When Jacob and Michelle Nance were shopping for a new place a few years back, their original plan did not include breaking ground for new construction.
“When we were looking, we would find a house we liked, but then we didn’t like the barn,” said Michelle. “Or there would be a barn that we liked, and the house wouldn’t be what we wanted.”
Having the right barn in the right location was an essential element for Jacob and his Thoroughbred business, IR Bloodstock. With 30 years of experience boarding and preparing yearlings for sale and currently managing over 150 horses at four locations, he had a clear idea of what was required.
They found a 14 acre expanse of land at Fishers Mill Landing that lived up to their expectations.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
“We already had friends that lived in this subdivision,” Michelle said. “And we liked the gently rolling landscape. There’s lots of equine people in the neighborhood.”
Although the Nance’s have a Midway address, the farm is actually in Scott County.
“We bought this place as a barren lot covered with overgrowth and brush,” Jacob said. “Then we sat down with a scratch pad and drew out what we wanted, detail by detail.
Not surprisingly, the house was the last thing that went up. The barn came first and then the paddocks.
The ranch style home was built by Paul Haddix of Georgetown, with Michelle overseeing the design and construction.
A farmhouse theme runs throughout the home starting with the oversized farmhouse sink in the kitchen. The convection oven with a flat kid-safe induction stovetop is Energy Star rated as are all of the home’s appliances.
Mix and match cabinets give the kitchen a designer’s edge and a zap of personality. A walk-in pantry keeps the kitchen organized and helps reduce clutter.
The home takes advantage of an open floor plan with 2,478 square feet of living space on the main level. Dramatic 10, 12 and 14 foot tray and double-tray specialty ceilings add to the spacious feel. The doors throughout the home are solid wood, some topped with frosted-pane transoms.
The great room floor is done in an engineered hardwood known as Tobacco Road Acacia. A look-through gas fireplace connects the dining area with the great room. White plantation shutters adorn the windows that overlook the covered back porch. An open staircase leads to a large bonus room over the garage.
The farmhouse style continues into the master suite with a rustic sliding barn door between the bedroom and bath area. A natural wood Minka Aire ceiling fan helps keep the room comfortable in all seasons.
A slipper-style clawfoot tub in the master bath brings to mind scenes from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and other classic westerns. Cabinets and drawers throughout are fitted with the soft close hardware. Closets throughout have the adjustable freedom rail system.
The split bedroom design puts the bedrooms for the Nance’s children, Jonas and Ava, on the opposite end of the house, affording additional privacy to the master suite.
The exterior garage doors of the home mirror the design of the horse barn, providing another nod to the farmhouse theme.
PADDOCKS, CHICKENS AND A LITTLE HOLLYWOOD TOO
The modern barn, built to Jacob’s demanding specifications, is a standout feature of the farm with 10 roomy 15 x 15 foot oak-lined stalls. Steel grate windows between stalls and on the outer walls allow for lighting, ventilation, and socialization with no danger of roughhousing.
In the aisle way, soft brick pavers cover the floor beneath knotty pine walls.
About 550 panels of painted black 4-plank fencing make up the eight double-fenced paddocks and another large field, all with no-freeze auto-waterers.
“The number one greatest asset of this farm is the location,” Jacob said. “We’re 15 minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park and about 15 minutes from Keeneland as well. We’re centrally located between Georgetown, Lexington, and Frankfort,” Jacob said.
“Whatever discipline you’re in, whether it’s Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, or show horses,” Jacob said. “You’re right here in the Horse Capital of the World.”
On the back side of the property, a portable chicken coop with three laying hens provides farm fresh eggs for the Nance family. The Nance’s have pledged to pass on the poultry operation to the new owners should they want it.
Just beyond the chickens and behind a tree line, lies a horse farm owned by film actor Sam Shepherd. The Nance’s say their famous neighbor has kept a very low profile thus far with nary a sighting.
This week’s feature home is listed with Maria Gnas of Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty.