To the casual motorist driving down the long, flat country road outside Gainesville, an hour north of Dallas, Blake Russell’s eighty-acre horse farm probably looks like any other in the area. The wide, green pastures are dotted with hay racks and bored-looking mares flicking away flies with their silken tails. A steel ranch sign, depicting a man, a woman, and two horses crowded around a cross, hangs over a narrow driveway that winds up a hill to a cozy limestone house.
But a particularly observant traveler might take note of the unusually wide variety of breeds represented in the fields. There are compact, reliable American quarter horses, a Friesian with the glossy black mane of a shampoo model, draft horses the size of Airstream trailers, and a Dutch warmblood with long legs and the haughty, regal demeanor of minor European nobility. One might wonder how a veritable United Nations of the equine world ended up here in Cooke County.