Dubai's ruler buys stable with Aiken ties

  • Follow Metro

PARIS, Ky. --- Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has sold Stonerside Stables to Darley, a breeding company run by Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed.

Mr. McNair, who founded the farm in 1994 with his wife, Janice, said in a statement the time demands of running the Texans led to his decision to sell the 2,000-acre farm in central Kentucky and the training center in Aiken.

Approximately 80 horses in training and an additional 170 or so broodmares, yearlings, and weanlings were included in the deal.

"Janice and I have loved every minute of owning Stonerside, but I have a duty to the Houston Texans now and it has become increasingly difficult to focus on both ventures," Mr. McNair said.

Darley spokesman John Ferguson said there are no plans to change the operation at Stonerside.

"Sheikh Mohammed is delighted to have been given this opportunity," Mr. Ferguson said.

The McNairs will keep one horse in training, 3-year-old graded stakes winner Cowboy Cal -- ninth in this year's Kentucky Derby -- and retain their homebred stallions Congaree, Bob and John, and Stonesider, in addition to their other stallion interests.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of aggressive moves by the sheik to gain larger control of the horse breeding market. Dubai's connection to the thoroughbred industry increased in April when a Dubai company whose leader is a close associate of the sheik announced it was purchasing Lexington-based Fasig-Tipton -- North America's oldest thoroughbred auction company.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
DoubleD 09/02/08 - 08:20 am
So in a way the McNairs are

So in a way the McNairs are indirectly enabling the child labor trade in the Middle East that is well known for trafficking young children to use as jockeys.

Riverman1 09/02/08 - 10:00 am
This is a good turn of events

This is a good turn of events for Aiken. It will make us part of his huge, well funded, operation and ensure better coordination with KY and worldwide breeding and training. Look for the Aiken horse community to continue to grow with this move.

patriciathomas 09/02/08 - 10:17 am
I'm envious of people that

I'm envious of people that have to sell their horse breeding and training operation because it's interfering with one of their other hobbies, and he's selling it to a Sheik that's invested with numerous businesses world wide. These guys have just enough money.

peppernik 09/02/08 - 01:00 pm
I'm just glad more of Aiken

I'm just glad more of Aiken belongs to a Dubai shiek!!

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs