Rusty and Diane Leaver
began their journey together on America’s oldest cattle
ranch, Deep Hollow Ranch est. in 1658, in Montauk, NY. They
owned and operated the ranch for over 40 years. Rusty
purchased the ranch in 1971 at age 19; in 1974 he married
Diane Dickinson, a fifth generation rancher of Montauk.
efforts preserved much of the land and all of the livestock
traditions of Deep Hollow; they produced some of Long
Island’s most successful entertainment offerings: large,
corporate events featuring the likes of Jay Leno, epic wild
west shows, rodeos, BBQ dinner theater productions, and
horse drawn living history tours, while always offering some
of the best public horseback riding in the country.
Rusty is the founder and producer of The Back at the Ranch
concert series. For over ten years, the charitable event
distributed $2.5 million and featured the legends of the
music industry: Paul Simon, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Jimmy
Buffett, the Highwaymen and Lyle Lovett, to name just a few.
Rusty also works in the television industry as an animal
production director, specializing in large-scale cattle
drives and wild horse scenes, both at the ranch and often in
the heart of New York City.
In 2008, the Leavers
founded Hamptons Collegiate Baseball, focusing on providing
free, family entertainment to the local communities,
improving local baseball fields, while ushering young,
talented players into professional baseball. To date, the
league has grown to seven teams, entertained thousands,
donated hundreds of thousands to improve area baseball
fields, and has 20 of its players in major league baseball.
In 2010, the Leavers purchased land that was part of
the original Rock Creek Ranch; a year later, they added
additional acreage. They then built a full service cutting
horse training operation and cattle ranch on the picturesque
and highly productive 260 acres. The Leavers are long time
members of the cutting horse community. The Rock Creek
program is based on breeding their quality mares to the
industry’s top stallions, while purchasing select yearlings.
This small, select group of horses receives all the
necessary attention and training to become two year old
prospects or three year old finished futurity candidates.
Rusty and Diane are the parents of Gardner, the
manager of Rock Creek and Retta, who currently resides in
817. 550. 7037
Gardner Leaver grew up ranching. Raised on his family’s
ranch, Deep Hollow Ranch, in Montauk, NY, he was immersed
in, and became proficient at, all aspects of livestock care
and management. He helped coordinate many of the ranch’s
From Little League forward,
Gardner developed into a skilled baseball player. After
graduating from East Hampton High School he received a
baseball scholarship from the University of Rhode Island,
one of the top New England Division I programs. He was All
Conference in his junior year and was on the MLB’s watch
list as a closing right-handed pitcher. He graduated on the
Dean’s List with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business
On May 4, 2013, Gardner married his
college sweetheart, Amy Mellard, from Overland Park, KS. He
met Amy at the University of Rhode Island where she was a
scholarship volleyball player. Amy and Gardner live on the
ranch in Weatherford.