Visit Ridgewood Ranch – the Historic Home of the Horse Racing Legend Seabiscuit!
A battered horse named Seabiscuit, along with his owner, Charles Howard, a self made San Francisco businessman, Johnny “Red” Pollard a down on his luck prize fighter turned jockey and a little known trainer named Tom Smith embodied the American spirit and gave hope to millions of Americans during the darkest economic era our nation has ever faced. With the help of these three men and one victory after another, Seabiscuit lifted the citizens of our country out of the despair of the Great Depression. In 1938, he became the greatest icon of his time garnering more press than President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
With the recent development of Glenn Riddle Farm (now a multi-million dollar gated community with two golf courses) home of Seabiscuit’s arch rival War Admiral and the legendary Man ‘O War, Seabiscuit’s great grandsire, Ridgewood Ranch becomes one of the few remaining sites that can remind of us of a time in our history when a little racehorse with a big heart captured an entire nation. Without a focused historic preservation and land conservation effort, Ridgewood Ranch is at risk for development and too could be lost.
The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation is dedicated to preserving the remaining 5,000 acres of Charles Howard’s Ridgewood Ranch by restoring historic buildings and conserving the Ranch’s creeks, oak woodlands, old growth redwoods and open rangeland. The SHF is working closely with the Mendocino Land Trust to purchase conservation easements to limit development and protect resources through a permanent deed restriction. The Foundation is collaborating with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and others, to secure historic preservation easements for the historic sites on the property and to rehabilitate and preserve the Howard family residential buildings, the mare barn and other ranch structures. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently designated Ridgewood Ranch as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
The Foundation’s ultimate goal is to create a living museum by continuing Ridgewood’s 150-year history as a working ranch. The Foundation is committed to develop, maintain and expand educational programs that reflect the broad cultural heritage of the Ranch, including the occupation by the Northern Pomo Indians and the development of the land as a working ranch by a succession of owners, including Charles Howard who retired his champion racehorse Seabiscuit here in 1940. The Foundation will focus on recreational and interpretive programs that will increase public access and enhance the understanding of Ridgewood Ranch as a rich historical, cultural and natural resource.
All Guided Tours include:
– Seabiscuit memorabilia
– Historical facts, fun stories and poignant memories
– Charles Howard’s historic craftsman style ranch house built in 1905 by William Van Arsdale.
– Seabiscuit’s newly restored Stud Barn and historic Mare Barn once part of Howard’s Thoroughbred breeding program
– Seabiscuit’s descendants
– A special commemorative souvenir
Private tours of Ridgewood Ranch may be arranged for bus tour companies or private parties of 20-45 people. Tours by prior arrangement only – please call the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation at 707-459-5992 for details.
Seasons Open: M-W-F June-Sept. No reservations required.
Hours Open: 9:30 am only
Fees: $15.00 per person, Children under 11 are free.
ADA Accessibility Notes
All buildings are handicap accessible.
The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed to promote the cultural legacy of Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, California, the home and final resting place of the legendary racehorse Seabiscuit through historic preservation, environmental conservation and public education.
Locally or Family Owned Business
Pet Friendly Notes
No animals allowed on tour
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