Since she was a little girl, Claire Chmela dreamed of owning a horse farm.
Now, the farm she owns is hosting horse shows, is boarding horses and has a bed and breakfast to accommodate horse lovers.
Queenslake Farm, located at 292 Soards Rd. outside of Georgetown, sits on about 100 acres and boasts 40-acre lake. It includes a horse boarding stable, a bed and breakfast and wedding and horse show venues.
Claire Chmela’s husband, John, is a self-described “computer idiot savant.” He is the co-founder of BlackNet Group, a company that develops social media marketing products to help grow businesses, according to his LinkedIn page. The couple married in 2010 and have lived in various places in Canada and the United States.
John Chmela said BlackNet Group was very profitable, but the couple wasn’t satisfied. Particularly Claire Chmela who was looking for an investment for their money.
“Then one day she came to me and she said,‘You know, ever since I was a little girl, my life’s dream has been to own a horse farm,’” John Chmela said.
The couple began looking for places, which ultimately brought them to Kentucky. They stayed at the Kentucky Horse Park for two weeks, and, with the help of a Realtor, they did a lot of looking in the area. Their search ended at a foreclosed horse farm in Scott County.
“It was just upside-down,” John Chmela said of Queenslake farm, noting that he and his wife had to clean up fecal matter from raccoons and birds and more spiderwebs than they could count.
The farm was foreclosed in 2014, according to the county PVA office. Under the previous owner, Classic Farm Properties, the farm was used as a breeding and training ground for horses and possessed a horse breeding room, two horse arenas and heated wash stalls, according to an archived website.
The couple bought the property in August for $2.1 million from WBI Assets, according to Scott County Property Valuation Administrator records.
The farm boasts three barns, two outdoor arenas and one indoor arena. The two-story bed and breakfast is about 5,400 square feet.
Although the Chmelas have only owned the property for about six months, the buzz around the farm is already growing.
On Jan. 27, the farm held a horse show which featured jumping courses ranging from 2 feet to 3 feet and 6 inches. About 40 horses participated in the event, John Chmelas said. He expects 80 horses to come to the farm’s next show on Feb. 24.
“There’s just rave review after rave review, five stars, five stars, five stars,” John Chmela said of the review of Queenslake on Facebook.
Some of them reference the beauty of the farm.
“Beautiful facility with friendly staff. Can’t wait to come again!” wrote one user.
“Very fun schooling show! Upscale feel with a local atmosphere,” wrote another.
There were 23 boarding horses at the beginning of February at the facility that can hold about 70, John Chmela said.
The bed and breakfast was initially started because of the horse boarding business, John Chmela said.
“Because we allow people to do layover horses here, it might be nice to have a property that you can book both your horse and yourself,” he said.
The bed and breakfast, which is now open to all guests, has three suites and an overflow room in case the Chmelas get another booking request after the house is full. Rates for the room were listed from $230 to $250 on Airbnb depending on the suite. Amenities include a kitchen and a gym.
The boarded horses are available to use in wedding or engagement photos.
”The businesses leverage off each other,” John Chmela said.
Lori Saunders, executive director of the Scott County-Georgetown Tourism Commission, said the multifaceted farm benefits Scott County.
“We are very excited to welcome Queenslake Farm to Scott County. Visitors will enjoy staying in a bed and breakfast where they can also board their horse or horses and have use of the many riding paths or take in an exciting horse show in the indoor arena,” she said in an email.