Skip to navigation Skip to content

Danada Equestrian Center

The Danada Equestrian Center promotes safe, humane horse-handling practices and care by advancing the relationship between humans and their equine companions. 

 

Maps

The Danada Equestrian Center is at 3S507 Naperville Road in Wheaton on the east side of Naperville Road 1 mile south of Butterfield Road.

Hours

The center's office is open Monday –Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. It is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and select holidays.

The barn is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. It is closed on select holidays.

The surrounding Danada Forest Preserve is open daily one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset.

General Info

Dogs are allowed at the center but must be on leashes under 10 feet long. Alcohol is prohibited. Read our complete rules and regulations.

Contact Us

danada-duke-900x600

Horseback-Riding Lessons

Anyone 12 or older can gain hands-on experience grooming, saddling, and riding horses during group, private, or semiprivate lessons.

Group Lessons

danada-riding-lesson-over-obstacle-1000-600
danada-equestrian-center-individual-riding-lesson

Individual Lessons

Trail Classes

danada-equestrian-center-trail-class-1000-600

Danada Programs & Events

Other Horse-Related Programs

Danada also offers programs to introduce individuals to horses, their behaviors, lifelong care and companionship. Although these programs are horse-related, they do not offer an opportunity to ride our horses. 

horse-eye-1000-600

History

The equestrian center and most of the surrounding Danada Forest Preserve were part of the Dan and Ada L. Rice estate. The Rices purchased the land in 1928, when it was a working farm with apple orchards, wheat and corn fields, and grazing lots for livestock.

In 1943, Dan bought eight Thoroughbreds for his wife’s interest in horse racing, and the Ada L. Rice Stable was born, a legacy that would last 32 years.

The farm produced many champions and served as a Thoroughbred training facility.  The 0.5-mile regulation racetrack west of the barn conditioned yearlings that arrived from a sister farm in Kentucky.

In 1965, the Rices’ Lucky Debonair, a bay colt, crossed the wire first in a neck-to-neck finish for a $112,000 Kentucky Derby purse. One year later, their Thoroughbred, Advocator, placed second.

The Kentucky-Style Barn

Built by Dan and Ada Rice during the 1940s, our barn is a hallmark of traditional Thoroughbred-breeding farms in Lexington, Kentucky. The barn design features dormered windows and 26 center stalls surrounded by an exterior aisle. When bad weather limited training outdoors, trainers opened the barn's windows for riders to exercise the horses indoors along the track encircling the stalls.

Today, our Kentucky-style barn not only houses our horses but also serves as a program area for horsemanship lessons, lectures, and group tours. 

danada-equestrian-center-kentucky-style-barn-interior

Get Involved

Danada-Equestrian-Center-Volunteers-Lead-Horses-1000-600

Volunteer

Help to care for the center's horses, attend to barn chores, assist with programs, and more. 

danada-equestrian-center-two-grays-1000-600

Donate

Your generosity sustains special destinations, like Danada Equestrian Center.

Fall-Festival-at-Danada-Equestrian-Performance-1000-600

Be Our Community Partner

As a Friends community partner, you can help us connect people to nature in DuPage forest preserves.

Near Danada Equestrian Center

Herrick-Lake-fall-scenic-800x450

Herrick Lake

tree-allee-st-james-farm-banner-800x450

St. James Farm

Hidden-Lake-sunset-800x450

Hidden Lake