Danada Equestrian Center
3S507 Naperville Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
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Hours of Operation

The equestrian office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on select holidays.

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

Danada Program Guide

Program Guide 2013
Look for our 2014 Program Guide soon.

Questions?

Call Danada Equestrian Center at (630) 668-6012, or email forest@dupageforest.org.

 

Danada Equestrian Center

The Danada Equestrian Center welcomes visitors of all ages, offering educational and recreational enrichment programs rooted in Danada’s unique equine heritage.

Important Updates:  

• Danada Equestrian Center is in the process of re-establishing our lesson program for small group, private and semi-private lessons. Lesson programs will begin in July with a 6-week session. Additional 6-week sessions will follow.

• Registration is now being accepted for 2014 Kids Camp summer programs at Danada — Horse Sense and Riding Sense. Click here for Kids Camp information.

• The 2014 Program Guide will be available soon with information on schedules, application deadlines and more. Check back here.
 


Danada Education Programs

“Horse Sense” Summer Camp

Campers ages 10 – 14 will enjoy this summer day camp, which offers hands-on experiences with horses and an introduction to the day-to-day activities of a working stable.

“Riding Sense” Summer Camp

A summer day camp for campers ages 12 – 14 with all the fun and activities of “Horse Sense” Camp, plus a one hour riding lesson daily.

Click here for more information on 2014 kids camps.

Horsemanship Courses and Tours
Danada Equestrian Center is in the process of re-establishing our lesson program for small group, private and semi-private lessons. Lesson programs will begin in July with a 6-week session. Additional 6-week sessions will follow.

Danada offers horsemanship for students to gain hands-on experience by grooming, saddling and bridling horses and enrolling in classes that teach basic to advanced riding skills. Fees for select programs are listed below. A signed application and waiver are required for enrollment. For more information, view the Danada Program Guide or call the center at (630) 668-6012.

Horsemanship I and II Group Lessons

Six two-hour lessons with six students per class
$300 for DuPage residents
$396 for nonresidents

Intermediate to III, IV and V Group Lessons

Available to Horsemanship II graduates or individuals who have successfully completed the advanced placement exam
Six one-hour lessons with six students per class
$185 for DuPage residents
$263 for nonresidents

Private and Semi-Private Lessons

These 1/2-hour lessons are tailored to the individual's horsemanship skill level.

Private Pay-As-You-Go:
$40 for DuPage residents
$48 for non-residents

Private Package of 6 Lessons:
$216 for DuPage residents
$260 for non-residents

Semi-Private Pay-As-You-Go:
$30 for DuPage residents
$35 for non-residents

Semi-Private Package of 6 Lessons:
$162 for DuPage residents
$189 for non-residents

Group Trail Rides

Available to Horsemanship I graduates or individuals who have successfully completed a placement exam. Trail rides will begin in July.
A package of six 60-minute rides
$150 for DuPage residents
$240 for nonresidents

Guided Group Tours

Danada’s one-hour guided tours offer groups and organizations with members of all ages tours of the Danada Barn including information on horse behavior, types of feeds, different saddles and tack and an introduction to one of our horses during a grooming demonstration. Tours are $35 per group of 20 for DuPage residents and $65 per group of 20 for nonresidents. For more information call the center at (630) 668-6012 or download the application. Download the Barn Guided-Group Tour Application

For Teachers and Their Students

Danada offers programs that meet state curriculum standards for grammar school and high school classes. For more information, view the "Teachers Guide" or call the center at (630) 668-6012.

For Scouts and Scout Leaders

Learn more about opportunities for Scouts and other youth groups at Danada. For more information, view the "Scouting Guide."
 


Horse-Drawn Hayrides and Sleigh Rides

Horse-Drawn Hayrides
Noon — 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in May and June 2014 (no rides May 24 and 25)
Noon — 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in September and October 2014 (no rides Oct. 11 and 12)

Visitors can soak up the surrounding prairie and woodlands of Danada Forest Preserve while the driver interprets information about the history of the preserve. Hayrides are 30 minutes long and depart every 45 minutes. Passengers load in front of the main barn. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis; pay the driver upon boarding.

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides
Noon — 2 p.m. Daily, Dec. 26-30, 2013
Noon — 3 p.m. Sundays in January 2014
Noon — 3 p.m. Sundays in February 2014

Relax on a ride through prairies and woodlands as you learn about historic Danada preserve. Sleigh rides are 12 to 15 minutes long and depart every 20 minutes. Wagons are used in place of sleighs when there is less than 4 inches of packed snow on the trail, weather and trail conditions permitting. Passengers load behind the main barn. Tickets are available beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the main barn.

Cost
All ages are welcome. Cost for both sleigh rides and hayrides is $5 per person ages 13 and up; $2 ages 5 – 12; under 5 free. Cash and checks only. In the event of severe weather, rides will be canceled.

Private Sleigh Rides and Hayrides
Groups larger than 15 are encouraged to reserve a private horse-drawn hayride or sleigh ride on another day and time. Cost is $175 for the first 30 minutes, $100 for each additional 30 minutes and includes a 45-minute warming fire after the ride. Hayrides accommodate 30-35 passengers, while sleigh rides hold 20 to 25. Hayrides can be scheduled throughout the year and sleigh rides are available when there is at least 4 inches of packed snow.

For more information about availability, call the center at (630) 668-6012 or download the application. View the Danada Horse-Drawn Hayride and Sleigh Ride Application


Danada Volunteers

Danada Equestrian Center volunteers tend to the center’s horses, maintain the stable area and paddocks, and provide information to visitors. For more information, visit Danada Volunteers, or contact the Forest Preserve District’s Volunteer Services office at (630) 933-7681 or volunteer@dupageforest.com.
 


Dan and Ada Rice

Danada Forest Preserve is the former estate of commodity trader Daniel Rice and his wife, Ada, racehorse enthusiasts who bred champion Thoroughbreds.

In 1928, the Rices purchased Danada Farm, a working farm complemented by apple orchards, wheat and corn fields, and grazing lots for livestock. In 1943, Dan Rice purchased eight Thoroughbreds for his wife’s pursuit in horse racing, and the Ada L. Rice Stable was born.

Every year, the Wheaton farm served as a training facility for 20 to 40 yearlings. A 26-stall Kentucky-style barn, with center stalls and an indoor track, allowed trainers to work horses even in inclement weather. The Rices’ staff also used the 0.5-mile regulation racetrack on the west side of Naperville Road to condition yearlings that arrived from a sister farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

In 1965, the Rices made their mark at the Kentucky Derby with a bay colt named Lucky Debonair, which jockey Willie Shoemaker rode across the wire in a neck-to-neck finish for a first-place win and a $112,000 purse. One year later, Advocator, another bay colt and Rice Thoroughbred, placed second in the Derby.

Ada maintained her equestrian interests until 1975, when, after her husband’s death, she sold the farm’s remaining horses.

Danada House and Model Farm

Dan and Ada Rice built this sprawling, 19-room white brick country home in 1939. The house, owned today by the Forest Preserve District and operated by the Friends of Danada, is available for formal receptions, business meetings, showers, parties and other functions.

The Danada Model Farm preserves the history of DuPage County with 1950s machinery and agricultural practices. Owned by the Forest Preserve District, operated by volunteers and sponsored by the Friends of Danada, the farm offers hayrides and tours to the public. For more information, visit Danada House, or contact the Danada House at (630) 668-5392 or jill@danadahouse.com.

Accessibility

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is committed to making its facilities accessible to all visitors. For special accessibility needs or concerns, please contact the District's ADA coordinator at (630) 933-7683 or
TTY (800) 526-0857 at least three business days in advance of your visit.

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