New Hampshire

Gladys Fox
Massachusetts office
Tel: 978-635-0801
Fax: 978-635-9418
e-mail: Gladys



Cover Story -- Equine Journal, May 2005

Wetherbee Farm

Boxborough, Massachusetts

by Sally Fox

(reprinted by permission from the Equine Journal, May 2005)

It's not every day that you find a realtor familiar with selling homes and equestrian properties. But, then again, it's not every day that you meet people like those at Wetherbee Farm Real Estate. Not only do they know how to sell or find an equestrian property, but they also understand and appreciate the needs and requirements that clients in the equine industry present. Knowing that you are buying or selling a property using a real estate broker who understands what your many equestrian requirements are, is one of the many positive aspects of working with Wetherbee Farm Real Estate.

Over the years they have sold and found hundreds of properties throughout New England. Those include everything from the private residence on a few acres with a two-stall barn to the multi-million dollar breeding and training facilities ranging from 10 acres to 500 acres in the northeast.

As any horse owner knows, learning about horses does not happen overnight, and Wetherbee Farm Real Estate realtors Gladys Fox and Linda Hampson are a testament to that. Gladys has been a horse owner since the 1950's and knows what type of environment is necessary to keep a horse safe, healthy and happy. Her personal pursuits as the owner and operator of Wetherbee Farm, a 17th century homestead in Massachusetts purchased by her in 1986, have solidified her knowledge and accessibility as not only a real estate broker but a horse owner as well.

Wetherbee Farm started out as a boarding barn and then moved into a lesson barn, which in turn facilitated the development of Fitness by Riding´┐Ż. This program caters to the beginner, casual rider who is also looking to exercise. What better way to get motivated to get in shape than to combine it with something you've always wanted to do? Thanks to Nancy Tombeno who implements the scheduling process to best fit the riders' needs.

This also rings true with the advent of the men's classes. Gladys chuckles as she reminisces, "The classes started when I approached some of my husband's friends about taking up riding. They were enthusiastic but I'm not sure how he [my husband] initially felt. They've been riding now for the past year and a half, and we're finding that more and more men are getting involved." Claudia Lauze is the instructor for the men's classes and provides enough challenges to maintain their enthusiasm and improvement. With basic balance seat being taught, these men are then ready to explore any area of riding that piques their interest or simply enjoy the occasional trail ride with a horse crazy wife or daughter.

In order to keep up with changes in the industry and address the needs of their clientele, Wetherbee Farm has added advanced level riding classes with instructors knowledgeable in hunters, jumpers, dressage and combined training. As grandchildren begin to enter the picture, new programs to encompass their needs are sure to be on the horizon and vaulting is on the top of that list.

While the riding lessons and boarding are mainstays of the farm, the current focus is on raising and training the foals that have resulted from their breeding program. Seven years ago, Wetherbee got involved in the breeding aspect of the industry and took on the challenge of breeding sport horses, currently standing both a registered Holsteiner stallion and a double-registered Paint/Pinto stallion.

While many breeding facilities concentrate on getting horses sold before they are going under saddle, Wetherbee is focused on selling the finished horse between the ages of five and seven years old when they know what discipline the horse will be most suited to compete in.

Currently there are approximately 25 youngsters at the farm, as they average between 8 and 10 foals each year. Horses of a wide variety are available as different breeds and bloodlines are represented in the program to create an athletic individual with a great disposition. "The youngsters are showing some real promise," comments Gladys.

One advantage of selling 4 - 6 year olds rather than weanlings is that they have time to grow up in a herd and be supervised by Wetherbee's talented staff which results in the new owner's complete knowledge of the horses' histories which many horse owners never receive from others. Rondi Keaney is in charge of the breeding, foaling, nutrition, and health care. Claudia Lauze does the handling, round penning, long lining and three-year-old backing. At 3 to 5 the horses begin their consistent training schedule under Rondi and Claudia assisted by Corrinne Lauze (Claudia's daughter) and Carly Fisher. Brett Gaby, DVM of Essex Equine, oversees the foaling and the young horses' medical needs. Neo Ruiz performs the trimming and shoeing from weanlings to competitive horses.

This method seems to be working as some of our first foals are now competing in combined training and doing well with Suzie Gornall and Anne Geoghegan. Tricia Shotwell and Tricia O'Connor have taken some into the hunter ring and have done very well there. Additionally, Claudia Lauze has also competed some of Wetherbee's horses in pleasure driving with winning results.

Experienced equestrienne and real estate professional, Linda Hampson, rounds out the Wetherbee team and offers a lot in both areas. As a youngster, Linda was introduced to Morgans and although she has experienced other breeds, she has found herself gradually coming full circle back to Morgans. She is now breeding sport Morgans of Government lines with a focus on dressage and jumpers as well as endurance riding. Like many of us, Linda got involved again when presented with an opportunity too good to turn down.

Just like the equine industry, real estate rides its own waves of highs and lows and Gladys has seen them all in her many years as a realtor. Current trends include the increasing popularity of equestrian communities -- developments of varying acreage in which homes are sited to take advantage of communal arenas, polo fields, barns, pastures and paddocks, and extensive trails systems. "The option of having a full facility where different age groups can live, have their horses at home or nearby, and maintain the open space of the property to keep the farms from disappearing is attractive," explains Linda. This is especially true as the awareness of keeping land and trails open and available increases and zoning becomes tougher.

And, for those who enjoy horses but don't necessarily want to own one, this is a wonderful opportunity for them to feel involved in the community. What could be better than looking out your front window and seeing a bunch of people on horseback heading to the trails? The number of people looking for an equestrian property is also on the rise, as more people get involved. Gladys is quick to comment, "It's not just one discipline; they have all kinds of ideas. There are people focusing on breeds and others on a certain discipline. That's great because the more people we get involved the better the industry will become."

Gladys is also quick to contribute much of their success from word of mouth and the Internet. "The website is a big plus these days. A number of years ago it wasn't in existence but now almost anyone who is looking for an equestrian property is going on line and using the site as a service," says Gladys. "Word of mouth certainly helps and we don't always formally list a property."

Always ready to take on a challenge, Wetherbee Farm enjoys listening to the goals of buyers and sellers. Not only do Gladys and Linda have the expertise in selling the facilities, but they both have experience in the challenges of running them. While realtors are plentiful, it's unique to find a realtor who knows what she is talking about when it comes to equestrian properties. Wetherbee Farm Real Estate, Gladys Fox and Linda Hampson are the unique few.

For more information about services at Wetherbee Farm Real Estate, contact Gladys Fox (Massachusetts office) at 888-635-0801 or wfre@comcast.net or Linda Hampson (New Hampshire office) at 888-674-6773 or lindahampson@comcast.net. You may also visit them at www.wetherbeefarm.com or www.equestrianhomes.com.

This text appears as part of the purchase agreement between the Equine Journal and the individual/farm/business purchasing the cover. It should not be considered an endorsement.

Agency Disclosure

All Brokers / Salespersons represent the seller, not the buyer in the marketing, negotiating and sale of property, unless otherwise disclosed.  However, the Broker or Salesperson has an ethical and legal obligation to show honesty and fairness to the buyer in all transactions.

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