Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Spring 2018

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Hospitality industry veterans Gordon and Noel Hentschel purchased the property in 1983. "The Russells and their descendants had it for 55 years, and we've had it for 35," Gordon Hentschel says. "There have only been two owners. We renamed the property 'Stonepine' due to the many Stone Pine trees on the property." The Hentschels also dubbed the estate "Chateau Noel." "We maintain the Chateau as an executive retreat, a high-end place for romantic inter- ludes, big weddings, society functions and charity fundraisers," the owner says. "At the equestrian center, we hold country-style weddings and events, built around the horse operation. It's more casual." Chateau Noel's grounds can accommodate events of 250-300 attendees and 150-200 at the equestrian facility. It would, however, be incorrect to presume that Stonepine's equestrian center is merely window dressing for posh parties and nuptials. This is a true working horse facility and has been since day one. During the Crocker/Russell years, the emphasis was on thoroughbred breeding and training. When the Hentschels took over, they brought in rodeo veteran Tommy Harris, a draft- and team-horse expert. "We raised 110 head of heavy draft horses: Belgians, Percherons and Clydesdales," Hentschel says. "We shipped the horses in two 747s to the Westin Kauai. They were used to pull carriages that carried guests to the hotel from the airport." A seven-up hitch of Percherons was kept at Stonepine. Harris and Hentschel entered the team in the California Rodeo in Salinas each year, winning many blue ribbons. During Harris' tenure, the estate was the site of annual, full-costume Civil War reenactments that included 40 combat- ants on each side, complete with live cannon fire. "That got us in a little trouble with the county," Hentschel recalls with a chuckle. Mike Scully came on board when Harris left, and the equine focus evolved from Western to hunter/jumper, three-day eventing and dressage. He too left for a time, but has recently returned with his wife Angie and Racing places enormous physical strain on young horses. Eclipse at Stonepine is one of just a handful of facilities in the United States that possess the technology and know-how to get them back on their hooves. The thoroughbreds like Rosie treated at Stonepine race storied California tracks such as Santa Anita and Del Mar. 180 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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