By Michelle Caceres

For years, thousands of people a day observed the adorable miniature ponies while driving on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Owned by Evelyn Smith, the 26-acre property and the creatures that called it home were an iconic part of the landscape.

But times are changing and the ponies now call another someplace else home.

The property, sold to Ryland Homes approximately one year ago, closed last month. The award-winning homebuilder has already begun the demolition of the home that Smith and her husband lived in for decades. The new community’s roadway and infrastructure will soon be installed.

Realtor, Smiley Papenfus, with Signature Realty Associates listed the property for Smith six years ago, when the housing market had come to a screeching halt.

Papenfus, not to be deterred, marketed the property aggressively, installing large signage close to the roadway, taking aerial shots and listing the property on more than 100 Websites. “I was receiving calls from all over the country and worked with 26 clients before Ryland Homes came in with an offer that was approved,” said Papenfus. “Mrs. Smith was very happy with the offer she received.”

Hillsborough County has approved a community that will include 52 single-family homes (zoned two per acre) in the community named Shetland Ridge. The community will feature no CDD fee, a pond, park area, dog park and schools within walking distance. The entrance of Shetland Ridge will be across the street from Foundation Christian Academy.

Smith, who had been running the farm with the help of her sons for more than 20 years after the death of her husband, sold her beloved ponies and purchased a home in Brandon.

For more information about Shetland Ridge, visit For more information about buying or selling a home, contact Papenfus at 600-3292 or e-mail him at


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MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.