About Xanthus Farm
|Principals: ||Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Rickline |
|Founded: ||1983 |
|Location: ||Gettysburg, Pennsylvania |
|Acreage: ||60 |
|Web site: ||http://www.xanthus-farm.com |
|Resident broodmares: ||40 |
|Best horses bred or raised on farm: ||Above the Light, Sham Francisco, Beau's Surprise, Lost Judgement, Judges' View, Debutante's Dream |
|Stallions: ||Buckle Down Ben, Changeintheweather, Digamist, Duckhorn, Quarry and Southern Success |
Xanthus Farm, one of Pennsylvania's leading commercial stallion establishments, has a proud past and even better prospects for the future. With slots being introduced at Pennsylvania racetracks, the state's breeding industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years, and Xanthus is meeting the needs of the new market.
Six stallions, all representing popular bloodlines, stand at the farm founded and operated by Barbara Rickline and her husband, Ron. Xanthus's stallion lineup features a blend of the proven and the new. Changeintheweather and Buckle Down Ben joined Xanthus in 2006. Changeintheweather having won or placed in seven stakes, three consecutive graded events, earing nearly $450,000; and Buckle Down Ben, a graded stakes winner of $367,743 who won the G3 Laurel Futurity at 2 after winning his first start in maiden special company. In 2008 Southern Success was added to the stallion roster. Southern Success, a stakes winner at two, won the $100,000 Dover S by 4 1/4 lengths.
Entering stud at Xanthus in 2004 was the classy and hard-hitting multiple graded stakes winner Duckhorn, winner of the '01 Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2) and the leading earner ($747,812) for top Mid-Atlantic sire Not For Love. Duckhorn was well-received for his first season, attracting 60 mares.
Those horses joined the exceptionally well-bred Quarry, by sire of sires Forty Niner out of Bound, by Nijinsky II, who is represented by several winners and a stakes-placed runner from two small crops of racing age, and Digamist, by Blushing Groom (Fr), a Group 1 winner who stood in Kentucky and various countries overseas before settling at Xanthus and who is the sire of one champion abroad.
Xanthus is a full-service facility -- offering boarding, foaling and raising, sales prepping, and agent services. It is the only farm in Pennsylvania that makes a major business of shipping local mares to and from Kentucky during the breeding season. About 70 foals are born at the farm each year.
In many ways Xanthus Farm is a labor of love for the Ricklines, especially Barbara, who as a youngster fantasized about ways to become involved with horses. Rickline graduated from Penn State University and worked in retailing and marketing. She was in her early 20's when she began to ride and show. She managed a large show horse barn, South Forth Acres, in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, during the early 1980's and held a variety of jobs in retailing and manufacturing to support her own horses. Rickline was still primarily active with show horses when she launched Xanthus 21 years ago.
"Gradually we got better stock," said Rickline. First established in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Xanthus was relocated to the Hanover area in 1986 and moved to its present site near Gettysburg ten years ago.
Xanthus' first commercially successful stallion was Judge Smells, who proved immensely popular after moving there in 1995, breeding as many as 124 mares in a season until his untimely death in 2000. Losing Judge Smells was a devastating setback to the Ricklines, who had developed a deep personal attachment to the horse.
"We are hoping to expand our boarding business to serve the influx of new mares into the state, as the Pennsylvania Breeding Fund grows with slots," said Rickline. "Hopefully, a lot of people will be upgrading their broodmare bands, and that in turn will help support bettter and better stallions in the state."