Original owner: James Knight in 1783 and 1784 obtained 300 acres by a land grant for being a sergeant in the Virginia State Line during the Revolutionary War. He and his wife built a log cabin and from this time there were to be 5 generations of the Knight family connected with this historic place before it passed to outside ownership. It is older than the state of Kentucky (1792) and the Constitution of the United States (1789).
Grant Knight (grandson of James) started the horse dynasty. He had 3 sons: William, Dixie, and Grant Lee.
William Knight liked Thoroughbreds and bred ( Iron Horse) Claude who had 106 starts and won 32. In 1903 Tennessee derbies.
Dixie Knight also liked the runners. He bred Exterminator who sold for $1,500 as a yearling and won the 1918 won 40 other stakes races and earned $252,996.00. He won half of his starts. He was courage. Claimed by many of the old timers to have been the greatest racer of them all. His nickname was "Old Bones". He died in 1945 and is buried in Binghamton, NY..
Grant Lee (Joe) Knight liked Standardbreds and he is the one that left the lasting mark on the sport. His foundation mare was, Nervolo Belle, her daughter's produced 41 two minute horses: seven trotters and 34 pacers..
During the Civil War few horses were raised on the farm. It was not raided by the Confederates as many of the other horse farms in this area were.
Dixie Knight ( the great grandson of the first owner) had been living in the old house that had served as a tavern many years before. In 1932 robbers killed Dixie in an attempt to ransack the old place. The robbery and murder remains unsolved.
Henry Hudson Knight (a nephew), then inherited the farm. At this point the name Almahurst was officially connected with the acreage. This was in honor of the wife of the new owner, the former Alma Horine, who he had married in 1914. At this time the farm had little to indicate that it was a highly successful farm for breeding horses, it had a few broodmares as a part of the farm's livestock equipment. In 1932 Henry visited his father while in Lexington. This was to see the foal of a gray mare which he had purchasedfrom Walter Candler. The mare's name was Elizabeth and her foal by Guy Abbey was to be named Greyhound.
Probably no farm was to have as great an influence on both the standardbred and the thoroughbred breeds. Henry Knight was to do wonders in the Thoroughbred field later but he never was to produce a runner that held the high position and esteem as did Greyhound. He was the only trotter ever to be voted the horse of the year by the thoroughbred people. He was also voted trotter of the century by the Hall of Fame. Greyhound is credited with 15 world's records.
There had been a lack of suitable buildings on the Almahurst farm when it was taken over by Henry in 1932. The water system was installed, barns erected, extensive fencing, a garage and the restoration of the Dixie Knight House. The attractive old home was remodeled and improved. Magnificent pillars were added and wings were built on each end of thehouse to add much to an already attractive place.
The building was restored in true colonial fashion with high column verandah. This same colonial style was to be the keynote of the entire scheme of construction. The post and rail fence along the road was a monument to the builders art. The post of heavy native cedar were mortised for four 2x6 rails.The only metal used was the bolt at the top of each post.
In 1935 one of the building priorities at the farm was a stallion barn. When the architect heard of the kind of barn that Henry desired he claimed that it was impossible to build a barn with an office and columns in front. The next request was for a house of a certain dimension. There were to be four rooms in the back and a wide hallway. There were to be 2 rooms on the other side of the hall. On this a porch with pillars was to be added. The architect set down and drew up the plans for this house. When the blueprints were submitted to Henry he said, "Now you have the barn as I wanted it." The barn was set on an enclosure of 15 acres. It was to have 4 18x18 stalls and each of these was to have a paddock attached. The office was to be located in the center and on either side of this were rooms devoted to quarters for the help and a large room devoted to the stud. This new barn was to be joint farm office and club room.
In August of 1947,a severe storm hit central KY. Almahurst lost 2,000 trees. Nearly a month later a barn was lost by fire.
In January 1950 the announcement was made that Henry had sold his entire holdings of Standardbreds. This transaction involved 1/2 million dollars and is believed to have been the largest private transaction of trotting horses in the history of the sport up to that time. They were purchased by Castleton Farm.
In 1953 the Knight's moved to Green Hill Farm (sometime after this the main house burned). In 1958 broodmares were being boarded at Almahurst as there were facilities for 50 outside mares year round for various clients. The original quarter section of 160 acres now had grown to 2,100 and there was a total of 39.4 miles of fences. This was the largest commercial breeding establishment of the time. In 1959 Henry won the Thoroughbred Club of America award for one who has made outstanding contributions to the Thoroughbred industry. Henry liked gray colored horses (like Kathern) and stated that he never had a gray that didn't win a stake. He thought that Nail was the greatest Thoroughbred he ever bred. He stated that there had always been a standardbred on Almahurst since 1892. In 1958 the thoroughbreds were gone but not the trotters.
IIn 1959 an ad ran in the turf journals concerning the sale of Almahurst either entire or by sections.At one time the farm was said to be 2,100 acres.
In 1960 Almahurst was sold to S.A. Camp Farms of Shafter, Ca. This was the first time that the farm was not owned by a Knight. The name Almahurst remained with the farm. In order to house the big stallion band it was necessary to erect two smaller stables of four stalls each. A breeding shed was built and plans were made to recondition the oldstage house. Over 1 million dollars went for improvements.
In November of 1963 Almahurst Farm was sold again. The new owner was P.J. Baugh, who followed the Almahurst trend of wholesale land and horse deals. He bought 862 acres of Almahurst and the breeding and racing stock. When the deal was made there was no paper in the room so the agreement was made on a napkin and was signed byboth parties. This napkin is still in the possession of Mr. Baugh. Once again the name Almahurst Farm remained with the land.
In 1964 two tracts of the farm were sold. The historical part was to be retained. In the ad mention was made that over 1 million dollars had gone into improvements and maintenance during the past 3 years at Almahurst. This left 400 acre to the main farm. The part of Almahurst which had been sold was repurchased. Miles of black top road have been laid so that now there is an interfarm system and the farm traffic does not need to use the outside roads. Thousands of young trees were set out. The barns were again renovated.
There have been modern additions made as the owner's mansion is a beautiful brick structure set well back on the acreage. It was given the name of "Wind Song". Three lakes were added under this management. There is also an old graveyard of horses.
In September of 1994 Almahurst changed hands again. The fourth owners are Kenneth Lee and Sarah Kathern Ramsey. They purchased 377 acres from Jack Baugh, who moved across Harrodsburg Rd., and took the name Almahurst with him. They have purchased 2 more tracts for a total of 677 acres between Harrodsburg Road, # 169 (Keene Rd.), Old Clays Mill/Rhinehemer Lane and Catnip Hill Road all parts of the original farm. Also, additional land has been purchased on Harrodsburg Road. (Blue Grass Meadows) and on Catnip Hill Road. (Wynrick Farm).
In 1995 they decided to call the place Ramsey Farm. The main house and office were remodeled and they moved into the house. They moved their cellular telephone business into the office. They moved their horses to the farm which is now a thoroughbred operation. In January 1998 another 104 acres were purchased from the Troy Seale farm across Harrodsburg Road. It adjoins the (Blue Grass Meadows) farm purchased earlier. It was originally part of the (Blue Grass Meadows) farm.. On May 29th, 1998 the Ramsey's purchased a portion of the Rhineheimer property located on Rhineheimer Lane off Catnip Hill Road. The addition of this property will increase the total acreage of the farm to 1,280 acres.
In 2003 the Catnip Hill property was sold and the purchase of property on Matthews Lane was completed, Matthews Lane consists of 110 acres. This brings the farms current acreage to 1,215 acres.
The Ramsey's had owned thoroughbreds in the late 1970's and the early 1980's, racing was a hobby. Their main business was real estate. They left racing to get into the cellular telephone business in the mid 80's. In 1993 they returned to Mr. Ramsey's favorite business, horses.
In one of the first group of horses purchased in 1993 was Bail Out Becky. She became a Grade One Stakes winner in the Del Mar Oaks, with total earnings of $ 725,000. She was retired as a broodmare on the farm in 1997. The farm average's about 55 broodmares with a total of about 200 horses on the farm. The farm average's about 40 horses in its racing stable.
9/26/2006 - Turf Champion Kitten's Joy Retired to Ramsey Farm
Kitten's Joy retired with nine wins and four seconds from 14 starts and earnings of $2,075,791 while trained by Dale Romans. In addition to the Joe Hirsch, he won last year's Secretariat (gr. IT), Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT), and Palm Beach (gr. IIIT) Stakes, plus the Virginia (gr. IIIT) and Tropical Park (gr. IIIT) Derbys. His season ended with a runner-up effort in the Breeders' Cup Turf, but was still voted champion grass male by an overwhelming margin.
Kitten's Joy is one of two stakes winners from his winning dam, Kitten's First (by Lear Fan).