Monthly Archives: November 2007

Murder at Old Friends?

After Virginia Smith toured Old Friends she was inspired to write a romantic mystery loosely based on what she saw at the farm. “Bluegrass Peril” unfolds at Out to Pasture, a fictional Thoroughbred retirement facility. When founder Neal Haldeman is murdered suspicion falls upon his assistant, divorced single mother of twin boys Becky Dennison. Enter Scott Lewis, handsome assistant manager of a nearby horse farm. Together they solve the mystery and, of course, fall in love. “Bluegrass Peril” is published by Steeple Hill Books, a division of Harlequin, as part of their Love Inspired Suspense series:  “These tales of intrigue and romance feature Christian characters facing challenges to their faith…and their lives!” We’ve ordered some copies for the gift shop. Readers may recognize in certain equine characters similarities to some of our retirees. I’m almost certain Creator must have been the inspiration for the fiery stallion Alidor, although it goes without saying that he’s far more gorgeous than his fictional counterpart, and better behaved, too. My favorite part of the book is Smith’s note to readers in which she says many kind things about Old Friends, taking care to point out that the victim, “bears no resemblance to the vivacious, charismatic and very much alive Michael Blowen.”  – Diane

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Welcome Williamstown

Williamstown arrived at Old Friends Tuesday morning via TLC Horse Transport. He had been at the University of Minnesota, facing an uncertain future, when we received a call from Lisa at Frank Aubrey Insurance in Lexington informing us that he was available for retirement.  Williamstown, by Seattle Slew out of Winter Sparkle, is a multiple graded stakes winner who won $360,884 in 24 lifetime starts. In 1993 he set a new track record for a mile at Belmont Park, 1:32.79. He was trained by Pete Vestal and named Williamstown after the college town in Western Massachusetts by his original owner, Peter Wilmott, a Williams College alumnus.  He’s a big, handsome dark bay with four white socks and a white blaze. He’s very friendly. He seemed to feel  immediately at home at Old Friends, where he is occupying a paddock next to Popcorn Delites and Special Ring. Williamstown is already a favorite with visitors, who have been plying him with lots of carrots. He needs to gain a few pounds. Boston Globe writer/photographer Stan Grossfeld was at the farm when Williamstown arrived, doing a story on Old Friends. We hope to be able to post some photos of our newest resident soon.  Michael

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Mr. Charm Builds his Dream House

  Little Silver Charm now has his own custom-built, size-appropriate run-in shed thanks to the efforts of Boy Scout Troop 40, of Midway.  Project leader Adam Rogers, 14, of Versailles, designed and planned the shed – or the Dream House, as Silver Charm prefers to think of it – as an Eagle Scout project. He was assisted by more than a dozen fellow scouts who spent all day Saturday October27 working at the farm.  The following Saturday Adam returned and put the finishing touches  on the project, closely supervised by Silver Charm. Now he has a refuge from the wind and rain – he hates getting wet – and a place to display his  collection of tasteful pin-ups of famous race mares – Azeri, Winning Colors, etc. – from the pages of the Blood Horse and Thoroughbred Times. A miniature horse can dream, can’t he?  – Diane

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