About us

Ballena Vista Farm Integrity. Commitment. Compassion

it's all here

We've come a long way since the Swycaffer family homesteaded 180-plus acres for a cattle ranch in Ballena, California, in the early days of the area in San Diego County now occupied by Ballena Vista Farm! Today, the more than 220- acre showplace is one of the most beautiful and successful Thoroughbred operations on the West Coast.
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Ballena Vista Farm boasts a world-class facility and showcases the a superior stallion roster with Bluegrass Cat and Eddington ranking among California’s top five leading sires by money won in 2015. Rounding out the roster are Dixie Chatter, Calimonco; the last major stakes winning son of Storm Cat to retire to stud, Finnegans Wake who entered stud in 2017 and Texas Ryano who is a new addition in 2018.

Bluegrass Cat leads our stallion roster, standing in California for the first time in 2015. Bluegrass Cat is the leading son of Storm Cat standing outside of Kentucky with progeny earnings of $27 million with six crops to race. He currently has 2015 worldwide earnings of over $5.4 million. Leading runners include Grade 1 winner Linda Linda in Chile and undefeated 2 year old stakes winner Music Mountain Man.

Dixie Chatter, a grade I winner of $484,606, stood his first year in 2010 and his first crop in 2011 is earning high grades for size and conformation. A top two-year-old of 2007, Dixie Chatter received the second-highest weight among colts and geldings ranked on the Experimental Handicap. In three stakes-winning seasons, the son of Dixie Union won the Norfolk Stakes (grade 1), Oceanside Stakes and the Arcadia Handicap (grade IIT). His first crop was led by Architecture, winner of three stakes including the Fantasy Stakes at 1 1/16 mile at Hastings Park. Forest Chatter is another top runner with five wins at Santa Anita in 2015. His top runner in 2017 is the stakes winner Yo Y Me.

Eddington, has been a fine addition to the stallion roster. A grade I-winning son of Unbridled, his top runners include the millionaire Secret Circle, a grade I stakes winner of 2015, as well as the two-time grade II winner Brushed by a Star who is also grade I placed. Eddington’s lifetime average earnings per runner is $64,968 and offers a great value with his $3,500 stud fee.

Calimonco, Multiple stakes-winning son of leading sire Storm Cat and Broodmare of the Year Sweet Life Only full brother to 2004 Breedersʼ Cup and Eclipse Award champion Sweet Catomine and 2009 thBreedersʼ Cup Ladies Classic-G1 winner Life is Sweet. Five wins, $380,286, including the 2012 Sidd Finch Stakes and the 2011 Wickerr Stakes at one mile on turf (1:34) at Del Mar in his blacktype debut and allowance wins at Woodbine on turf (7f.,1:20 2/5) and Keeneland on synthetic (1 1/16 m., 1:42 4/5); placed in the Citation Handicap - Gr. 2. His first crop includes stakes placed My California.

Finnegans Wake by Powerscourt out of Boast Ghost by Silver Ghost entered stud in 2017. He raced successfully from ages two to seven winning at ages three to seven. He is the Grade 1 winner of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles, and has multiple graded stakes wins at 11/8, 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 miles. He won or placed in 12 Graded Stakes races. We eagerly await his first crop. Finnegans Wake stands for $3,500 in 2018.

Texas Ryano, a Grade 2 stakes winning son of Curlin enters stud in 2018. His dam has produced 6 Graded Stakes Performers, including his half sister the Grade 3 winning Tiz Elemental. At the track Texas Ryano raced for four seasons with wins from age three to five. He won the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup, The King Pellinore Stakes and is the only Stakes winning son of Curlin standing in the West. His introductory fee is $3,500 and a lifetime breeding right program is offered.

Ballena Vista Farm encompasses more than 220 acres consisting of pastures irrigated by numerous fresh-water wells and individual paddocks (grass or dry) of varying sizes, all with wood four-rail fencing and V-mesh wire for safety. There is also a quarter-mile training track with a starting gate and a six-horse Claydon indoor exerciser to help meet all your equine needs.

Added in the 2013 breeding season is our state-of-the-art breeding complex, including an eight-stall stallion barn, adjoining grass turn-outs, covered round pen, laboratory, and a breeding shed to accommodate the high standards of excellence required by our resident stallions.

Ballena Vista has at its helm Manuel Ochoa, whose career spans 40-plus years in the California industry. Manuel has assembled a team of industry professionals: Becky Ocampo (Office Manager); Jeanne Davis (Sales and Marketing); Miguel Jimenez (Broodmare Manager); and Marcelino Gordillo (Facilities Manager). Together the team has more than 100 years of hands-on Thoroughbred experience.

We pride ourselves on providing the best possible care for mares and foals, breaking and training of young horses, sales preparation and rehabilitation of injured horses. There are personnel available around the clock for constant supervision of your equine athletes. In depth and meticulous attention is given to every detail of our equine residents and Ballena Vista Farm stands by its motto “Integrity, Commitment, Compassion . . . It’s All Here.”

Please visit our farm's comprehensive website online at ballenavistafarm.com for more information and photos!

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