Moving day! It happened a few days ago. Pollard’s Vision, Patch and Touch Gold all moved into new paddocks. For each of them it was a move to more desirable real estate. As with humans, what’s more desirable depends on individual preferences and circumstances, and that was so with these three guys’ moves.
For Pollard’s Vision, moving out of his quarantine stall with turn-out in a smallish round pen into a big paddock with room to run and the first shoots of grass to graze on, is a wonderful opportunity most of our residents don’t get until their quarantine is over. All new residents undergo a 21 day period where contact is carefully controlled to avoid spreading any possible infection. During this time they also receive medical checks of various kinds and observation from our staff. When many people are coming and going, keeping the horse in designated areas ensures quarantine won’t be accidentally broken. For Pollard, the temporary closing of the farm has a silver lining. He gets to finish his quarantine in the luxury of a full sized paddock with a run-in shelter he can use when he wants, instead of going in and out on people-schedule.
I only got this one photo of him in his new digs because he and his neighbor, You and I, began eyeballing each other over their fences – as stallions do when getting to know each other – and I hustled to shift to video. Soon I hope to edit together some clips of these three enjoying their new paddocks, including the moment between Pollard’s Vision and You and I.
If you’ve been to the farm and wonder which paddock he’s in, it’s the one just north of Ide’s, where Nobiz Like Shobiz used to live. Nobiz is now in the next paddock over, lakefront property … which used to belong to his dad, Albert the Great, who now has a stall and the biggest run connecting to it, between which he can alternate at will.
For awhile, Patch was where Pollard is now. But for a horse as beloved by race fans, and as people-loving, as Patch is, a home at the center of the tour route can’t be beat. Patch has moved into the paddock that has been Touch Gold’s for the last few years. This puts him catty-corner to the spot where Pops and Ring do their schtick for every tour that passes through the farm. When we’re able to resume the tours I have a feeling Patch is going to score lots of carrots and love!
So, where is Touch Gold? He’s been telling us all along that he, winner of the 1997 Belmont Stakes, deserves special honor. He’s also a boss-stallion in temperament, and those horses usually thrive in a paddock on an outer edge of a cluster of paddocks, where they can guard what they see as a (their!) herd. Touch Gold now has that. The paddock he now calls home has a revered history. Its first resident was Hall of Famer, Precisionist. It has been home to the unforgettable Flying Pidgeon, exceptionally-loved Clever Allemont, and as none of us will ever, ever forget, War Emblem. Touch Gold continues this paddock’s proud tradition. He’s settling in and seems to like it there.
While I’m being wistful, remembering horses we’ve had the privilege to know and love, I’ve made a little thing out of four short scraps of video I took of Creator in 2009. They’re all the video I ever took of him and are too short to upload to youtube separately, so I’ve edited them together. The result is all too short, and it’s over-exposed, just a home movie, but here it is.
Creator lived at Old Friends from 2004 until his passing in 2015. He was foaled in England, won G1s and other stakes in France and Great Britain, and did stud duty in Japan. He and Sunshine Forever were the first two horses Old Friends retired from overseas.
Learning the editing software I downloaded a few days ago, I’ve finished another very short one using the out-takes from the farm morning selections in the last blog post. I tried a story of a sort, the wise man on the mountaintop (alias, Little Silver Charm on his hilltop) contemplating the sunrise and the farm that looks to him for wisdom and guidance. If you know Little Silver Charm, you know what I’m talking about; if you don’t, I recommend his page on Facebook. Anyway, here’s the morning world according to Little Silver Charm.
Little Silver Charm thanks Game On Dude and Little Mike for their assistance in making this video, starring Little Silver Charm.