August 12, 2015

front mockup cropped small

Little Silver Charm and author Dan Rhema have asked me to announce a very special event. In fact, Little Silver Charm assures me it may well be the literary event of the decade:  a book about Old Friends’ most important personage.

Its title? What else? Little Silver Charm.

Dan Rhema, author of Bluegrass Breeze, screenwriter, and longtime Old Friends supporter, spins a fun fantasy of fictional adventure, mishap and mayhem on an imaginary farm that just happens to be called Old Friends Farm, happens to be run by a couple named Michael and Diane, and—purely coincidentally—provides a home to retired race horses.

Dan Rhema & his inspiration for the Starring Character.

Dan Rhema & his inspiration for the Starring Character.

In real life, Little Silver Charm was bought for $40 off of a slaughter truck at Rockingham Park. He’s the only one who knows who he was before that, or where he came from. But the fiction story reverses that. In this story, as Little Silver Charm is chased by dog catcher Earl Lumpkin and his goofy hound, Cletus, the miniature horse bumps his head. Michael harbors him at Old Friends Farm, but the mini wakes with amnesia. Who is he? Where does he belong? In his quest to find out, he is befriended by two barn rats, an owl, a skunk, and of course, the Thoroughbred residents of Old Friends Farm. Earl and Cletus are still determined to get him, and the adventures are fast paced, funny, and full of heart.

Cover and illustrations by Stacey Landfield

Cover art and illustrations by Stacey Landfield

Little Silver Charm is a wonderful kids’ book, but it’s going to be on my Christmas list for some of my favorite grownups this year. Look for this first book from Old Friends Press this October in our gift shops, at online book sellers, and in shops in the Lexington area. 50% of the book’s profits will be donated to Old Friends.

And soon, look for Little Silver Charm on its own web site. Watch Old Friends’ social media and web site for developing news. There’s a rumor about that The Man (The Mini, that is) may even review this book himself.

Beth

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August 2, 2015

This summer has been our busiest and most exciting ever. It’s way past time to catch up on the blog, and how better than with a few impressions of our wonderful new resident, Genuine Reward.

Genuine Reward, Aug. 1, 2015, photo by Laura

Genuine Reward, Aug. 1, 2015, photo by Laura

It’s true. He does look very much like his 1980 Kentucky Derby-winning mom, Genuine Risk. He arrived in excellent condition. This, and his trust of people, make it clear he has been well cared for. He’s proving to be a bright, inquisitive and kindly stallion. We’re already very much in love with him.

But don’t take my word for it. See him for yourself in this local news spot, filmed and aired yesterday on Lexington’s Channel 27, with our barn manager Tim Wilson and Mixed Pleasure’s very own John Bradley.

Video: Genuine Reward, Aug 1, Channel 27

For now, Genuine Reward is still in quarantine. We hope you’ll come visit him beginning Aug. 15!

Beth

Photo by Laura

Photo by Laura

Isn't he beautiful? Photo by Rick Capone

Isn’t he beautiful? Photo by Rick Capone

Photo by Rick

Photo by Rick

 

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May 31, 2015

After Memorial day we needed some cheer, and in the way of the ebbs and flows of life, Tuesday brought smiles, thanks to Bob Baffert and Dana Barnes, who invited the Old Friends crew to Churchill Downs to watch American Pharoah work.

The adventure began bright and early when we met at the farm, piled into a few cars and headed for Louisville. Our car, carrying a passenger whose deep knowledge and love for Pharoah’s family goes back to Dr. Fager, favored speed (you know who you are), but the Blowen & White car made a late stretch run. Or else they took a short cut. Anyway, the timing was perfect. The Baffert team was hard at work, but American Pharoah had not yet made his appearance.

All photos by Laura Battles.

All photos by Laura Battles.

When he did, those who’d gathered to watch fell silent. It was a silence of attentive observation. Of speculation. Of respect. The Pharoah stepped out of his shed row with all the curious interest of the youngster he is, but with absolute confidence. He was relaxed, and he was focused.

AP-LB 02

For this work, his rider was jockey Martin Garcia. As they waited to walk the short distance to the track, with American Pharoah standing still, I was struck by how adolescent this colt’s physique still is.

AP-LB 03

But judging from what we saw, his mind is impressively mature. His demeanor, before, during and after the work, was spirited yet self-possessed, businesslike yet my impression was of a horse not only willing but kind. And in motion, American Pharoah is pure grace, as he showed us soon as he set off down the track.

AP-LB 05

AP-LB 10

What can I say? Any description would sound like what you’ve already read about this colt’s athleticism, his sweeping strides and the incredibly smooth way he moved, as fluid as liquid being poured. The most telling thing is that we gawkers in the bleachers, even the people with exercise rider helmets, thought he wasn’t going all that fast—until someone announced his time. Then, a collective murmur went up.

AP-LB 06

He followed with a good gallop out, and as they came past, the colt was doing his best to respond to Martin Garcia’s soothing, “Whoa, whoa,” in time with his strides and breathing, though you could tell it was hard to do when he felt he hadn’t really run yet. Of course, he hadn’t. It was all about maintenance, keeping him fit and well, relaxed, happy, but yearning to let out all the stops.

I came away with the impression that whoever wins the Belmont next Saturday, American Pharoah would make a fully worthy Triple Crown winner. I don’t always feel that with every Derby & Preakness winner, but I do this time.

Well, these are just my impressions. If you want the stats, see the Bloodhorse’s coverage of this work. At the bottom of the article, you’ll find a few minutes of the interview Mr. Baffert gave afterward while most of us were watching American Pharaoh get his bath (you may catch glimpses of a couple of familiar faces in the background…). Best of all, though, are Laura’s wonderful impressions of this memorable day.

Bath time.

Bath time.

AP-LB 09

A little bit of play.

A little bit of play.

It was good to spend happy time together, to look to the future with hopeful anticipation, and to enjoy a few moments in the life of a youngster at the top of the game we so much admire our retirees for playing in their day. Many, many thanks from the Old Friends folks to Mr. Baffert and his team for allowing us to see, up close on the backside, an extraordinary young horse doing what our retirees used to do, and doing it superbly.

Beth

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May 27, 2015

This year’s Memorial Day ceremony was a particularly wrenching one, as we lost some of the horses who bound us the most closely to Old Friends’ history, our “foundation stallions” Creator (1986-2015), Ogygian (1983-2015), and our long-time residents Kiri’s Clown (1989-2014) and Williamstown (1990-2015). And the much-loved Clever Allemont (1982-2014), Prized (1986-2014), Ava Lotta Hope (1987-2014), and those who died all too young, A. P. Slew (1999-2014), Bluesthestandard (1997-2014), Max a Million (2000-2014), and Escapedfromnewyork (2005-2015).

Though the forecast threatened rain, the grey clouds passed over without letting loose on the good-sized gathering who came to bid our much-missed friends goodbye.

Memorial Day 2015. Photo by Diane White.

Memorial Day 2015. Photo by Diane White.

Bill Mooney, Old Friends’ official eulogist, delivered his knowledgeable and caring tribute to all of the horses who passed in the last year, collectively and one by one.

Bill Mooney gives his tribute. Photo by Barbara Fossum.

Bill Mooney gives his tribute. Photo by Barbara Fossum.

Then, following what has by now become an Old Friends tradition, each horse’s life was honored in words by those who had helped care for them, or knew them well, or remembered them with special admiration. Volunteer John Bradley, a particular friend of Ava Lotta Hope in her last months, paid a tribute to Assistant Barn Manager Carole Oates’ loving care of Hope by presenting her with a halter he’d ordered that the mare never had the chance to wear. When Michael had spoken about the speedy and dignified Williamstown and asked if anyone had any words they wanted to add,  none other than Peter Wilmott, Williamstown’s racing owner, stood from where he’d been sitting quietly in the gathering, and reminisced about the brilliant son of Seattle Slew.

Peter Wilmott shares remembrances about Williamstown. Photo by Barbara.

Peter Wilmott shares remembrances about Williamstown. Photo by Barbara.

Volunteer Bea Snyder read a celebration of Creator’s greatness written by his pal Vivien Morrison, who was unable to attend due to a broken leg (and who was missed!). Several people had memories to share of Ogygian’s magnificence.

I won’t say it was an easy day. But being among friends who understood the losses and feeling their support made it endurable. My only regret was that facilitating a request to see a living horse from a past connection of his prevented me from telling Mr. Wilmott what a good friend Williamstown was to me in so many ways over the years, and how much I miss him. Though he was a self-sufficient horse and a tough one, he had his kind side and knew how to make and keep a bond.

Williamstowns marker DW

Marker photos by Diane.

Blues marker DW Clevers marker DW Creators marker DW Ogygians marker DW

For me, the pain of losing Ogygian, and A. P. Slew who I’d always thought would be there to help me through losing Ogygian, is still too deep to express. My gratitude to Michael for his worthy tribute to Ogygian when I couldn’t have gotten through giving him one he deserved, and Old Friends’ warm thanks go out to each and every one of you who have sent us comfort in so many ways for these losses. When sometimes we feel they are too deep to go on, it’s your caring that picks us up and puts us back on our feet–your kindness, and the kindness of the horses who grazed around us as we remembered those who’d passed, the living horses enjoying their retirement, all of them continually, every day, inspiring.

Beth

Kiri's Clown. Photo by Beth.

Kiri’s Clown. Photo by Beth.

1 Creator LB

Creator. Photo by Laura Battles.

1 Prized 2 LB

Prized. Photo by Laura.

1 APS 2 LB

A. P. Slew. Photo by Laura.

1 Ava Lotta Hope LB

Ava Lotta Hope. Photo by Laura.

Williamstown. Photo by Laura.

Williamstown. Photo by Laura.

1 Blue BTS

Bluesthestandard. Photo by Beth.

Ogygian. Photo by Laura.

Ogygian. Photo by Laura.

1 Clever Allemont - Laura B

Clever Allemont. Photo by Laura.

Max a Million. Photo by Laura.

Max a Million. Photo by Laura.

1 Escapedfromnewyork 2 LB

Escapedfromnewyork. Photo by Laura.

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May 21, 2015

Old Friends in Kentucky has had the biggest, busiest Keeneland and Derby seasons ever. We send a huge thank you to all who visited us this spring and we hope you’ll return soon. As a tour guide, I’ve never felt more proud of the residents I’m lucky to introduce to people. What a thrill it is to bring people to meet a Kentucky Derby winner. And not just any Kentucky Derby winner, the remarkable Silver Charm himself. But it’s not just superstars like Silver Charm, Game On Dude, Gulch and Commentator I’m so proud of.

Commentator moseys over to say hi. Photo by Laura Battles.

Commentator moseys over to say hi. Photo by Laura Battles.

It’s a joy to show off Sea Native, Silver Ray, Count the Gold, W. C. Jones, Stormy Passage and all the residents, and the grounds, and the barn, and…

Here they come!

Here they come! Lusty Latin, Stormy Passage, Ukiah, Diamond Stripes, Ferocious Won. Photo by Laura.

Greys on parade. Lusty Latin, Ukiah, Diamond Stripes. Photo by Laura.

Greys on parade. Lusty Latin, Ukiah, Diamond Stripes. Photo by Laura.

Everybody’s contented. Old Friends has never been able to give a secure home and great care to as many horses. We couldn’t do it without you. And it couldn’t happen without the utter dedication of hard-working, knowledgeable farm manager Tim Wilson and his team. They’re all great, but I want to make special mention of assistant manager Carole Oates who does so much of the hands-on care, day in and day out, and knows each and every horse so well that she spots the slightest signs of any change in their demeanor. Carole’s horse intuition is as deep as her knowledge of horse care.

Carole and Lion Hunter. Photo by Rick Capone.

Carole and Lion Hunter. Photo by Rick Capone.

We’re now in one of my favorite times of the year, the lull between Derby season and vacation season, as summer comes on, and the horses feast on the richest grass of the year and relax in the warm sun. The stallions hang out in pairs and threes at their fences in neighboring paddocks. The mares and geldings enjoy mellow times with their paddock mates. Canadian Turf Champion 2013 Forte Dei Marmi has passed the quarantine period all new residents go through and is making good friends with Starspangled Heat.

Forte Dei Marmi and Starspangled Heat. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Forte Dei Marmi and Starspangled Heat. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Starspangled Heat and Forte Dei Marmi. Photo by Tim.

Starspangled Heat and Forte Dei Marmi. Photo by Tim.

Game On Dude and Yankee Fourtune continue to be the best of buddies.

Yankee Fourtune and Game On Dude. Photo by Laura.

Yankee Fourtune and Game On Dude. Photo by Laura.

And there’s another friendship on the farm that it’s great fun to watch grow and deepen.

Silver Charm and Michael. Photo by Laura.

Silver Charm and Michael. Photo by Laura.

I love the long evenings after hours, when all is peaceful, and Ring stops flashing his tattoo for the day, and Rapid Redux grazes quietly beside Amazombie, and Rail Trip no longer feels he has to keep an eye out to make sure Catlaunch doesn’t get carrots he doesn’t get.

Fabulous Strike - I'll take another carrot, anyway. Photo by Laura.

Fabulous Strike – I’ll take another carrot, anyway. Photo by Laura.

Most of all, I love watching the horses interact with each other in their paddocks and across their fences. Like the inseparable Ukiah and Easy Grades.

Ukiah and Easy Grades. Photo by Laura.

Ukiah and Easy Grades. Photo by Laura.

And newer friends Shadowcaster and Maybesomaybenot (Maybe and Bobby Sands are still best buds, but everybody loves Maybe).

Shadowcaster and Maybesomaybenot enjoy an impromptu race on Preakness evening (See? Se're faster!). Photo by Laura.

Shadowcaster and Maybesomaybenot enjoy an impromptu race on Preakness evening (See? We’re faster!). Photo by Laura.

Two longtime friends of mine are developing a new friendship of their own, Affirmed Success and Kudos.

Affirmed Success, Kudos in the background (but don't believe that for a moment - these guys are well matched). Photo by Laura.

Affirmed Success, Kudos in the background (but only for a moment – these guys are well matched). Photo by Laura.

And a friendship of long standing is still going strong, Canadian stars, Begg family homebreds, Victor Cooley and El Brujo.

El Brujo rests his head on his friend Victor Cooley. Photo by Laura.

El Brujo rests his chin on his friend Victor Cooley. Photo by Laura.

Victor rests his head on his friend Brujo. Photo by Laura.

Victor rests his head on his friend Brujo. Photo by Laura.

Last, but never, ever least, when Mixed Pleasure (via his human, John) invited some of us to celebrate his 30th birthday yesterday, Little Silver Charm came over too. He didn’t sing “Happy Birthday” with the rest of us, but he gave Mixie the best gift of all, a special birthday kiss.

Mixed Pleasure gets a 30th birthday kiss!

Mixed Pleasure gets a 30th birthday kiss! Photo by Barbara Fossum.

Beth

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May 10, 2015

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

Last Sunday was Old Friends’ annual Homecoming, and what a party we had! Thanks to much hard work by staff and volunteers, preparations came together, the Sunday after the Derby arrived, and the fun began.

Highlights included reunions with supporters, longtime and new, enjoyed along with tasty Furlongs’ barbeque, plentiful beverages of all kinds, and delicious dessert thanks to the Spotz Gelato truck! Not to mention the great bluegrass music played by Shades of Grass!

Spotz Gelato truck - yummy! Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

Spotz Gelato truck – yummy! Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

This Homecoming, Old Friends had plenty new to share and celebrate, most notably the new hosts of honor, Silver Charm, Game On Dude—and Dude’s best buddy, Yankee Fourtune, a multiple graded stakes winner in his own right and a real character. Little Silver Charm held court, of course, making sure he got a BIG share of attention and petting. Movie star Popcorn Deelites and identity-proud Special Ring (I’d be too if I were a G1 winner) partied with admirers in fine form. Wallenda met and greeted in the small paddock.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Wallenda. Photo by Laura Battles.

Wallenda. Photo by Laura Battles.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Tour guides introduced newcomers Starspangled Heat and 2013 Canadian Turf Champion, British-foaled Forte Dei Marmi, as well as Porfido, a Chilean stakes winner who earned in graded stakes in the US before falling on tougher times as an aging claimer. Also on hand to greet their friends were our many longtime residents.

Golf carts made many trips up the hill to facilitate visits to Tinner, Kudos, Commentator, Affirmed Success and the mares and geldings who live in the back 40 acres of the farm, and to show off an area that was only planned as of last Homecoming, the big pasture that our Barn Manager Tim had dubbed “Area 51,” where nine geldings now enjoy each others’ society, as well as with a smaller pasture of four (Riva Way was glad to see many longtime friends) and Eldaafer’s roomy paddock with special fencing for his pet goats, Google and Yahoo. I saw Cherono and W. C. Jones cadge a few carrots. A few, and a few more. Mikethespike too.

Riva Way, Massone and friends. Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Riva Way, Massone and friends. Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

As evening drew on, people headed back for the big tent, where auctioneers Tom Sayre and Curtis Sharff once again turned their inimitable skills and wit to a lively auction that once again provided substantial support for OF’s retirees. The halter I most wish I could have afforded? Will Take Charge’s! …Or maybe Holy Bull’s! Gio Ponte’s! Eskendereya’s! Skip Away’s! Hard Spun’s! And… You get the idea. If you love horse racing, this year’s halters alone were amazing, thanks to the generosity of these horse’s farms or connections. And they were only some of the wonderful loot won by many lucky, and very kind, folks.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Auction goodies. Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Starspangled Heat celebrated the successful occasion by pirouetting a few complete turns on his toes.

Starspangled Heat celebrates. Photo by Laura Battles.

Starspangled Heat celebrates. Photos by Laura Battles.

Finally, twilight deepened. People lingered over their last conversations of the evening, petted a few noses goodbye, and slowly drifted back to their cars with smiles on their faces. Staff and volunteers did the clean-up dance. Horses grazed and dozed in the quiet.

Dude incandescent in the sunset. Photo by Laura Battles.

Dude incandescent in the sunset. Photo by Laura Battles.

Another Homecoming was over, and so soon. If you were able to celebrate with us, thank you for making it such a success.

Twilight on Homecoming evening. Photo by Laura Battles.

Twilight on Homecoming evening. Photo by Laura Battles.

If not, this year you won’t have to wait for another Derby weekend to mix the best of horse racing with partying on behalf of Old Friends. This fall, Keeneland hosts the Breeders’ Cup. Celebrate Breeders’ Cup with OF? Oh yeah! For developing information about our Kentucky festivities, keep your eye on oldfriendsequine.org. For New York fun, oldfriendsatcabincreek.com.

30 year old Mixed Pleasure, great-grandson of Seabiscuit. Photo by Laura Battles.

30 year old Mixed Pleasure, great-great-grandson of Seabiscuit. Photo by Laura Battles.

Meanwhile, visit with us this summer at both farms. Kentucky: 3 tours a day at 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00 (for reservations call 502-863-1775). New York: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm (call 518-698-2377 for schedule and events during the Saratoga meet).

Beth

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April 28, 2015

Hall-of-Famers Bob Baffert and Silver Charm share a playful moment.

Hall-of-Famers Silver Charm and his trainer, Bob Baffert, share a playful moment. Photo by Tim W.

…Speaking of wonderful moments shared between our residents and their connections, here’s one that happened today. I wish I could describe the reminiscing shared by 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm and his trainer Bob Baffert when Bob, Jill and Bode Baffert took time out from their busy pre-Derby schedules to visit Old Friends.

A Silver Charm brings good racing luck, they say...

Are the two veteran Derby winners exchanging perspectives on how Saturday’s race will play out? Photo by Tim W.

Or the welcome Game On Dude gave them, especially Jill–smart horses like the Dude know who loves them the very best of all.

The best of friends. Jill Baffert, Bode Baffert and Game On Dude enjoy each other's company. Photo by Tim W.

The best of friends. Jill Baffert, Bode Baffert, Bob Baffert and Game On Dude enjoy each other’s company. Photo by Tim W.

I wish I could describe the memorable time they all had being together again. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be there, but I do want to take this opportunity to give heartfelt thanks to all the owners, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, and their families who visit and support their former equine colleagues in so many generous and caring ways. And just as warm a thank you to the farm staff who’ve worked with them in their younger days, in the breeding shed, foaling barn, training areas or offices. and who now make a little time when they can to share a moment relaxing and remembering with them, now that their work is done.

Or, to introduce new friends...  Photo by Tim W.

Or, to introduce new friends… Photo by Tim W.

And thanks to Tim Wilson for sharing these great photos!

Beth

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April 26, 2015

Spring in Kentucky! Vivid green, redbuds and dogwoods in bloom, warm sun alternating with chilly weather. Sweet, tender green grass for the horses. Lots and lots of rain. And mud!

Sarbonne rolls in the mud. Photo by Laura.

Sarbonne rolls in the mud. Photo by Laura.

Horses never outgrow…

31 year old Do One Dance, a.k.a. Francis, after enjoying his mud roll. Photo by Laura.

31 year old Do One Dance, a.k.a. Francis, after enjoying his mud roll. Photo by Laura.

…their love for playing in the spring sunshine…

(L to R) Sarbonne, Fabulous Strike, Marshall Rooster, Commentator. Photo by Laura.

(L to R) Sarbonne, Fabulous Strike, Marshall Rooster, Commentator. Photo by Laura.

and rolling, splashing, wallowing in mud, mud, mud!

Rail Trip and Catlaunch. Photo by Laura.

Rail Trip and Catlaunch. Photo by Laura.

Hidden Lake. "Muddy? Me?" Photo by Laura.

Hidden Lake. “Muddy? Me?” Photo by Laura.

El Brujo and Victor Cooley. "Not us." Photo by Laura.

El Brujo and Victor Cooley. “Not us.” Photo by Laura.

Eldaafer, Google & Yahoo. "Nor we!" Photo by Laura.

Eldaafer, Google & Yahoo. “Nor we!” Photo by Laura.

Hussonfirst, be-muddied and proud of it!  Photo by Laura.

Hussonfirst, be-muddied and proud of it! Photo by Laura.

And then, there are the joys of springtime naps.

Game On Dude and Yankee Fourtune luxuriate in a spring afternoon snooze. Photo by Laura.

Game On Dude and Yankee Fourtune luxuriate in an April afternoon snooze. Photo by Laura.

From the spattered to the sublime – Michael paid a visit to wish luck to Brereton C. Jones’ Ashland Stakes (G1) winner and top rated Kentucky Oaks hopeful, Lovely Maria (she put in a fabulous 5 furlong work this morning). That’s her trainer Larry Jones with them, in case you didn’t recognize the famous cowboy hat.

Oaks contender Lovely Maria with trainer Larry Jones, admired by Michael at Keeneland. Photo by Mark Otto.

Oaks contender Lovely Maria with trainer Larry Jones, admired by Michael at Keeneland. Photo by Mark Otto.

Whoever your Derby and Oaks picks, here’s wishing them all the very best of luck and safest of trips this coming weekend!

Beth

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April 24, 2015

The Keeneland meet, into Kentucky Derby time! At Old Friends, it’s the season for reunions. When our residents’ old racing connections come to town, happy moments are shared when equine retirees are visited by their former jockeys, trainers, owners, grooms and others who played roles in their race careers and lives as working athletes.

So far this spring, several of the horses have had visits from people they once worked with, and for, people with whom they shared experiences, with whom they renew bonds. This is an important time and we look forward to more reunions as people arrive in Kentucky for Derby season. Among those so far, I want to mention two very special days when Hall of Fame jockeys were reunited with former mounts they love. Gary Stevens visited Hall of Fame horse, 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm for the first time in many years, and Angel Cordero, Jr., was reunited with Eclipse Award Sprint Champion, Gulch.

Both of these jockeys have associations with Gulch, by the way, Mr. Stevens having won the 1995 Kentucky Derby on Gulch’s son, Thunder Gulch. Gary Stevens has won three Derbys (so far), by the way, including 1988 on the spectacular filly, Winning Colors. Mr. Cordero, “King of Saratoga,” has three Kentucky Derby victories to his credit, 1974 on Cannonade, 1976 on Bold Forbes, and 1985, Spend a Buck.

Mr. Cordero’s love for Gulch seemed to glow from him. I have no photos of that moment, but some new–and we hope continuing–friendships were also made that day…

Angel Cordero and Little Silver Charm. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Angel Cordero and Little Silver Charm. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Photo by Tim Wilson.

Photo by Tim Wilson.

Mr. Stevens’ time with Silver Charm was captured in these photos that say so very much that there’s little I could add.

Gary Stevens and Silver Charm. Equisport Photos.

Gary Stevens and Silver Charm. Equisport Photos.

Courtesy of Equisport Photos.

Courtesy of Equisport Photos.

Many thanks to all of those who played a part in the horses’ past and have–or will–come to the farms in Kentucky or New York to renew those bonds!

Beth

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March 31, 2015

Spring is here at last and some of Old Friends’ residents are enjoying a change of paddocks. Afternoon Deelites has moved across the drive to the paddock in front of the house–in the “front yard” paddock he’ll keep enjoying the busy social life he loves. No tour will escape him!

Eldaafer, Google and Yahoo now have a big paddock with goat-proof fences. Now they can play in plenty of space, the goats will be securely in that space, and they have a whole herd of neighbors to race. Here are the Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner and his goats as they challenged neighbors Mikethespike, Cherono, Johannesbourbon, Ball Four, Lion Hunter, Bonapaw, Boule d’Or, Northern Stone and W. C. Jones to some laps up and down the fence.

Eldaafer, Google and Yahoo race their new neighbors. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Eldaafer, Google and Yahoo race their new neighbors. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Silver Charm now has a permanent paddock. His new neighbors are “Seabiscuit” star Popcorn Deelites and Special Ring on one side, Danthebluegrassman, Flick and Unaccountable on the other. I’m not sure the Derby and Preakness winner is all that impressed with Pops’ and Rings’ encore number, the “Movie Star vs. Tattoo” show. That doesn’t matter. Pops and Ring are as impressed as ever with themselves.

And Game On Dude is having a fantastic time with his new paddock mate Yankee Fortune. These guys are two of the sweetest natured horses OF has ever been lucky enough to have. They’re already great buddies. They’re rarely more than a foot or two apart. They mirror each other. They play, they love petting and kisses on the nose. They gave the race track their all, both achieved feats to be proud of, and now they’re showing the same enthusiasm for their well-earned retirement.

Game On Dude, Yankee Fortune, Little Silver Charm, and Michael. Photo by Tim.

Game On Dude, Yankee Fortune, Little Silver Charm, and Michael. Photo by Tim.

I guess you could say they’re enjoying life’s smaller pleasures…

Beth

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