Home Hall of Fame Breeders Post-1980 Grousemont Farm

Grousemont Farm

(Founded 1962, Inducted 2011)

Grousemont Farm was founded in 1962 by Theiline (Ty), pictured, and Howard S. Wright, who died in 1996. Today, the smaller, but still highly successful horse operation continues with Ty and her second husband, Doug Scheumann.

Both Ty and Howard were from prominent Seattle families and Ty’s uncle, William Piggott, was a well-known West Coast racehorse owner until his premature death in 1947.

Theiline Piggott ‘s interest in horses had developed early, and she was to become an accomplished horsewoman, participating in horse shows and riding to the hounds in Virginia.

In 1959 the Wrights purchased 60 acres outside of Redmond. Three years later the family home was built on the property which would later be named Grousemont Farm. Among their Redmond friends and “neighbors” were William and Barbara Nelson (Gunshy Manor) and it is through Barbara’s influence that the Wrights initially became involved in the Thoroughbred racing.

The Wrights purchased their first mare, stakes-placed Checking Time, and her suckling by Strong Ruler from Hugh Taylor In 1966. The next year they consigned the colt to the WHBA Sale, where Herman Sarkowsky paid $6,500 for Fitness, who would win the 1968 Drumheller Memorial and WHBA Sales Stakes.

In the following years, with the help of WHBA executive secretary Ed Heinemann, the couple bought mares by such noted sires as Prince John, Crafty Admiral, Blue Prince, Swaps and *Indian Hemp, many who would become stakes producers. The Wrights’ first major crop (1968) featured foals by T. V. Lark, Summer Tan, *Cavan, Double Jay and leading Washington sire Strong Ruler. Longtime friend and ex-cattle partner Warren Bean co-owned several horses with them.

The August 1969 Washington Horse featured a story on Grousemont Farm, in which Ty stated “Grousemont Farm operations will be kept small enough to have a personal relationship with the horses, but at the same time, we will always keep the word quality foremost in our thoughts.”

She would keep that promise. From that 1968 crop alone came the first of their champions, a colt with the peculiar name of Rock Bath.

A son of Belmont Stakes winner *Cavan, Rock Bath became “the ‘Super Soph’ who stole the show in 1971.”After inauspiciously breaking his maiden in his sixth start for a $5,000 tag at Playfair at two, the bay colt rolled out a trio of stakes victories at Longacres – all the while doing his best “Silky Sullivan” imitation – and was named horse of the meet for the Wright-Bean partnership. Rock Bath added two more stakes victories in Northern California that season and was named Washington horse of the year. In 1973, he became the first Washington-bred runner to place in a graded stakes after he finished third to *Cougar II in the Grade 1 Sunset Handicap.

Grousemont Farm-bred Savanna Blue Jeans would win five stakes during her 1975-76 championships seasons and help earn her dam, Spooky Creature, broodmare of the year honors. While Savanna Blue Jeans did not produce a stakes winner, her grandson, the speedy Knight in Savannah, later sired two Washington champions.

The farm’s third Washington champion was Marching Duke, a son of Go Marching who was named top three-year-old male runner in 1978.

As their involvement in the Washington industry grew, Howard would serve on the WTBA board and the Washington Horse Racing Commission.

The Wrights kept a half-sister to Rock Bath named Pro Tab. Stakes winner Pro Tab produced five stakes horses. Among them was Gray Tab, who would foal a trio of stakes winners, including Grousemont’s fourth Washington champion, Ladies Excuse Me (granddam of $359,776 stakes winner Winning Machine).

Other Washington-bred stakes winners bred by Grousemont alone or in partnership include: Crafty Patient, Cup o’ Blue, Grandy Dandy, Ketchum Samantha, Ramalogue, Duke of Roni, Spooky Patient and Cup o’ Spooks, I’m in Demand and more recently, 2004 Independence Day Handicap winner Briartic Gold.

In 1977, Ty decided to breed her *Vaguely Noble mare Noble Lady to the aging champion Nashua. From that union came a colt who would give Grousemont Farm national recognition. Noble Nashua would finish second to champion Lord Avie in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and, after winning the Whirlaway Stakes in his three-year-old debut, went on to take the Grade 1 Marlboro Invitational Handicap and Swaps Stakes and the Grade 2 Dwyer and Jerome stakes. The Flying Zee Stables colt received the second highest ranking on the experimental free handicap (behind champion Pleasant Colony) and was named Kentucky sophomore colt champion of 1981.

Trivia question: Who was Bob Baffert and Mike Pegram’s first Breeders’ Cup winner?

Answer: Thirty Slews in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The Grousemont Farm-bred son of Slewpy—Chickery Chick recorded a quick 1:08 1/5, just two ticks off the Gulfstream Park record and earned Grousemont its second Kentucky-bred champion title (sprinter).

Among the other non-Washington stakes winners bred by Grousemont are: Nasty Storm (G2), Sure to Explode, Future Bright, Speed World (G3, Japan), Going Gray, Mutarijam (Germany), Mi Lucia, Outrigger, Born Winner, Palmerio (G3) and Slews Final Answer.

Ty has concentrated on racing proven fillies through the years. Included among them was 1984 Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) winner Rossard (Den), a Swedish Derby winner who would later produce top California sire Unusual Heat.

Other stakes-winning distaffers raced by Ty include Joli Vert, Descent and more recently J Z Warrior and Downthedustyroad. 2010 Oaks d’Italia (G2) runner-up Middle Club (GB) races in Ty’s name in 2011. In addition, Ty, her son David Wright and Wright’s father-in-law, Charles Swanson, raced 2006 Washington most improved plater Magoo Can Do.