California Chrome’s Idaho connection

treetopby Joe Clancy
Wait, Idaho? Yes, Idaho. The state known for potatoes apparently can produce top-level Thoroughbreds too.

The bulk of Larry and Marianne Williams’ horses reside at Tree Top Ranches, a 700-acre Thoroughbred farm in Parma, Idaho. Built from scratch 15 years ago and modeled after the leading farms in Kentucky, the farm is a full-service operation where horses are broken, raised, trained. The place includes 20 broodmares, their foals, weanlings getting weaned, yearlings getting broken, all the usual stuff you’d find in Lexington, Chesapeake City, Ocala, Unionville or any other Thoroughbred locale.

“It’s a wonderful place to raise a horse,” said equine manager Dan Kiser, who used to train at Idaho’s Les Bois Park. “We get all four seasons. We get cold in the winter, a little snow. We’re in the Boise Valley so we don’t have very severe winters. The forage is spectacular. When you run into a good bale of hay in Kentucky, it probably came from Idaho.”