Rock Creek Riding Club
Louisville, Kentucky


The Rock Creek Riding Club was established in 1929 by a group of prominent Louisvillians seeking to establish a riding program, teach their children to ride, and take advantage of the Frederick Law Olmstead designed bridle paths that traversed throughout Seneca and Cherokee Parks.

The original 37-acre farm was owned by William Shallcross Speed and Virginia Perrin Speed. Mr. Speed leased, then, sold the property to the Club, which took advantage of its desirable location across from Seneca Park.

Some of the original founders included Mrs. Henning Chambers, Mrs. Clifton Rodes, Mrs. Charlie Horner, Mrs. Beaux Ballard, Mrs. W.O. Seelbach, Mrs. Bill Belknap, Rumsey Wier, E.J. O’Brien, and C. J. Cronan. Some of the young members who learned to ride in the early years were V.V. Cooke, Jr., Julie Raque, Barry Bingham, Jr., Worth Bingham, and David Simpson.

The original property included an 1880s Victorian farmhouse that the members used as their Clubhouse headquarters. The members furnished it with antiques from their attics- many of which are still there! The Club hired W. Bayse Howell to run the fledging program and built a large barn and an outdoor riding ring.

In 1933, the Club sponsored its first horse show and by 1937 opened the show to outside competition and encouraged the public to attend. The Rock Creek Riding Club continues to be famous for their annual horse show, held on the Club grounds, which brings in competitors, trainers, and spectators from all over the country. It provides opportunities for the community to experience the beauty and excitement of watching the magnificent Saddlebred Breed.

For almost one hundred years, Rock Creek Riding Club has been the home of the most important and successful Saddlebred trainers, and horses, in the history of the American Saddlebred.

A virtual who’s who in the Saddlebred world spent time at the Rock Creek Riding Club. A list of prominent trainers includes Charles and Helen Crabtree, Jim B. Robinson, Ed Teater, Charles D. Smith, Nancy and Frank McConnell, Sarah and Rob Byers, Jimmy Robinson, and Chad and Michelle McMahon Cole.

Rock Creek Riding Club has survived many changes in management, direction, and philosophy. Most heartbreakingly, in 1996, it survived a devastating fire that destroyed the main barn, and 18 horses lost their lives. While this would have been the end of so many other establishments, Rock Creek was raised from the ashes and continues to be a designation and pillar in the Saddlebred world.

It is a remarkable history and one of which we are immensely proud.


Many times, you must look to the past to get a clear perspective on the future.

We are evolving with the times and are delighted to get back to the original purpose and spirit of the Riding Club: Teaching people of all ages to ride, promoting horsemanship and sportsmanship.

Our Mission Statement:

To promote and facilitate educational opportunities involving horses, horseback riding, and horse showing while honoring the history and contributions of the Rock Creek Riding Club to the Saddlebred industry.

Rock Creek Riding Club is a non-profit 501c3 designated organization.

We are delighted to partner with the Louisville Equestrian Center in furthering this shared goal and head into the next one hundred years of the Rock Creek Riding Club.


The historic Rock Creek Riding Club is situated on seven remaining acres of the original property and for almost one hundred years, the Victorian Clubhouse has been the central focus of the Rock Creek Riding Club property. It has hosted seminars, educational conferences, parties, horseshow celebrations and even weddings.

Currently, the Clubhouse and property needs major renovation. The restoration of the original Clubhouse and grounds is paramount for increasing the building utilization for educational opportunities, meeting ADA requirements, and safeguarding this important historical property.

The Board of Directors is establishing an extensive plan to modernize the property with the desire to keep the charm and historical significance of the Victorian farmhouse intact. The renovation of this property is important as it strengthens the local neighborhood, honors the history and tradition of horses in the state of Kentucky, and ensures the existence of this heritage for generations to come.

Under our 501c3 status, we are launching a Capital Campaign to renovate the historic Clubhouse and grounds to better accommodate the educational opportunities of this property for future generations.

Campaign Goal: $1,000,000.

For Donation Information, please contact Lisa Tiemeyer ltiemeyer1@gmail.com502-299-2704