Robert Redford is selling his 30-acre horse ranch near Sundance, the mountain resort he founded in Utah in the 1960s. The property, which is for sale for $4.9 million, is named Horse Whisper Ranch after the Oscar-nominated movie The Horse Whisperer, which Redford directed and starred in shortly after he bought the ranch in 1996.
Redford, 84, will retain his main home in Sundance, according to Jaisa Bishop of Windermere Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio, who holds the listing with Steve Mavromihalis of Compass. According to Bishop, Redford is consolidating his Utah properties and moving his horses—there are about a dozen, she says—to his 1,800-acre Sundance estate.
After buying the ranch 25 years ago, Redford added more horse facilities and pasture, and worked to conserve the land, according to Bishop. Today, the rustic retreat on the banks of the Provo River, 15 miles north of Sundance and 50 miles east of Salt Lake City, is made up of a 100-year-old two-bedroom farmhouse, several spacious workshops and outbuildings, plus riding facilities including a hay barn, covered horse corrals and pastures. The main attraction—other than the celebrity sparkle—is the setting: a rural valley with views of the surrounding Wasatch Mountains.
“For the last 25 years, my family and I have loved and embraced this ranch as a base for our horse program, running clinics and serving as a home for our many beloved horses,” Redford, who also owns property in California and New Mexico, told The Wall Street Journal. “Looking ahead, we want to focus on expanding the facilities at our ranch located at Sundance in nearby Provo Canyon,” he said.
Redford first bought land in Utah in 1961, gradually expanding it until his success in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid enabled him to buy the entire Provo Canyon, which he proceeded to turn into the Sundance Mountain Resort, named after his starring role, partly to protect the land from more aggressive development. He launched the Sundance Film Festival there in 1981.
In December, he sold the 2,600-acre Sundance Resort to high-end hotel developers Broadreach Capital Partners, owners of the Rosewood Hotel chain and the Carlyle in New York, and Cedar Capital Partners, owners of the Savoy in London. Strict conservation commitments accompanied that sale, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, and the new owner of Horse Whisper Ranch will also face some restrictions. It would be possible to build a bigger residence than the current 1,460-square-foot house, but any buyer will have to agree to size limits, as yet unspecified. Redford and his family, said Bishop, want to ensure “there won’t be any large-scale development. Nature conservancy is so important to them; he is passionate about it.”
The ranch has plenty of space for more extensive and advanced equestrian facilities, including arenas, according to Bishop, who expects interest from buyers who wish to “keep up the horseback-riding tradition.” The ranch, she said, is evocative of “the Old West,” just like a movie set.
See more photos of the Utah ranch below: