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SEABISCUIT STATUE TO RETURN IN VINTAGE VAN
TO HORSE LEGEND’S HOME, FINAL RESTING PLACE
AT RIDGEWOOD RANCH IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Statue to Depart Salt Lake for Willits, CA on April 10,
Visit Key Sites in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, S.F. Bay Area Enroute

Photocredit: On Friday, April 13th the Associated Press in Los Angeles sent a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Nick Ut, to Hollywood Park to photograph the Seabiscuit statue.

Tuesday, April 17th Associated Press photographed the statue at Vista Point on the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Willits, CA, April 4, 2007 -- After an absence of more than 55 years, a classic, life-sized bronze sculpture of the legendary American racehorse Seabiscuit will be returned to its original home at Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, California on Wednesday, April 18.

To be transported by a historic, fully restored Seabiscuit-era truck and van once used at the ranch, the sculpture will depart Atlas Bronze Castings in Salt Lake City on Tuesday afternoon, April 10. In a takeoff on Seabiscuit’s old whistlestop tours across the country, it then will visit key sites in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area before a police-escorted arrival in Willits, California eight days later. There, a final “whistlestop” will be held aboard a historic Northwest Pacific caboose (circa 1909-1971).

“Seabiscuit-The Homecoming Tour” will make the following ceremonial visits, with most strongly connected to the legacy of Seabiscuit and his owner, Charles Howard. A Call to Post will generally precede and conclude each stop.

Las Vegas April 11, 1 p.m.
Oasis RV Resort

Los Angeles, April 13
Hollywood Park (1 p.m. 3 p.m.)
The Derby

Los Angeles, April 14
Santa Anita Park

San Francisco Bay Area, April 15, Noon to 4 p.m.
Bay Meadows Racecourse

San Francisco Bay Area, April 16, Various Times
The Shops at Tanforan
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma
V. Fontana Fine Granite and Marble, Colma
San Francisco Chronicle Building
Hearst Building
Ruth Chris’s Steak House

San Francisco Bay Area, April 17
Crossing of Golden Gate Bridge and Vista Point
Blackie’s Pasture, Statue, Tiburon
Larson Family Winery, Sonoma Valley,
Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, Sonoma Valley

Conclusion, April 18
Sonoma County Fairgrounds and Racetrack
Willits

Representing the tour sponsor, the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, will be Jacqueline Cooper, owner and breeder of the American Legend Horse Farm which is raising Seabiscuit’s descendents, and Foundation President Tracy Livingston. The foundation is a nonprofit group formed to protect and preserve the historic buildings and natural resources of the remaining 5,000 acres of the Howard Ranch.

“Not since 1951 has the statue of Seabiscuit reigned proudly over the ranch where he spent the final years of his racing career and life,” said Livingston. “We couldn’t be happier and more honored to be bringing him back.”

Famed Western artist and sculptor Hughlette “Tex” Wheeler cast two statues from Seabiscuit in 1940-41 while the horseracing legend was still alive. Salt Lake and San Francisco Bay Area sculptors crafted a meticulous replica of the original statue and granite pedestal from one of the originals at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs. Carrying the statue will be a registered California historical vehicle considered the Cadillac of its day, a 1948 Diamond T Model 201 fitted with a horse van designed and built by Superior Body. The basic model was used from 1939 to 1949.

Chris and Anita Lowe of Bishopstone, Wiltshire U.K., benefactors of the foundation and collectors of Seabiscuit memorabilia, generously provided funding for the monument, which will be formally unveiled at the ranch on June 23.

Nestled in the oak and redwood-studded ranchlands and mountains of northern California, Ridgewood Ranch was where Seabiscuit was nursed back to health after a serious injury. Seabiscuit’s recuperation set the stage for an electrifying blaze-of-glory career finish at Santa Anita Park that captivated Depression-era America.

Still a working ranch, Ridgewood has been designated one of America’s most threatened historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The current owner, Christ’s Church of the Golden Rule, has endeavored to be a model steward of the ranch by keeping developers at bay and by permanently protecting the historic structures that constitute Seabiscuit’s legacy. The church has worked toward restoring several historic buildings and has joined the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, the National Trust, and others to develop an overall preservation and resource management plan and identify necessary funding sources for the effort.

HISTORIC SEABISCUIT-ERA VAN TO RETURN
TO HORSE LEGEND’S HOME, FINAL RESTING PLACE
AT RIDGEWOOD RANCH IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Van to Transport Seabiscuit Statue Back to Ranch, Go on Permanent Display

Willits, CA, March 29, 2007 -- A registered California historical vehicle once used at the home and final resting place of Seabiscuit, Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, California, has been permanently loaned to the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation and will go on display at the ranch this spring.

The vehicle, a 1948 Diamond T Model 201 manufactured from 1939 to 1949, was fitted with a horse van designed and built by Superior Body. Considered the Cadillac of its day, the Diamond T was bought by Charles Howard, owner of Seabiscuit and the ranch. Following Howard’s death in 1950 and the ranch’s subsequent sale, the truck was acquired by Todd Wheeler, attorney for Howard family friend, William Randolph Hearst. Roofing contractor Harry Bunfill purchased the vehicle from Wheeler 38 years ago and restored it. With 33,000 original miles and a standard 4-speed transmission, the truck classic is painted red and has white lettering to match the Howard stable colors.

Bunfill, who is ailing, put the vehicle up for sale this spring. When Chris and Anita Lowe of Bishopstone, Wiltshire U.K. were notified, they agreed to buy the van and to loan it permanently to the foundation. Although another interested party in Chicago was prepared to pay more, Bunfill wanted the van returned to Ridgewood.

The Lowes, benefactors of the foundation and avid collectors of Seabiscuit memorabilia, also provided the funding for casting an exact replica of the life-sized bronze sculpture of the legendary racehorse that once stood prominently at the ranch. That statue, now being completed by artisans in Salt Lake City, will be transported back to Ridgewood in the newly acquired van this spring.

“We are very excited about the return of this Seabiscuit-era van to Ridgewood and very grateful to the Lowes for making it possible,” said Tracy Livingston, President of the Seabiscuit Foundation. “The vehicle will contribute greatly to the historic legacy and fabric of the ranch that we are working diligently to restore and preserve.”

Nestled in the oak and redwood-studded ranchlands and mountains of northern California, Ridgewood Ranch was where Seabiscuit was nursed back to health after a serious injury in the late 1930s. Seabiscuit’s recuperation set the stage for an electrifying blaze-of-glory career finish at Santa Anita Park that captivated Depression-era America. Still a working ranch, Ridgewood has been designated one of America’s most threatened historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The current owner, Christ’s Church of the Golden Rule, has endeavored to be a model steward of the ranch by keeping developers at bay and by permanently protecting the historic structures that constitute Seabiscuit’s legacy. The church has worked toward restoring several historic buildings and has joined the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, the National Trust, and others to develop an overall preservation and resource management plan and identify necessary funding sources for the effort.

***

The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization formed to promote the cultural legacy of the Ridgewood Ranch through historic preservation, environmental conservation and public education. To make a contribution or for further information, contact the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, @Ridgewood Ranch, 16200 Highway 101, Willits, CA 95460, or seabiscuit@instawave.net. The foundation Web site address is www.seabiscuitheritage.org

 

Archive

Current

July 1, 2008 - CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF AN AMERICAN ICON LIMITED EDITION SEABISCUIT SCULPTURES UNVEILED at Ridgewood Ranch May 24, 2008 Read more

May 24, 2008 – Col. Michael C. Howard, U.S.M.C. (ret.), great-grandson of Seabiscuit's owner, Charles S. Howard, proudly announces the release of two specially commissioned, limited edition bronze sculptures of Seabiscuit. Read more

August 6, 2007 - SONOMA COUNTY THOROUGHBRED RESCUE OPERATION TO BENEFIT FROM SPECIAL TOUR OF SEABISCUIT RANCH, N. CALIFORNIA HOME OF HORSE RACING LEGEND Read more

July 11, 2007 Seabiscuit Statue Officially Unveiled, Dedicated At Ridgewood Ranch - Home Of The Legendary Racehorse - In Willits, California Read More

June 4, 2007 Seabiscuit Statue To Be Unveiled, Dedicated At Ridgewood Ranch, Willits, Ca On Saturday, June 23 Read More

April 4, 2007 Seabiscuit Statue - The Homecoming Tour April 2007 Read More

February 7, 2007 Seabiscuit Statue to Return: After an absence of more than 55 years, a life-sized bronze sculpture of the legendary American racehorse Seabiscuit is coming back to its original home in northern California. Read More

May 29, 2004


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