Rich in History

Rock on farm with grinding holes most likely used for acorns by the Luiseño Indians, the first inhabitants of the area that became known as Valley Center.

The farm was originally developed as Jackson’s Arabian Nursery.  In the late 1980’s, it was transformed into  Valley Creek Farm, one of California’s premiere thoroughbred breeding operations. 

In 2011, the peaceful and tranquil farm became the home of Oak Creek Farm / SK Racing Stable.

SK Racing Stable was founded in 1998 just east of Ramona, California. After the devastating 2007 Witch Creek wildfire, SK Racing Stable relocated its operation to the Valley Center farm.  Inspired by the abundance of majestic oaks on the farm and along the creek bed, the farm was renamed Oak Creek Farm.

Jackson’s Arabian Nursery

In the late sixties, the property was developed as Jackson’s Arabian Nursery.   Roy and Nellie Jackson were among the pioneer breeders of Arabians.  They blended the lines of Babson, Kellogg, Davenport and other important lines.  They were the breeders of the first Scottsdale Champion Stallion, Tisaan (Disaan x Gran Twenti).

Photo copy from Arabian Horse World February 1977 courtesy of Windwalker

Balastra (Gulastra x Bazrah) is warmly remembered as the foundation stallion for Roy and Nellie Jackson’s highly regarded breeding program.

Nellie Jackson bred horses until she was 94, running the farm from her wheelchair.  I love this quote as told to Bint Al Bahr Arabians:

“If your house is too clean, you are not spending enough time with your horses.”                      – Nellie Jackson

Valley Creek Farm

In 1985, F. Jack Liebau Sr. and Tom Capehart purchased the then vacant farm.  After many renovations, the semi-private farm open its gates the following Spring as Valley Creek Farm and became one of California’s premiere thoroughbred breeding farms.

Famous Residents

Lady’s Secret (1982 – 2003)

Winner of the 1986 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, named the 1986 Horse of the Year,  and inducted in the Racing Hall of Fame in 1992.  “The Iron Lady” was campaigned by owners Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Klein (former owner of the San Diego Chargers) and hall of fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.  She was a 11-time G1 winner with lifetime earnings of $3,021,325.

John and Kim Glenney moved Lady’s Secret, and her companion Superbe Dawn, from Kentucky to California in May of 2001, believing the milder winters would benefit her.  Lady’s Secret died on the farm March 4, 2003 after foaling a healthy General Meeting colt.  She was 21.  Superbe Dawn raised the Lady’s Secret colt as her own.  More, DRF article.

As a tribute to the great race mare, The Lady’s Secret Memorial Garden was developed at Oak  Creek Farm.  Generous plant donations from Greg Lawson, Joan Salat, and the estate of James Kimball graced the garden.

Lady’s Secret Garden

Lady Secret’s Garden

Lady’s Secret Garden

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Chief (1983 – 2010)

Snow Chief stood his 1990 and 1991 seasons at Valley Creek Farm which is now known as Oak Creek Farm.

photo by Mesaros

Winner of the 1986 Preakness Stakes, named Champion 3 year old male horse in 1986, named California Horse of the Year in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Racing for Carl Grinstead and Ben Rochelle and trained by Mel Stute, Snow Chief captured the 1985 Hollywood Futurity (G1) and Norfolk Stakes (G1) in his juvenile season, and went on to win the 1986 Preakness Stakes (G1). In three seasons of racing, Snow Chief won 13 times including 12 stakes wins and earned $3,383,210.