Rancho Santa Fe Boots, Bridles and Barns tour opens the gates to upscale equine estates

Tres Palomas estate is one of five on the Historical Society’s Boots, Bridles and Barns Tour. Courtesy photo

In a break from tradition, the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society’s annual fundraising summer home tour has been transformed into a tour of five fine equine estates.

The Boots, Bridles and Barns tour will take place from 1:30-5 p.m. July 11. These equine facilities are some of the most upscale in the nation and are home to pleasure, hunter/jumper and dressage horses.

The five locations, on multimillion-dollar estates in Rancho Santa Fe, are being kept under wraps until the day of the tour to add an element of mystery, according to Peggy Brooks, tour co-chairman. At check-in time, attendees will receive a tour booklet where all will be revealed.

Each facility is architecturally designed. “I’ve been around horses all my life, and this (tour) takes the cake,” said Brooks. “These truly are five-star equine accommodations on magnificent properties.”

One of the facilities has a horse spa along with two treadmills, “because the horses like to look at each other while exercising,” said Joanne Fishman, Historical Society vice president.

Check-in begins at 11 a.m. at the Historical Society headquarters at La Flecha House, at 6036 La Flecha, in the ranch village. The early check-in time will give guests an opportunity to have refreshments or lunch first in nearby eateries before departure.

Designated buses will take tour guests to each barn, where volunteer docents will serve as guides and give the story of each facility.

The bus schedule is designed to fit the pace of each attendee, circulating back to La Flecha House to pick up guests along the way. The tour concludes at 5:30 p.m., but the event continues.

A “Hoedown” party has been planned in the village after the tour, where food and drink may be purchased, with live music, dancing and live and silent auction.

“We have some fabulous auction items,” said Fishman. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club donated a special package of 12 single-day admission tickets with VIP treatment that includes a table in the private Director’s Room, valet parking for six, private viewing of the early morning workout and breakfast with the horsemen, paddock tour and more.

Other auction items include riding lessons, dinner for four at Red Tracton’s Steak House, strands of pearls, a private dinner for eight on a horse property prepared by three local chefs, a signed watercolor painting and much more.

Tickets for the barn tour, which includes the Hoedown, are $45 for members and $50 for non-members with advance registration required.

To register, attendees should visit or mail a check to P.O. Box 1, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067, made payable to the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society.