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TThey are massive estates dedicated to the pursuit of a pastime that, for many, symbolizes the high life. In this private tour, AMERICA'S CASTLESŪ visits three of the nation's most exquisite and important equestrian centers. Designed by noted Washington, D.C. architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Morven Park was once the home of Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis, "the master of the hunt." The thirty-room Greek Revival mansion is the centerpiece of an estate that now houses the International Equestrian Center, six huge barns, and miles of horse trails. Down south in Tennessee, Belle Meade was a mecca for 19th century horsemen with its gorgeous, 5,400-acre meadow. Its annual sale of thoroughbred yearlings was legendary, and the legacy of wealth and success can be seen in the exquisite furnishing of the castle at its heart. Finally, tour the 14,000 square foot Long Brach in the Blue Ridge Mountains, purchased by Harry Isaacs in 1980 and restored to national prominence with his racing success. The mansion hosts a collection of 18th century antiquities, Duncan Phyfe pieces and Isaacs' extensive collection of equestrian artifacts.
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