Rojan Farm’s Barbara Bongard passes at 87

Friday, December 29th, 2023

Barbara Bongard, who owned and operated Rojan Farm with her late sister Ellen, passed away in mid-December. NYRA Photo.

Barbara Bongard, a member of one of the New York Thoroughbred industry’s most prominent families and the owner and operator of Rojan Farms with her late sister Ellen, passed away December 16 at the age of 87.

The older of the sisters, Barbara Bongard was born September 23, 1936 in New York City, the daughter of the late Bertram F. and Rojean Bongard. Bertram F. Bongard played a key role in the formation of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund and New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.

Barbara and Ellen Bongard owned and operated Rojan Farm in Pine Plains, a flagship operation and a staple to the New York breeding industry for many years that eventually moved to the Town of Northumberland near Saratoga Springs. Rojan Farm traces its roots to 1960, when the Bongard family bought the farm in Gallatin in Columbia County, about 90 miles south of Saratoga.

The Bongards stood many successful stallions at Rojan, including Santa Anita Derby winner An Act, Northern Dancer’s son Kick, Rare Earth, Back Bay Barrister and many others.

Barbara Bongard earned an undergraduate degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs and a master’s degree at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She later taught physical education at Vassar College and in Bronxville and Scarsdale, along with stints as a field hockey coach. She also enjoyed reading and handicapping.

Barbara co-bred, with Rojan, stakes winner In Te Domine. A daughter of Freud who sold as a weanling for $11,000, In Te Domine won the $100,000 Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Stakes in 2010 at Saratoga Race Course. In Te Domine also finished third in that year’s Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga.

Other recent leading runners bred and/or campaigned by Barbara Bongard in partnership included Fight On Lucy, a daughter of Musket Man who won three races and earned $314,429; and Fancycase, a daughter of Pomeroy who won a maiden race in 2018 at Saratoga and earned $33,556.

Services will be private. Contributions in Barbara Bongard’s name can be made to TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Inc., PO Box 21028 Floral Park, NY 11002, or two New Vocations, 719 Dolan Lane, Lexington, KY 40511.

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