Course Brook Farm History
Course Brook Farm’s original name was Fairfield Farm, which was established in 1927 by our grandfather Donald Rogers Mayo, the year our father John (Jack) M. Mayo was born. It was a 300-acre dairy farm that produced milk through 1956 from as many as seventy cows. The milk was processed, bottled and delivered to residential and commercial customers in Sherborn and bordering towns into the late 1970s.
The severe challenges of the Depression, World War II, our grandfather’s sudden death (in 1956), and a buyout (in 1966) led to necessary land sales shrinking the property to its current size of sixty acres. The home delivery milk business industry saw its peak in the mid 1960s and then declined with the emergence of convenience stores, along with the rise of grocery store chains. The oil embargo in 1973 was the “stake in the heart” of the industry where droves of customers immediately had to save money to pay for increases in gasoline. The result was nearly fatal for the farm. By then our family had built ten stalls in what is now known as the “main aisle” and leased the barn to one tenant, and Course Brook Farm was born. By the end of the decade we went from processing and bottling to just redistributing milk and we doubled the capacity of the barn to twenty stalls. At that time, Nancy Mayo was running the stable.
In the early 80s after the milk business closed, ten more stalls were added. In the 1990s, the indoor arena was built and the initial steps began in moving forward to cater to the needs of the eventing and dressage community, including the first baby steps in creating the cross country course. With Jim Gornall’s guidance, we had our first practice event in a freezing snowstorm in October of 1998 with fourteen horses and riders for novice and beginner novice levels. In 2010, we added training level and hosted our first USEA-recognized Course Brook Farm Horse Trials. In October 2017 we will be adding the preliminary level to our now-annual recognized event.
Our family has owned this property for eighty-three years. In the first forty, the property was reduced by 80 percent. Since 1966, we have worked so hard to preserve and develop the sixty-acre property we’ve all called home for the last forty-six years in our continued commitment to serve the needs of the eventing and dressage community.