Willits, California boasts an illustrious and star-studded history, with many of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, and Carole Lombard, frequent guests of Charles S. Howard at Ridgewood Ranch. Perhaps the biggest star of all to grace the grounds was the legendary racehorse, Seabiscuit.


This once broken down little horse, along with his owner, Charles Howard, a self made San Francisco businessman, Johnny “Red” Pollard, a down on his luck prize fighter turned jockey and a little known trainer named Tom Smith embodied the American spirit and gave hope to millions of Americans during the darkest economic era our nation has ever faced. With the help of these three men and one victory after another, Seabiscuit lifted the citizens of our country out of the despair of the Great Depression. In 1938, he became the greatest icon of his time garnering more press than President Franklin D. Roosevelt.


“His determination and resiliency in facing numerous challenges and setbacks is a lesson for us all,” said Gary Stevens, Hall of Fame racing jockey and actor – What a legacy to preserve and protect.

“He showed us what can happen when people from very different walks of life band together to give each other hope, support and opportunity.”


Gary Stevens
Hall of Fame racing jockey

Courtesy Leigh Anne Lindsey, Producer of Seabiscuit’s Legacy –



Laura Hillenbrand (born May 15, 1967) is an American author of books and magazine articles. Her two best-selling nonfiction books, Seabiscuit: An American Legend and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption have sold over 13 million copies, and each was adapted for film. Her writing style is considered to differ from the New Journalism style, dropping verbal pyrotechnics in favor of a stronger focus on the story itself.

Visit Laura’s webpage to learn more about the book




View some of the key moments in the life of Seabiscuit, his history, trainers and the people today that are dedicated to keeping the heritage, land and memory of Seabiscuit alive.