The beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky’s Bluegrass country is epitomized for owners Jim and Dana Bernhard in the 793 acres of Pin Oak Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, where Thoroughbreds have been bred, raised, and trained to be winners and champions since 1952.
For the Bernhards, horses have always been part of their daily lives, with Dana Bernhard being an accomplished rider since childhood and Jim becoming an avid equestrian after their marriage in 1993. Both Jim and Dana are fondly attached to their band of Friesians and frequently describe the affectionate Friesian personality as that of their beloved Labradoodle pups. The Thoroughbred race horse business, however, is a passion that began with a husband’s birthday gift of a single Thoroughbred to his wife, and, within two years, blossomed into a growing Thoroughbred business encompassing the full spectrum of breeding, raising, and training race horses.
Pin Oak Stud, originally founded in the early 1950’s by Josephine Abercrombie, whose father was a Texas oilman and mother was a South Louisiana native, has produced or campaigned more than 100 stakes winners, including Eclipse champion Laugh and Be Merry and Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys. Dana and Jim Bernhard of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are continuing the honor and quality of the well-known royal blue and gray silks and are adding to its tradition with their active, full-scale breeding and racing operations.
At Pin Oak Stud, every aspect of a race horse’s well-being is carefully considered in the raising and training program implemented for each horse. Additionally, from grass management and tree plantings to proper siting of roads, barns, and homes, attention to detail at Pin Oak Stud remains a priority. Creating a beautiful and tranquil site for both staff and horses as well as a top-notch training program for its Thoroughbreds of all ages remains the unparalleled purpose of Pin Oak Stud at its locations in Versailles, Kentucky and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Every aspect of raising and training the quintessential racehorse is considered.
Visitors at any location of Pin Oak Stud may frequently spot the Bernhards on horseback overseeing their business operations and enjoying the land. As the Louisiana natives fondly say of the Pin Oak tradition, “Fast strides and great rides… the best has no equal.”