Calling All Cowboys: Colossal 4,700-Acre Horse Ranch Lists For $24.5 Million
July 11, 2020
Listed for 24.5 million, Rancho Latigo is a bucolic hacienda landscape in the Santa Ynez Valley.JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY
Rancho Latigo is a historic equestrian estate in Santa Ynez Valley—a 13-mile moonwalk from Michael Jackson’s former Neverland Valley Ranch. Although the expansive property’s ask price backslid from $45 million since 2017, it’s still a thriller.
Listed for $24.5 million, the former horse ranch spans 4,700 acres along a picturesque mountain ridge, offering a custom Spanish colonial-inspired main residence, guest house, helipad, oversized swimming pool, 10,000-square-foot barn, equestrian arena, horse trails, and complete solitude.
Nestled in rolling hills near Los Olivos and Santa Barbara, the luxury estate is listed by Neyshia Go, Aaron Kirman and Hillary Ryan at Compass.
Rancho Latigo is virtually plucked from the Hollywood big screen—a bucolic hacienda landscape where it’s easy to imagine cowboys like Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood), The Ringo Kid (John Wayne) or Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) passing through on horseback, seeking some frontier justice.
In fact, many entertainment icons have shacked up here, not for a showdown but presumably for peace and quiet. Gunslingers needn’t apply. This is horse and wine country—Arcadian land where movies like Seabiscuit, Sideways, and It’s Complicated were filmed.
“Many influential musicians, songwriters, rock-and-roll and country legends have stayed at the house but unfortunately, they have to remain unnamed,” says Go, director of Luxury Estates Division at Compass.
Unnamed like Eastwood’s Fistful of Dollars character—The Man with No Name. The band America sang about “A Horse With No Name.” What’s with the wild west, horses and no names?
And why such secrecy at Rancho Latigo? Perhaps this proves how private the ranch estate is. It’s the kind of hacienda where no one repeats your name (if they know what’s good for them).
Rancho Latigo was originally part of a Spanish land grant, dating back to the 1800s. Today, the land includes independent water sourcing, arable land and tax-incentive conservation opportunities.
Rancho Latigo is currently owned by Fred Steck, a retired Goldman Sachs partner, who purchased the land in 1999 and transformed it into an equestrian paradise. It was previously owned by Jean Claude Brouillet, a French freedom fighter who founded National Airways in the west Africa nation of Gabon.
Freedom fighters, cowboys, and country western singers? This is how the west was won, isn’t it?—to a soundtrack of dusty loners, rebels and horsemen in search of gold, revenge, solace or land like Rancho Latigo.
David Leavengood designed the nearly 14,000-square-foot main residence with six en-suite bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, wood-paneled office, movie theatre, gym, and contemporary ranch appeal.
“Leavengood is considered one of the country’s foremost authorities on ranch architecture,” says Go. “Leavengood enlisted local artisans, including metalsmiths, to bring in a handcrafted quality. The heavy ceiling beams are reclaimed railroad trestles, complete with bolt holes. He worked on the home from 2003 to 2007.”
A seamless mix of rustic and contemporary, this modernized hacienda embraces its legacy with oversized stone fireplaces, grand staircase, arched doorways, wood-beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, and rolling hill views from every room.
San Francisco-based interior designer Amy Weaver’s contemporary furnishings breath fresh air to living areas. This includes bright white lounge chairs, velvety royal curtains, and flowers to soften the masculine cowboy vibe.
The quaint kitchen features a large island, massive range, and mountain-view breakfast nook. The living room has elevated beam ceilings, picture windows, massive fireplaces, a library nook, and rows of French doors opening to a tranquil indoor-outdoor courtyard veranda.
This courtyard garden is Rancho Latigo’s heartbeat, inspired by Leavenwood’s admiration for 18th- and 19th-century Colombian residences Casa Cuervo and Hacienda Calibio. It connects the estate to its Spanish Colonial DNA.
The courtyard is beautified by an exquisite Moroccan stone fountain and landscape architect Carol Puck Erickson’s towering Chinese elm which serves as a shady microclimate for camellias, jasmine and Chiapas sage.
The estate’s entrance has a western-style gate and a formal “Rancho Latigo” stone cowboy sign. A vaulted wood porte-cochère welcomes guests beneath a intricate drum chandeliers.
The estate is framed by outdoor entertaining areas, stone patios (with fireplace), a giant swimming pool with diving boulders, spa, tennis courts, and verdant hill vistas. The three-bedroom guest house has two baths, a modern kitchen, and contemporary interiors.
The show-grade equestrian facilities include an 11-stall stable, the massive barn, a covered riding arena and turnouts. Access roads and trails serpentine for miles along the property, protected by foothills in every direction. The landscape is primed for traveling by foot, vehicle or horseback—especially horseback.
The property has room for additional home sites and structures with utility and road access. But who would want to spoil this tableau? After all the gun smoke clears, cowboys keep it simple.
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