New Fairfield Farm brings East Coast style to Santa Ynez
A new equestrian facility is set to open next month in Santa Ynez, bringing an East Coast-style luxury club to equestrians on the Central Coast.
The new Fairfield Farm sits on about 20 acres and includes a two-story barn with 30 stalls, an Olympic-regulation size dressage ring and a large grass field.
The property is also surrounded by a wire mesh barrier to protect horses and riders from gophers.
ClaudeLee “Elee” Johnson, a Santa Ynez Valley resident, has worked on renovating the property for two years.
During the renovation process, Ms. Johnson flattened every stall, installed new plumbing and electricity, and rubber-matted the entire barn.
Growing up on the East Coast, Ms. Johnson learned to ride and show horses at some of the country’s top riding clubs, including the Ox Ridge Hunt Club in Connecticut and Old Salem Farm in New York.
When she moved to the Central Coast in 2018, she knew wanted to bring the charm and class of an East Coast barn to the region. After purchasing a property in the Santa Ynez Valley in 2019, that dream is becoming a reality with the opening of the Fairfield Farm on Aug. 1.
With the opening of the new barn, Ms. Johnson told the News-Press that she’s hoping to create a community where riders can come and enjoy a nice community of equestrians and horses, just like she experienced in other clubs on the East Coast.
“What I would like is a barn with some borders that share the same viewpoint, that enjoy the sport,” Ms. Johnson said. “Either they want to learn how to ride and improve and enjoy their time here. And just have fun.”
In addition to creating a community of riders in Santa Ynez, Ms. Johnson also hopes to breed high-end horses at the new farm. She said many locals who own horses tend to purchase from European countries, like Germany, England and Czechoslovakia, so she wants to be a local outlet for individuals to purchase horses stateside.
“I want to breed and train my own horses so that people who are looking into those better bred horses, well-bred horses come to me instead of going online or to Europe,” Ms. Johnson said. “I mean, I think that you have to ride a horse when you go to buy it. You have to see it (in person). I think you have to spend time with it.”
Membership at the barn starts at $1,500 for boarders and increases depending on whether boarders desire full care and training.
Ms. Johnson will also be offering private lessons on site for both children and adult riders.
For more information on membership and the new barn, visit fairfield.farm/index.html.