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Calling All Cowboys: Colossal 4,700-Acre Horse Ranch Lists For $24.5 Million

Keith Flamer : Senior Contributor LifestyleWriter, pop culture virtuoso and luxury lunatic

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, California, equestrian, horses, hacienda, mountains, Santa Barbara, Compass

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.

Rancho Latigo Santa Ynez Valley, California, architect David Leavengood, Compass, Santa Barbara
Rancho Latigo includes a 14,000-square-foot main residence designed by architect David Leavengood. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, California, Santa Barbara, horse ranch, equestrian, Compass
Many entertainment icons have allegedly stayed at Rancho Latigo. Their identities remain a mystery, … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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 entrance
The über private estate is a few gallops from Los Olivos and Santa Barbara. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez, California, barn, Compass
The property spans 4,700 acres along a picturesque mountain ridge. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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 SeabiscuitSideways, and It’s Complicated were filmed.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, California, Compass, barn, stable, equestrian, horse
Rancho Latigo has 10,000-square-foot, 11-stable barn, equestrian arenas, and horse trails. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

“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.

A Fistful of Dollars, Clint Eastwood, Spaghetti western, Sergio Leone (1929-1989), 'The Man with No Name'
Rancho Latigo is a cowboy refuge for nameless horsemen looking for a private hacienda. (Silver … [+] GETTY IMAGES

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?

Goldman Sachs, Fred Steck, equestrian,
Former Goldman Sachs partner and Rancho Latigo owner Fred Steck spent millions transforming the … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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, Santa Ynez Valley, California, helipad, Compass
Rancho Latigo helipad JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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, Santa Ynez Valley, California, vaulted wood porte-cochère, drum chandeliers,
Guests are welcomed beneath a vaulted wood porte-cochère with intricate drum chandeliers. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

grand staircase, wood-beam ceilings, Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, California, Compass
Grand staircase beneath wood-beam ceilings JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Movie theater, luxury real estate
Rancho Latigo’s amenities include a wine cellar, gym and a luxury movie theater. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez, California, wine cellar, bar, lounge
The estate’s 10,000-bottle wine cellar, bar and lounge. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

“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.”

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, California, living room, interior designer Amy Weaver, San Francisco, Compass
San Francisco-based interior designer Amy Weaver worked magic incorporating contemporary elements … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez, California, fireplaces, rustic, contemporary, beams
The main residence is a seamless mix of rustic and contemporary, with stone fireplaces, arched … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, kitchen, oven, range Compass
The kitchen features a large island, massive range, hanging pot rack, and mountain-view breakfast … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, California, Compass, breakfast room
Breakfast room JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, courtyard garden, Colombia, Casa Cuervo, Hacienda Calibio, Moroccan stone fountain, landscape architect Carol Puck Erickson
Rancho Latigo’s courtyard garden, inspired by two residences in Colombia, boasts a Moroccan stone … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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. 

viewing deck
Panoramic viewing deck JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

En-suite bedrooms
The main residence has six en-suite bedrooms. JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, marble tub, Compass
Rancho Latigo has nine bathrooms. This one offers an exquisite marble tub with a perfect view of the … [+] JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Rancho Latigo, Santa Ynez Valley, Spanish land grant, California, Compass
The property was originally part of a Spanish land grant, dating back to the 1800s. PHOTOS BY: JUWAN LI PHOTOGRAPHY

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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