Sunday July 12, 2009

You know, I nearly always start the weekly blog post with a weather update.   I gave some thought to starting with something different for today’s entry, but the weather sure seems to set the tone for the day’s tours.  So I begin yet again—with a weather update!  Today was a warm, cloudy and very humid day.  Thankfully, there was a nice breeze.  As one lady said, without today’s breeze, it would have been a little uncomfortable. 

I started the morning with a small, two-person tour.  I was on a mission to meet our newest stallion and so, up toward the back of the barns we hiked.  Our new resident is a stallion named Jade Hunter.  A good racehorse in his own right, Jade Hunter is perhaps best known as the sire of the outstanding mare Azeri.  Before current star Zenyatta, before Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra and Belmont winner Rags to Riches, there was Azeri.  Azeri had a great career, winning over four million dollars and four Eclipse awards, including 2002 Horse of the Year.  Now a broodmare, Azeri still has tons of fans.  I can’t help but think a lot of them will be visiting her daddy!  Jade Hunter is a really beautiful chestnut stallion, a son of Mr. Prospector.  Most importantly, he is already a carrot pro.  He came over to greet every visitor, and helped himself to as many carrots as he could get.  He sure fit right in—no issues here!   Kind of reminded me of how Norty settled in.  But then, these are some smart horses.

After Jade Hunter, we walked far enough back up the hill to visit with Williamstown, Glitterman and Polish Navy.  I have a special little soft spot for Williamstown, and he came right over for a treat.  He actually nickered at us as we walked up, which might have been a first for him.  Ahh, the power of the carrot.

Williamstown has undergone his usual summer transition—yep, the purple and brown tye-dye pattern is back.  He looks so cool!  I think maybe he has the nicest paddock on the farm, with a line of tall trees to block the afternoon sun and enough of a hill to allow him to hide from us if he chooses.  Across the way from him, Glitterman is an adorable little guy, very friendly, and he loves his carrots, too.  I thought for awhile that he wasn’t sure about settling in at Old Friends, but today the transition was clearly complete—he’s become another professional treat hound.

We are fortunate at Old Friends to have a number of friendly, kind-hearted stallions.  You all have heard me talk about The Wicked North, Fortunate Prospect and Clever Allemont, who are all exceptionally nice.   Another of the kind ones that I don’t mention enough is Polish Navy.   This morning, he just put his head in my arms and wanted to be fussed over.  I mean, really, how can you not adore a horse like this?  A very good racehorse (over a million bucks good), great-grandson of War Admiral,  sire of a Kentucky Derby winner (Sea Hero), and all he wants is a hug!

We had some terrific kids visit today.  Some of them were first time visitors, and a couple of them are among our regular friends.  But the two who stuck in my head today?  One young man, who could have played Ron Weasley (for you Harry Potter fans out there!) was so polite and nice, thanking me for his tour before he left.  The other young man told me he was tagging along with his sisters and mom all weekend while the girls did the horse tours.  Josiah made it clear he isn’t a horse fan, but he was so darn good-natured about being stuck with the girls, you just had to be impressed.  Nice kids, everyone of them, and as always my very favorite visitors. 

Another horse who was really great with all the kids today was Ogygian.  He happily let himself be patted and fed–by the kids only, though.  He wasn’t nearly as obliging with some of the adults.  It’s funny how the horses know that the kids are ok.  Dan, Flick, Pops and Ring also all enjoyed their share of the attention today, and all of them would have stood with us all day if the treats kept coming.  Unfortunately, Dan has that chronic runny nose, a side effect of throat surgery from his racing days, and he chose today to sneeze ALL OVER one lady’s nice khaki skirt and tank top.  There were copious amounts of grass-green Dan slime all over her.   Don’t think she was too happy, but she was a sport about it.  I just didn’t warn her in time.

That pretty much wraps up another weekend at the farm.  We hope you can visit us soon.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.



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4 responses to “Sunday July 12, 2009

  1. Tim Ford

    I think it’s cool that Polish Navy is the sire of Sea Hero who won the 1993 Derby over 2 other Old Friends retirees Bull inthe Heather and Wallenda.

  2. Cristina Brown

    Hey Val – My daughter and I were the girls from Pittsburgh for your last tour on Sunday the 13th. Our tour of Old Friends was the highlight of our 3 days in KY. You are a wonderful tour guide and we appreciated your time with us. I am amazed at what an impression those great horses made on us – you have 2 new fans from Pittsburgh, PA!

    • oldfriendsblog

      thanks for the complement but, really, it’s the horses who make the tour. I’m just the person who lugs the bucket around. I am always happy to meet someone from the ‘Burgh–go Steelers!


  3. Jessica

    I am so happy for Jade Hunter! He is the brood mare sire of my new show horse and was a very sucessfull brood mare sire!

    Best of luck to hime at old friends!

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