Kinghaven Farms is a thoroughbred horse racing stable founded in 1967 by Donald G. "Bud" Willmot. Located in King City, Ontario, north of Toronto, the success of the stable would see it expand to the United States with the acquisition of a 660-acre (2.7 km2) farm and training center near Ocala, Florida. Kinghaven became a father/son operation in 1974 when Bud's son David S. Willmot began managing the farm's racing/breeding program's.
One of the most decorated racing stables in Canadian history, on five occasions it won Canada's most important horse race, the Queen's Plate. American John J. Tammaro, Jr., one of the Big Four of Maryland Thoroughbred racing, was head trainer from 1976 to 1985. He conditioned five Canadian Champions for Kinghaven, including the 1979 Queen's Plate winner Steady Growth and U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt and Canadian Horse of the Year, Deputy Minister. Trainer Roger Attfield succeeded Tammaro in 1985. En route to being inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Attfield won numerous prestigious races for Kinghaven in North America including four editions of the Queen's Plate.
Since inception, Kinghaven Farms has bred or raced more than 150 stakes race winners, including back-to-back Canadian Triple Crown champions Izvestia and With Approval in 1989 and 1990. At its peak, Kinghaven Farms had 250 horses including nearly 100 broodmares and owned syndicate shares in close to two dozen top stallions standing at Kentucky stud farms. The stable has earned 30 Sovereign Awards including champion breeder on nine occasions plus another five as champion owner.
Following the death of Bud Willmot in 1994, his son David, current Chairman and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, has been in charge of Kinghaven Farms.
Employee fraud at Kinghaven Farms
On February 20, 2007 Kinghaven Farms' bookkeeper Christiane Krohn turned herself in to police to face fraud-related charges stemming from allegations that she stole more than $500,000 from the organization during a period of about 7 years. She has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on March 29, 2007.