The story of the land . . .

Nestled in the central piedmont area of North Carolina, in the heart of tobacco country and just an hour from the Blue Ridge Parkway is Willow Bend, a family breeding operation.

In my last year of Anesthesiology residency, we began in earnest to look for some property on which to build a family farm. We had only a few requirements - at least 10 acres, trees, and surface water for the horses. My husband, Tom, excitedly picked me up from work late one afternoon in a dreary rain and said that he had found it. We drove about a half an hour, turned down a steep gravel road, crossed a single lane wooden bridge and stopped in front of land that was covered in head high weeds, saplings and piles of trash and old tires spreading out from both sides of the road. Tom was happily gesturing in the rain. I wouldn't get out of the car. He pulled me out and said "Can't you see it?" Oh, I could see it alright, and I didn't want any part of it. We had been looking for a place to build a home, not a dump. But the battle was already lost. Once Tom makes a decision, it is full steam ahead. The property did seem to meet our requirement: 52 acres (much more than we originally wanted), heavily wooded ridges, and bottomland for pasture bisected by a fast-flowing little creek. We made arrangements to buy it.

Now, 15 years later, we have two barns, an indoor arena, and over thirty horses. We have put in what seems like miles of fencing with the help of our sons. The stallions have a private turnout, the broodmares have their own pasture, as do the weanlings. Our farm is a work in progress, but one that makes us extremely proud. We hope that you will come visit!


Tom and Debbie Whelan

6875 Providence Church Road

Winston Salem, NC 27105