History

A 1930’S HORSE FARM RICH WITH HISTORY

​Valdina Farms was originally started in the early 1930’s by oilman E.F. Woodward as a thoroughbred horse farm and encompassed over 18,000 acres. The land was located in both Uvalde and Medina counties, combined to create the name Valdina. During that time, it is said that they sent more horses to the Kentucky Derby than any other farm. In 1942, the Valdina Orphan ran 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. In 1944, after a tragic accident, the estate was left to his young grandson and the horses were sold off, ending a short but lucrative time in its history. Built by hand, out of solid concrete and brick, most of the buildings are still intact, including the Foreman’s house (complete with an underground speakeasy), ranch office, the horse track, and multiple horse barns. Each building has the year it was built in tile near the pitch of the roof.
​In the 1950’s, The University of Texas sent a team to investigate the caves on the property. They had to climb 165 feet down before touching the bottom and swim between cave rooms. After many days of searching, they never found the end of the caves. During that research, they discovered a blind, transparent salamander never seen before, later named the Valdina Salamander.

The land sits over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. There are many sinkholes on the property, including the Valdina Farms sinkhole that feeds directly into the Aquifer. The Seco Creek runs through part of the property and, while usually pretty dry, can be used to gauge flooding for the nearby town of D’Hanis during heavy rains. Over 30 dams have been built, but none would hold water due to the limestone.

THE ORIGINAL HORSE BARNS HAVE BEEN RENOVATED INTO A ONE-OF-A-KIND LODGE