Leslie Combs II and Spendthrift Farm
The life and times of Leslie Combs II can hardly be summarized
in one volume. He was a man who changed the face of the Thoroughbred business as
an innovator, premier showman, gambler and an astute horseman with a superlative
flair for marketing and an affable southern charm. Combs was one of the founding
fathers of the modern business and marketing concepts of the Thoroughbred
Combs vaulted himself into the forefront of the Kentucky
Thoroughbred breeding industry with a vision and a shrewd business plan.
Spendthrift Farm was an original Combs creation whose roots began with the
purchase of 127 acres in 1937. By the early 1960s, Spendthrift Farm encompassed
more than 4,000 acres.
Some of the greatest horses of the 20th Century called
Spendthrift home: Nashua, Gallant Man, Foolish Pleasure, Raise a Native,
Majestic Prince, Swaps, Affirmed, Seattle Slew and countless more. Over 160
stallions stood at Spendthrift through the years; 300 stakes winners were bred
by Leslie Combs, Spendthrift Farm and in partnership, including the likes of Mr.
Prospector, Idun, Gold Digger, Landaluce, Majestic Prince and countless others.
One of Combs’ greatest achievements was the expansion of
stallion syndication. By forming syndicates of multiple investors, he brought
genetic diversity to the breed with a larger pool of mares for his stallions and
new marketing strategies for the yearling sales.
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