Leslie Combs II

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Leslie Combs II (1901-1990) was an American equestrian. He was the founder and owner of the Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.


Early life[edit]

He was born in 1901.[1] His father died when he was only fourteen years old.[1] He attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he roomed with George Swinebroad.[1]

He spent a year in Guatemala working for the South American Plantation Company and contracted malaria there.[1] He returned to Kentucky and worked for the American Rolling Mill Company in Ashland.[1] He moved to Huntington, West Virginia and started his own business, the Combs-Ritter Insurance Company.


In 1937, he bought 127 acres in Lexington from Daniel Swigert and called it Spendthrift Farm in honor of Spendthift.[1] Together with his uncle Brownwell Combs, he owned Myrtle Charms and Myrtlewood.[1] He was also the breeder of Majestic Prince, later owned by Frank M. McMahon.[2] Later, he advised Elizabeth Arden (1884-1966) of Maine Chance Farm about which horses to purchase, including Star Pilot, Beaugay, Jet Pilot, etc.[1] He also revitalized the syndication of racehorses, buying Nashua through a syndication for US$1.25 million.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He married Dorothy Enslow, daughter of the founder of the Columbia Gas and Electric Company, in 1924.[1] He died in 1990.[4]


Secondary sources[edit]

  • Mary Marshall, Great Breeders and Their Methods: Leslie Combs II and Spendthrift Farm (Neenah, Wisconsin: Russell Meerdink Co., 2008, 178 pages).[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Edward L. Bowen, Legacies Of The Turf: A Century Of Great Thoroughbred Breeders, Eclipse Press, 2004, Volume 2, p. 129 [1]
  2. ^ Thoroughbred Champions: Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, Eclipse Press, 1999, p. 140 [2]
  3. ^ Horse Racing's Top 100 Moments, Eclipse Press, 2006, p. 97
  4. ^ NYT obituary
  5. ^ Google Books