The Camden Training Center is an acclaimed thoroughbred horse training facility, upon which the Blue Barn Lodge is situated. The Camden Training Center’s facilities and quality training services have made for the perfect environment for notable horses and trainers alike.  Champion thoroughbreds such as JazilDamascusTom RolfeForegoCoastal and others have all graduated from the CTC program, and benefited from the CTC facility’s climate and amenities.  Celebrated and noteworthy horse trainers such as Frank Whitley, Billy Turner, and Thomas Waller have all trained thoroughbreds on the CTC grounds.

Camden Training Center history

The Camden Training Center History

The provenance of the Camden Training Center is a distinguished one, with all four of the facility’s owners being significant figures within the thoroughbred industry.

The Estate of Marion duPont Scott

Marion duPont Scott at a horse show (1916)

The property that is today inclusive of the Camden Training center was originally acquired by the prolific horse breeder Marion duPont Scott, the first woman to ride in the Madison Square Garden horse competition show.  As a girl, Marion grew up riding horses in Montpelier, Virginia and later developed several racing venues in collaboration with her brother William.  The first American-bred and owned horse to win the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, England in 1938 was Scott’s stallion Battleship; when Scott’s interest in flat racing began to develop in the mid-twentieth century, she bred and trained the celebrated thoroughbred Mongo, who would continue on to win the Washington D.C. International at Laurel, Maryland and the United Nations Handicap at Atlantic City, New Jersey for two consecutive years before being named the Champion Grass Horse of America.

Marion du Pont Scott with Battleship

Two of the most prominent steeplechase races in America, the Carolina and Colonial Cups, take place on her Camden courses. Today, the equine facilities attributed to Scott include the 1,000 acres of land in South Carolina that was appropriated exclusively for equine use; and after Scott’s death in 1983, six-hundred acres was entrusted to the state of South Carolina, so her racing and training efforts could be continued, and the remainder of the land was repurposed and renamed Camden Training Center in 1985 by William S. Farish II.

William S. Farish II.

Queen Elizabeth II and William Farish III (1984)

Thoroughbred breeder and American businessman William S. Farish II. acquired the Camden Training Center property from the estate of Marion duPont Scott in 1985.  Farish began breeding thoroughbred horses in 1979 after the purchase of 240 acres near Lexington, Kentucky—renaming the property Lane’s End Farm and expanding it to over 1,800 acres over many years.  Farish had the prestigious honor of hosting Queen Elizabeth II during her trips to the United States, which provided an opportunity to allow the Queen’s mares to be set up with Farish’s stallions. 

W.S. Farish III, right, leads Honor Code to the Belmont Park winner’s circle (2015)

In 1987, the Keeneland Association honored Farish with its Mark of Distinction for his various contributions to the thoroughbred industry.
In 2001, Farish found a suitable buyer for the Camden Training Center in Henrietta George, much to the relief of the many preservationists and horsemen who expressed concern over the property being lost to an owner outside of the equestrian community.

Henrietta Alexander George

Active in horse racing and breeding for a majority of her life, Henrietta George is a granddaughter of Robert Kleberg Jr., the former head of the famous King Ranch in Texas.  George trained her mother’s horse Serape to win the Ballerina Stakes (Gr. I) in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1992. 

Camden Training Center remaining under the control of someone within the equestrian breeding and training community was of paramount importance to the Camden region when George purchased the property, with one Camden resident commenting on the importance of the CTC to the Camden locality, “I think it means an awful lot to the community . . . it provides a lot of jobs, and it’s good for the city”.

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Stuart M. Grant

Stuart Grant (left), and jockey Javier Castellano riding Breeders Cup champion British Idiom (2019)

Top thoroughbred owner and breeder, investor, attorney and philanthropist Stuart Grant purchased the Camden Training Center from Henrietta George in 2004.  Grant races under the stable The Elkstone Group.  Grant has owned three Breeders Cup Champions, Monomoy Girl (a two time winner), British Idiom, and Aunt Pearl.  His stable has also included Mor Spirit (Grade 1), Lady Fog Horn (Grade 2), and Edge of Reality (Grade 3).

Read more about Stuart M. Grant and Camden Training Center history here