Dust-Free Bedding One of Many Hillcroft Farm Successes

James and Misdee Wrigley Miller are world renowned for their equestrian accomplishments. However, their legacy is likely to extend well beyond that.

“My mom told me we should always take good care of the land because God was not making any more of it,” Misdee told the US Equestrian Network in an interview. With the 2000 purchase of Bourbon County land that started the now 1,400-acre Hillcroft Farm, Misdee recognized the chance to “do as my mother had asked.”

Midsee’s husband James Miller shares her passion for responsible stewardship and their farm is now a model for management practices that support healthy horses and healthy land.

Airlite dust-free bedding is a big part of Hillcroft’s sustainability plan.

James originally produced the innovative product under his company, A Greener Horse. Made of dust-extracted, pre-consumer cardboard, the bedding is highly absorbent – up to 5X more absorbent than traditional wood shavings.

Desirably Dust-Free

Misdee Wrigley Miller and Smart Fortune. PC: Howard Schatzberg

The virtually dust-free bedding substantially reduces breathable irritants in the barn, protecting the respiratory health and improving the comfort of Hillcroft’s horses and their people.

In 2020, A Greener Horse merged with Airlite Animal Bedding to make the product available to horse and animal owners throughout North America.  Airlite is now part of Green Horse Brands, based near Hillcroft in Millersburg, KY.

From a sustainability standpoint, Airlite’s super absorbency translates to smaller quantities needed and less waste. Equally important, Airlite makes for great composting material. Most of Hillcroft’s waste is composted and Airlite is used throughout the property to break down material and fertilize the soil.

Much of Hillcroft’s land is actively farmed. The Millers’ American Saddlebreds, combined driving, pleasure driving and harness horses, polo ponies and Thoroughbreds enjoy home-grown alfalfa mixes, which are also sold to others. Soybeans and corn are grown on the farm, too.

The Millers intend that Hillcroft Farm will promote the benefits of sustainable land management far in the future.

Those Equestrian Accomplishments

Misdee Miller’s roots in the American equestrian world run deep. She grew up riding Arabians on the California ranch owned by her grandparents, Philip and Helen Atwater Wrigley. Located on Catalina Island, the ranch continues today as a popular tourist attraction.

PC: Harold Schatzberg

The Wrigleys were instrumental in developing the Arabian breed. Misdee’s mother, Dorothy Wrigley, continued that legacy with Arabians and branched into American Saddlebreds, too.

Misdee helped her mother establish the National Show Horse Breeding Program and fell in love with American Saddlebreds along the way. “It is the horse that gives me the thrill of my life day after day after day,” she shared in the USEF Network interview.

Some of those thrills come from the show world, where Misdee and Hillcroft have enjoyed unprecedented successes.

In 2018, for example, Hillcroft became the first farm since 1932 to win all four World Grand Championships – Fine Harness (won by CH Castledream), Three-Gaited (won by CH Grande Gil), Five-Gaited (won by CH The Daily Lottery), and Roadster to Bike, (won by Live Action).

Misdee and James both excel in combined driving. Misdee helped Team USA earn gold at the 2018 World Equestrian Games – the first woman to win a gold medal in the sport. James began combined driving in 2016 and has represented the United States successfully in international pairs competition.

Hillcroft began hosting the Kentucky Classic Combined Driving Event in 2019. It will be a short format event this year, held on June 15-16.

Growing The Community

Their involvement goes beyond their own success. Hillcroft is a USEF Elite Training Center for Carriage Driving and the Millers do many things to inspire and support the sport’s development pipeline.

The Millers have similar stature in the pleasure driving world. The Farm is home to an internationally-renowned collection of historic carriages and Misdee is president of the World Coaching Club.

James and Misdee met through polo and Hillcroft Polo is a key part of the sport’s Kentucky community.

The couple’s success in the horse world parallels their success in the wider world. Misdee is owner of Wrigley Media Group, which includes the largest production facility in Kentucky – Lex Studios. James maintains several business enterprises.

In sharing their passion and dedication to horses and sustainable land management, the couple leads by excellent example on multiple fronts.

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