The equestrian facilities and meadows at 253 Davis Road are for sale.
“It’s time for a life change,” said the owner, Lisa Samoylenko. “But I am doing everything I can to get someone interested to keep it a horse farm. I just can’t hold out forever.” She said she hopes “something unfolds by the end of the fall.”
The property, which Samoylenko operates as Eleazer Davis Farm, is on the town’s land acquisition list. However, the acquisition fund is short of the $2.9 million asking price for the land, with town meeting the most direct source of an allocation. The Select Board was scheduled to discuss land acquisition in general during an executive session last Monday afternoon.
The land, almost six acres, is taxed at a lower rate for agricultural use, under the provisions of Chapter 61A of state law. If it is ultimately sold for residential development, the town would have the right of first refusal, according to the law.
There has been “no shortage of interest” in the property, said realtor Suzanne Koller, whose own land abuts the farm.
The property always has been subdivided on paper, Samoylenko pointed out. The 1705 house, built by Eleazer Davis (father of Lt. Davis of Davis School fame), and the 1668 barn behind it are on a little more than an acre, and she plans to remain there.
The rest of the property is for sale; it comprises the business barn and indoor arena, the manager’s apartment, and about six acres to the west of the house, a favorite viewing spot for sunsets.
Samolyenko noted that when she and her husband purchased the property almost 30 years ago, their plan was for residential development. “Then we fell in love with the place and decided to run it as a horse farm.” Sergei Samolyenko, who grew up in Lexington, died unexpectedly in 2011.
Lisa Samolyenko said she would prefer that the new owner sustain the equestrian operation. “My daughter is 25 now and working. We are still very much into horses, but as far as running the big operation, it’s time for me to downsize, and continue to compete and train on my own, though I have to limit the risk.”
Eleazer Davis Farm over the years has been a center for breeding, boarding, and training for competition. The barn has a capacity of 28; clients often use trailers for transport and temporary boarding. Samolyenko noted that “we have done a pretty credible job” of screening most of the farm’s commercial operations from the street. The view is of an old New England farm that’s kind of sleepy.”
There are “a couple of interested parties,” the owner said. “I have been working on my own to connect the dots,” gathering information from land trusts and reservation societies so new owners can realize the potential of partnerships.
She cited the concept of an “agrihood,” seen in various nearby communities. “The idea is that in a suburban environment, you can preserve an agricultural feature that can give back to the community. “It doesn’t have to be horses. There are so many things that could happen here.” She mentioned organic farming, beekeeping, even wine (there are Concord grapes growing along the far perimeter). “We just have to put the right consortium together to get someone interested.”
Samolyenko said she grew up around horses; she was the daughter of an Army Cavalry veteran. Today at Davis Road she has two of her own horses and her daughter Seija owns another three.