Cobblestone Farms Looking Forward to Filling Area VIII’s Eventing Needs

The new water complex at Revel Run, the new home of Michigan’s Cobblestone Farms Horse Trials. Photo courtesy of Cobblestone Farms.

There are some big things afoot at Cobblestone Farms. Under the leadership of Cobblestone Farms owners, the Daratony family, the well-established Dexter, Michigan facility now plans to expand its operations to a new, expansive 150-acre property nearby that entices visions of future eventing grandeur, running its two USEA-recognized events in a new home for 2021.

“We usually run our show on the 80 acres next to the farm, but it had just gotten to the point where that space wasn’t big enough,” Jim Daratony explained. “So we’ve just acquired a 150-acre golf course and have been working diligently for the last year to get it ready for 2021.”

The show jumping field at the former Cobblestone Farms property.

The new property, which will operate under the name Revel Run, had some existing infrastructure in place that will now be converted over time to top-of-the-line facilities for the avid equestrian; replacing the golf clubhouse will be a new clubhouse complete with a restaurant and biergarten for entertaining and kicking back after your rides.

A big part of the plans for Revel Run is a “true” Modified course – one with all its own jumps – in the works, something Jim says the community wants and needs.

“Many events will share jumps for the Modified to save costs, and we really wanted to provide a true Modified track on the Jeff Kibbie-designed course for our riders,” he explained. Building a standalone Modified course will cost between $40,000 and $50,000, so the team is working hard to provide options for sponsorship and fundraising to secure the future of the new course.

Jeff Kibbie, Jimmy Schauer and Jim Daratony work on the water complex at Revel Run. Photo courtesy of Cobblestone Farms.

“We believe offering a mid-range level specifically designed as a stepping stone in the education of horse and rider, is the perfect opportunity to expand the relevance of our sport – and appeal to an incredible range of competitors,” the team states on the Revel Run fundraising page, which can be accessed here.

As work continues on the property to get it ready for the first Cobblestone Farms at Revel Run H.T., Jim says the local eventing community has been nothing short of excited at the new developments. Indeed, after the shutdown of the beloved Richland Park H.T., Michigan’s sole FEI event for decades, in 2017, a void was left and riders found themselves without a marquee event to circle on the calendar each year. Jim hopes that this new site at Revel Run can become that hub of eventing the area needs.

“We’re really excited to offer it and hope people come and ride,” Jim said. “My daughters would always ride at Richland and really enjoyed it, so it was hard when it went by the wayside. So now we’re trying to pick up the load.”

Construction on the water complex. Photo courtesy of Cobblestone Farms.

It’s a communal effort, to be sure. Jim says he hopes the community will band together to support Revel Run’s fundraising efforts. Aiming to start modestly and build from there – near future plans include an Intermediate course — Cobblestone Farms is destined to become a family destination and a host for events of all kinds, from weddings to equestrian events. But the work required to pull off the venture is immense, and the Daratony family is grateful for the efforts of all involved.

Jim encourages the local Area VIII (and beyond!) riders to come together, raising the profile for the new Revel Run facility and chipping in to help meet fundraising goals. More information about how you can support this refreshed event can be found here. We’ll be checking in with the Daratony family and Cobblestone Farms this spring as they continue working toward the first event, July 3-4, at Revel Run. Levels from Beginner Novice through Intermediate/Preliminary will be offered. The second event at Revel Run is slated for August 6-8, offering the same options of levels. You can also follow Cobblestone Farms on Facebook for more updates on these exciting developments.