Now a part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve and managed by Friends of Danada, 19-room Danada House was once the home of Dan and Ada Rice. The old Rice farm now boasts hiking trails, gardens and an equestrian center.
According to the Danada Equestrian Center web site: The equestrian center and most of the surrounding Danada Forest Preserve were part of the Dan and Ada L. Rice estate. The Rices purchased the land in 1928, when it was a working farm with apple orchards, wheat and corn fields, and grazing lots for livestock. In 1943 Dan bought eight Thoroughbreds for his wife’s pursuit in horse racing, and the Ada L. Rice Stable was born, a legacy that would last for 32 years.
The farm produced many champions and served as a training facility. The Rices patterned their 26-stall barn after the white dormered-windowed stables in Lexington, Kentucky. The “Kentucky-style” design, which features center stalls surrounded by an inside aisle, allowed trainers to exercise their Thoroughbreds even in bad weather. The 0.5-mile regulation racetrack west of the barn conditioned yearlings that arrived from a sister farm in Kentucky.
In 1965 the Rices’ Lucky Debonair, a bay colt, crossed the wire first in a neck-to-neck finish for a $112,000 Kentucky Derby purse. One year later, their Thoroughbred Advocator placed second.
Danada Forest Preserve is a great place to visit, to learn to ride, or just enjoy an afternoon hike on the wooded trails.