Monday May 4, 2009

Ahh Monday… what a weekend! Yesterday, in a cool and drizzly rain, we had the annual Homecoming event at Old Friends. I actually think in many ways it was among our most successful. Lots of people ignored the weather to come out and support the horses and everyone seemed to have a great time. There was a great deal of laughing, camaraderie, music and fun. Wallace Station (the restaurant, not the horse) provided their usual outstanding food; we had bluegrass music from Bullshippers and a remote broadcast from radio station 92.9 The Bear.

The horses took all this in stride, of course. Wallenda had to move from his usual stall in the big barn to temporary housing in the small barn. Given his tendency to act like a teenager, I expected him to be a little aggravated when I went over to see him. Nope, he was laying down taking his usual afternoon nap. I went in to say hello and rub his face, so he got up to visit for a bit. He then became engrossed with peering through the gaps in the stall wall at Cowboy next door. Not one bit of stress for the big horse. I was watching replays of previous Kentucky Derbies on TV over the weekend and saw the 1993 edition, featuring Bull inthe Heather and Wallenda. Bull was much, much darker—a dappled steel gray, almost unrecognizable. Wallenda, though….anyone who knows him would pick him out immediately. His carriage and demeanor was exactly the same.

Fortunate Prospect had a great weekend himself. On Saturday, his grandson Musket Man finished third in the Kentucky Derby! I can’t even describe how exciting that was. Yesterday, I went over to tell Gramps how terrific he is. He just calmly looked at me as if to say, “Well, of course I am.” The whole Derby thing clearly impressed me more than it did him!  Not much gets Fortunate Prospect going, including the shindig last night. He hung out near the big barn, keeping an eye on the proceedings and making himself available for photo ops, carrots and admiration. He’s one very cool customer.

Clever Allemont paid absolutely no attention to the event.  I guess to him it was just some extra activity that had no bearing on his grazing.  At one point, Swannie and Wallace Station were racing one another like a couple of, well, racehorses. Bull kept a hopeful eye out for treats and Creator kept his eye out for potential victims. Volunteer Viv, from our MySpace page, (http://www.myspace.com/oldfriendsequine) was assigned as victim protection. She spent most of the event sitting in the rain near Creator, keeping the unsuspecting away from his chompers! She either had the most fun or no fun at all, I’m not sure which.

A couple of guys and Michael were playing soccer with Silver Charm. Charmie was having a blast, since there were plenty of people cheering him on. He is such a ham. You know, he really does think he is a big Thoroughbred. Maybe he is, as a visitor pointed out a couple weeks ago “he was just a short-race specialist!”

Before the festivities began, I took a couple of rounds of the farm on the golf cart, once with Kent as he did the afternoon feeding and once with Greg, just for fun. So I did get out to see all the horses. Everyone looks great. Cozy Miss is now wearing a grazing muzzle since she has gotten too chubby!  The muzzle helps limit the amount of grass she can grab in one bite. She’s in good company though, because I believe that AP Indy often sports the same fashion accessory.

Will’s Way ran over for his dinner. He’s so handsome, and I say that after he bit me last week.  Awad looks especially terrific this spring, and Pops has finally gotten rid of nearly all his winter hair.  We have some new horses on the farm as well, but I’ll spend more time talking about them next week.

The highlight of Homecoming for a lot of people is the auction, both live and silent, of horse memorabilia. As you may know, halters worn by well-know racehorses and stallions are very collectible. We had some great ones at the auction yesterday—Rags to Riches, Big Brown, Cigar, Giacomo, and Medaglia d’Oro among others.  We also had some great Moneighs, which are paintings done by some of our horses including Danthebluegrassman, The Wicked North and the late, great Ruhlmann. Of course, we also offer tours during homecoming.

All in all, it was a great weekend despite the weather. I was happy to meet some regular blog readers, as well as see some of our returning regulars. Thanks to everyone who attended the Homecoming event, and we look forward to our next event! If you didn’t make it to Homecoming, we hope you will be able to visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending Sunday with Old Friends!

-Val

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Monday May 4, 2009

  1. Jean

    I thought Musket Man did great. We went to our local track, Colonial Downs, and watched the Derby and I placed a bet on Musket Man. I kept telling my husband that Musket Man’s grandfather lived at Old Friend’s.
    Sounds like a great weekend.
    Wish I could have been there.
    Thanks again Val for taking time to give us horse lovers another update.

  2. Christine

    It is so much fun reading about all the retirees’ quirks and habits – I love it! (A friend once asked me if horses have their own personalities…and I said, “oh, yes they do! “)
    That is very exciting about Homecoming and sounds like an action-packed time. That was indeed very impressive memorabilia at auction and the Moneighs are always a delight…I truly wish I could’ve been there. I hope you will be adding some photos from the weekend to the ones currently posted on Flickr?
    Meanwhile I will eagerly anticipate my Memorial Weekend trip to Old Friends and keep reading!
    Thanks again, Val!

  3. Christine

    P.S. It must be really neat to have Musket Man’s grandpa at the farm and to be able to see replays of some of your favorite gents in one of their finest hours (or 2 minutes)! 🙂

  4. Viv from Ivytree

    Awww….Val, I would rather hang out with Creator in the rain than most other stuff I can think of doing. Must be a redhead thing, LOL. Thanks again for another great blog! Go Musket in the Preakness!

  5. Christine

    Val, will you have any new photos on Flickr from this event? Thanks.

    • oldfriendsblog

      Honestly, Christine, I can’t say I saw anyone walking around with a camera at the Homecoming! How sad is that? But if there are photos, I would imagine that Sylvia will get them up in Flickr.
      On the other hand, we all probably looked like drowned rats with the rain, so maybe not having photos is a good thing!
      Val

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