Powhatan Plantation

established in 1829

Built in 1829 by Edward Thorton Tayloe, Powhatan Plantation was a major agricultural center that traded with ships from England from its docks on the Rappahannock River. In 1952, Powhatan Plantation was purchased by former US Ambassador to Ireland Raymond R. Guest who owned, raced and bred thoroughbreds in England, Ireland, France and the United States. 

In Ireland, his racehorses were trained by Vincent O'Brien and his National Hunt horses by Dan Moore. His racing colors were chocolate brown and pale blue. Guest is one of the only three owners to have won both Epsom Derby and the Grand National, others being King Edward VII when he was the Prince of Wales, and Dorothy Paget.

In 1958, Guest was voted President of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association. The best horse to carry his Powhatan Stable colors in American racing was Tom Rolfe, winner of the 1965 Preakness Stakes who earned American Champion 3-year-Old Male Horse honors. 

Among Guest's successful horses in flat racing were Larkspur, winner of the 1962 Epsom Derby, Sir Ivor, winner of 1968 2,000 Guineas Derby and the Washington, D.C. International. In addition he owned Steeplechasers and was Chairman of the National Steeplechase and Hunt. His most outstanding was I'Escargot, a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee who was voted the 1969 U.S. Steeplechase Horse of the Year; he then raced in England where he became a two-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 1970-1971 and the Grand National in 1975. Raymond R. Guest played in the Golden Age of Polo, when the best players in the world were amateurs competing for honor, glory and a good bit of fun. He, along with his immortal brother, Winston Guest, competed and excelled in all of the major high-goal events in the pre-World War II era. A perennial all star-star in both the arena and outdoor versions of the sport, he first achieved an 8-goal outdoor handicap in 1933 playing for the Meadow Brook Club. As part of the famed Templeton team, he won the U.S. Open in 1932 and 1934 and the Monty Waterbury in 1931, 1934 and 1938. His defensive skills were legendary, and he was accorded the honor of playing Back for the East team in legendary 1933 East-West series. Raymond R. Guest was inducted into the US Polo Hall of Fame in 2006.


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