Wow, it’s the last Sunday of 2008. This year has just flown by; so much has happened and changed. And yet, as is always the way, life moves on. As you know, we lost three stallions this year: Ballindaggin, Flying Pidgeon and most recently, Ruhlmann. Wonderful, grand horses each, and their loss is felt daily. I can’t walk by Ballindaggin’s paddock without seeing his white face and shiny copper chestnut coat waiting at the gate. It’s the same with Pidge—he is there, standing in the sun next to Dan. Ruhlmann is shimmering right behind Mighty Mecke, another black stallion in the paddock at the top of the driveway. I don’t know it they are ghosts or just my memories, but today I found myself saying hello to each of them in my mind.
It was a terrific, fabulous day to be outside at the farm. The weather was beautiful—mid 40s, sunny with a slight breeze. Great horse weather and a lot of the boys were napping in the sun today. Fortunate Prospect, Creator, Stage Colony and Williamstown all took advantage of the nice day to stretch out for that nap.
Mud was the theme of the day, as we’ve had some significant rain over the past week or so. Dan loped over for a mint when I first saw him this morning. He had just been brushed. Or so I was told, because when I saw him? Very dirty. Pops and Ring were running around, antagonizing Awad. So he had to run around as well, and slid to a stop at the bottom of his paddock to await more carrots. Leave Seattle just gazes over at them like they are all nuts; I have never seem him get worked up over anything. Kiri enjoyed his carrots today, and he rubbed his face all over my jacket. He does that a lot, of course always when he is muddy! Will’s Way was very gentle taking carrots from the lone child on the tour. A couple of his fans were here as well, but he wouldn’t stand still enough for them to pat him.
Ogygian looked great and relatively clean, I might add. I had hoped the geldings would visit, but Affirmed Success, Futural and Siphonizer were at the far end of their field. They completely ignored us. Two of the geldings in the other field were lying in the sun head to tail. From afar, we couldn’t tell who was who, but one lady commented that they looked like Dr. Doolittle’s “Pushme-pullyou.”
I had a fun tour this afternoon. Teresa Genaro, Mary Jean Wall, and Carol Cusano came to visit. Teresa is a member of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance, and Mary Jean recently retired from the Lexington newspaper as its racing writer. Carol is their friend and a racing fan as well. We had a great time feeding the horses, taking pictures and sharing stories and thoughts about racing. Check out Teresa’s blog at www.brooklynbackstretch.blogspot.com. Mary Jean’s website is www.maryjeanwall.com.
Zach was the young man on the tour today. He was very entertaining! He ran around with Marley, carried the bucket for me, and chatted non-stop. Once he decided to feed the horses, he wanted to try everything—like putting the carrot on his head for Sunshine to eat! We had to nix that idea; I was afraid his spiky light brown hair resembled hay a tad too much. But he had fun, especially when Pops, Ring and Awad raced him down the fence line. His grandma said he would sleep well tonight.
Since Sundays are my only day at the farm, that was my last tour for this year. The class of 2008–Danthebluegrassman, The Wicked North, Siphonizer, Mighty Mecke and Stage Colony–has given us great new friends. This year also brought us Cappuccino Kid and most recently, Judge’s Case at the Old Friends annex. The class of ‘09 is starting to take shape as well, since 26-year-old Clever Allemont is scheduled to arrive soon from Kansas. Clever, as you may have read, was recently saved from a trip to the slaughterhouse. And of course, who can forget Lava Man, arriving in March?
Sometimes, I can’t even fathom how I have been so lucky to get to know these horses. One of the best things about Old Friends is that their fans can meet them as well. I hope you will be able to come see us in 2009. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.