Gaines Group Architects

stave mill farm

Project Location: Albemarle County, Virginia

Contractor: Robb Construction


In its earlier history, Stave Mill Farm was a part of a distinguished racehorse stud named Nydrie Farm, owned by the Van Clief family. Nydrie Farm is part of American horse racing history, as the co-breeder of the 1947 Kentucky Derby winner, “Jet Pilot.” Going further back, the property was known as the Tom Coles Farm, and in the 1890’s British financier and sugar baron, Harry Douglas Forsyth purchased it and built a vast manor house which he called Nydrie. Forsyth’s horse farm was scaled big like his home, and because lots of hay was needed, trees were logged from the woods on the property and a mill was built to turn the lumber into barrel staves. The manor house and mill are long gone, but “Stave Mill Farm” is going strong. The part of the original seven-hundred acres dedicated to the mill is now the site of this barn.

Starting with an eight-stall, rudimentary barn, we teamed with Robb Construction to create a state-of-the-art twelve-stall barn that includes spacious common areas and a one-bedroom apartment. The vision driving the project was to have a boutique facility readily able to accommodate both our client’s horses and their client’s horses. Lucas Equine built our custom 12 x 12’ stall fronts and removable partitions, each with its own commercial-grade fan, lights, a generous ceiling height, and a Dutch door facing outside. Six of the stalls feature access to 12 x 24’ sand paddocks. All construction and design decisions were made with safety and comfort in mind for the horses.


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