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.
The Danada Equestrian Center is at 3S507 Naperville Road in Wheaton on the east side of Naperville Road 1 mile south of Butterfield Road.
The center's office is open Monday –Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 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.
Dogs are allowed at the center but must be on leashes under 10 feet long. Alcohol is prohibited. Read our complete rules and regulations.
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, only summer camps and Horsemanship Badge for Scouts allow an opportunity to ride our horses.
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, the Kentucky-style barn serves as an area where riders can groom and tack horses prior to lessons and where kids and teens can work with the horses during summer camps. It's also offers a site for guided group tours.
Help to care for the center's horses, attend to barn chores, assist with programs, and more.
Your generosity sustains special destinations, like Danada Equestrian Center.
Be Our Community Partner
As a Friends community partner, you can help us connect people to nature in DuPage forest preserves.