Ralph Nester: Derry Meeting Farm 1969

During my time working at Derry Meeting Farm, I was a lucky man.   I met Andrew Wyeth, the famous painter. Remember the painting Helga that was so controversial? I’ll say no more unless urged to…


I also met Phyllis Mills of the General Mills family, (Jamie Wyeth, Andrew’s son, married Phyllis Mills, daughter of Alice de Pont Mills and James Mills and one of his models.)  She had been permanently crippled in a car accident and used crutches and later a motorized chair.  She was a beautiful, pleasant lady and Jamie was a very nice young man. In later years, they would own the Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags. (They were from Unionville, PA.)

So, I saw these two gentlemen (the Wyeths) get out of a car and they had paint all over their pants; I thought they were house painters.   I wasn’t aware of the art world at the time, lol… They were there to look at a couple yearlings that I was getting ready for the Saratoga Sales in August.

I also met Will Farish there, owner of Lane’s End. He came up from Lane’s End to check on this mare I was grooming and taking care of, we were readying her for breeding.   Her name was Pas De Nom. We were preparing her to be bred to the great Northern Dancer who, at that time, was just another stallion.  I was at the stallion station the day he arrived there to his immaculate barn , better than a lot of homes, anyway, the resulting foal was a horse called Danzig.

Need I say more???


Pas de Nom, dam of the great Danzig


The Great Danzig


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