Columbia horse enthusiasts should prepare for a little equine diversity in the area.
Tuesday night, the Boone County Commission granted permission to Knipp Farms LLC to open a 305-acre equine boarding facility at 10600 Hardwick Lane.
According to Anna Marie Knipp, the farm’s proprietor, she will be relocating about 35 horses from a farm outside of St. Louis once the new 35- to 40-stall barn is completed.
The facility will include several paddocks and a 60- by 200-meter indoor arena. Knipp plans to breed, raise and train Hackney ponies and Saddlebred horses at the new location.
Relocating with Knipp is trainer Jimmy Miller, who has been working with her for 25 years.
“He’s had national and world champions,” Knipp said. “We draw horses from all over the country.”
However, Knipp is not expecting to draw a large amount of business from the Columbia area.
This should come as a relief to those in Columbia’s already burgeoning horse community who offset costs by boarding private horses.
“I think Columbia has enough boarding barns,” said Lora Blair, owner of Fox Run Farm on Akeman Bridge Road.
Originally from Jefferson City, Knipp didn’t grow up on a horse farm, but said she has always been around horses. She served as president of the American Hackney Horse Society for three years and as president of the Hackney Foundation for 10 years.
There’s no mystery to the stable’s name, “High Spirits.” Hackneys are mainly driving horses known for their high knee flexion. Saddlebred horses are also high-stepping and elegant.