About Us


When Joan Lurie and her partners opened their American Saddlebred training facility in 1981, little did they know that 30 plus years later Willowbank would be one of the top stallion stations in the country. And they probably would not have predicted that the main focus of the farm would grow to be breeding, training, showing and selling young stock.

It was Joan who made the decision that in time changed her career and the future of the farm. In 1982 she and a partner purchased Attache, a three-time World's Champion and World's Champion's sire.

Now Willowbank stands some of the premier American Saddlebred stallions in the industry. They breed dozens of mares and they foal more than 35 babies a year, many going on to win World's Champion honors for their owners. Further reflections of Willowbank's continuing success was the 1997 move from Shelbyville, Kentucky to 132 rolling acres on Todd's Point Road in Simpsonville, Kentucky.

Willobank Farm - Barn


Joan and her partners, Jim and Bonnie Ruwoldt and their daughter, Kathy, created the new Willowbank with a 40-stall main training barn and adjacent breeding shed. There is a broodmare/foaling barn with runouts and stalls for 20 mares and foals, two more mare and colt barns, plus beautiful ponds and lush pastures bordered by miles of black board fence.

pond field aboutStanding at stud at Willowbank are A Rare Temper, A Whole Different Story, Arrowhead's Bateleur, Arrowhead's Moscato,  Deep Blue, Glamorous Nuts, Heir Emerald, Mont Bleu, Noble Braveheart, Samur, Sedgefield's Legacy, Sir William Robert, Thundergun and Undulata's Nutcracker.

Among the World's Champions and show ring stars who began their careers at Willowbank are: the exquisite three times WGC An Heir About Her, Heavenly Thunder, Hello Moto, Zagnut, Don't Know Nuttin', I'm In Heaven, Nuttin' To Lose, Nuttin' But Chrome, Nutorious, Mossberg Mary, Really Really Red, Eeta Sachon, Get Crackin', Christine Dare, Safecreacker, Nuttin' But Style, Roadside Romance, Front Row Frankie, Unattached, The Bess Yet, She's The Bess, Thunder Cloud Nine, Hank Heiron, Kaladar, Careless Heiress, Heir Bubble, Vintage Lace, Moet, The Shadow Knows, Heir Popper, Attache's Three Of A Kind, Go Baby Go, Show Baby Show, Lady Lenaire, Atlantache, Satori, The Flying Tomato, Lightnin' Lil, Bad Moon Rising, Undulata's Nuts And Bolts and Undulata's Heir Apparent.

In 1998 Joan Lurie was presented the prestigious ASHA Breeder's Hall Of Fame Award.  She was also inducted into the UPHA Hall Of Fame in 2022.

In 1999 at the Kentucky State Fair, Willowbank youngsters were three for three, winning both the KY Yearling and Weanling Futurities and the Weanling Breeder's Stake, an unprecedented feat. They have also won numerous blues and high ribbons since then.  

Sunset at Willowbank Farm