About six years ago, Clay and Liz Patrick decided they wanted a little more space to raise their three growing boys, McCoy, Carson and Cooper. They found the perfect spot with plenty of space on Johnson Road just a few miles from the Frankfort neighborhood where they were living. The couple built a custom home on approximately 80 acres with sweeping panoramic views of the Kentucky River valley.
“What I enjoy most about living here is the view, the adjacent river, the feeling of being ‘out in the country,’ and at the same time being so close to town and its amenities,” Clay said.
“It’s just very different to have all of this land,” Liz said. “Sometimes I miss having close neighbors, but it’s so pretty and pleasant and quiet out here. We hear boats on the river sometimes, but there’s very little noise like you would have in the city or suburbs.”
Long time goal
Clay grew up in a suburban neighborhood, but spent a lot of time on his parents’ Franklin County horse farm. His parents, Dr. O.M. “Mac” and Mary Leigh Patrick, bought a farm on Johnson Road in 1976, according to the Ramspring Farm website. It is described as “a complete thoroughbred breeding, foaling, boarding and sales preparation facility.”
“My parents’ farm is called Ramspring after a spring that runs 24/7 and which used to provide water for all the farm’s livestock in years past,” Clay explained. “Our farm is contiguous with my parents’ farm.”
Clay, who grew up in Frankfort, said he loves spending time on the farm and had long considered building on the land they bought next to Ramspring.
“It took Liz a little time to come around since she’d never spent much time on a farm. However, once she moved out here she was hooked immediately,” he recalled.
From the front of their house, they can see his parents’ home and from the back is an incredible scenic view all the way to the far bank of the river.
An added bonus is the close proximity to town. “I can be at Kroger in five minutes but we live in a place like this,” Liz says. “I think the view is just the best and I love sitting on the patio. Every window I look out, I think, ‘It’s so pretty out here.’”
Down on the farm
Fifteen-year-old twins, Cooper and Carson, both like living on the farm. In addition to running track and playing basketball at Western Hills High School, one thing they do on the farm is take care of the family’s two goats — Allie, an Alpine goat, and Clark, a young kid goat.
“Cooper actually built the enclosure for the goats,” Liz explains, walking over to the large pen. “Goats are very friendly and very social. Allie was in with the cows but we moved the cows. That meant the goats needed a new home so, Cooper built them one.”
The Patricks’ oldest son, McCoy, is in college at Wake Forest, but spends his summers with the family.
Clay admits that owning a farm is “not without its toils,” but says he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves running his own farm and also helps with certain aspects of his parents’ farm.
“Probably my biggest thrill is watching a horse foaled on the (Ramspring) farm run at the racetrack,” Clay remarked. “It’s truly a thrill when they win, at any level. Spending time with the horses is a passion of mine. It’s something I’ve been doing for 40 plus years now and just seems to get in your blood.”
The farms are a big part of Clay’s life, but his profession is as a practicing attorney with the Patrick Law Firm in Frankfort.
With 6,000 square feet and five bedrooms, the Patrick family has plenty of space.
Their house plan is similar to a home that Liz spotted in Louisville. “I was driving down the road and saw this house and said, ‘There’s a house I like that’s really different. I don’t think that’s anything like I’ve ever seen.’”
When Liz showed the outside to Clay, he liked it, too. She was then able to track down the builder and the architect after seeing the house in a Homearama magazine. “We made some changes but thought the design worked for us,” Liz said.
“It took a good year to build it. Steve Brown, out of Louisville, was our builder,” she explained. The house is a combination of traditional spaces and open floor plan areas. Upon entering, to the right is a formal dining room decorated with several family heirlooms. To the left is an office with Liz’s mother’s desk as the central piece. Her mother, Liz explained, was also an attorney. Liz is a partner with the Louisville law firm of Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway. (Liz practices under her maiden name of Shepherd.)
The state-of-the-art kitchen has a chef-style Thermidor oven and has hot lamps above to keep food warm. “I’m the head chef for the holidays,” Liz said. “So, I’m happy that the kitchen is an open area. Everyone ends up in the kitchen at a gathering anyway.”
Large windows along the back of the house bring natural light to the kitchen, eating area and comfortable family room. Clay has contributed to the decor in some rooms of the house with his own brightly painted artwork of horses. “Since I can’t do a true, realistic painting, I have to resort to a simplistic … style and add lots of color …,” Clay said.
The boys each have bedrooms upstairs. “They chose their own colors and style for their rooms,” Liz commented.
The lower level serves as a wonderful living and entertaining space with a TV and gaming area, Ping Pong table, wet bar and exercise room. “The kids like to hang out downstairs,” Liz said. “I find them and their friends sleeping all over the place.”
Clay and Liz have created a home that incorporates all of the things they love, including family, spectacular views, horses, a couple of goats, a dog named Spike and infinite stars on a clear night — all the while still being close to the city that they know and enjoy.
“Frankfort really is a beautiful place,” Liz said while looking across the river valley from her patio.