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for five of their Stonewall-related entities.

Stonewall attorney John Hamilton said during a hearing in Fayette Circuit Court on Tuesday that the couple are working with JPMorgan Chase Bank, which filed suit against them last week for $7 million, alleging Stonewall and the related entities had defaulted on a series of loans. The bank had requested that the court appoint a receiver to sell the stallions, but the bankruptcy filing forestalls that request. The Haisfields will move A. P. Warrior and Leroidesanimaux – which Chase had sought to seize and sell – to Stonewall Stallions Ocala along with Doneraile Court, Unforgettable Max, and Strong Contender. Stonewall Farms Ocala, the former Hidden Point Property, already stands Da Stoops, It’s No Joke, British Blue, Frisco Star, and Spellbinder.

The Haisfields purchased 85-acre Hidden Point last September for $3 million.

“In essence, the stallion breeding interests of the farm are continuing,” Hamilton said. “The entities that didn’t file [for Chapter 11] own 2-year-olds, yearlings, weanlings, mares that we are arranging to let Chase Bank take and sell. The plan is to relocate the stud business to the farm in Ocala. . . . They’re trying to continue the business and pay back their loans. The easy way out is to say, ‘Here are the keys to the barn, and we’re gone,’ but they’re not doing that.”

Hamilton said Stonewall Farm’s Kentucky property, the former Gaillardia Farm near Midway, would likely be sold. It is now operating on a staff he estimated to be fewer than 10 employees.

The broodmare division, covering about 112 acres, currently is listed with real-estate agent Bill Justice for $3.8 million.

Chase’s attorney, Walt Robertson of Stites & Harbison in Lexington, said the bank would not comment on pending litigation.

Hamilton said the entities that filed for bankruptcy Tuesday own the stallions A. P. Warrior and champion Leroidesanimaux; 2009 stud fee income from interests it held in Stonewall’s late stallion Lawyer Ron and Airdrie Stud stallion Indian Charlie; and a half-share in Lane’s End sire A.P. Indy.

In May, Fifth Third sued Stonewall, Audrey Haisfield, and related entities, alleging default on more than $14.8 million in loans. Bluewater Sales is the receiver in that case and is handling the sale of 145 horses.