Sunday October 2, 2011

I cannot believe summer has morphed into October.  It’s no longer possible for me to pretend it’s not fall, although I gave it a good try.  When the horses get fuzzier by the day and you wake up to the first frost of the season, it’s hard to delude yourself any longer!  But the grass is still green, and after that cool start, today was a bright, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-60s.

Cooler mornings make for more active horses, except when they aren’t.  So while any number of horses trotted and cantered today, just as many took long naps in the sunshine.  Pops and Ring, I’m Charismatic, Afternoon Deelites, Gulch and Falcon Scott ran around.  Fortunate Prospect, WC Jones, Kiri’s Clown, Marquetry and Creator found comfortable, sunny spots and curled up for a snooze. Bull raced the lawn mower (I know, not that fast!) and Silver Charm went in the house to watch Goldikova’s race on TVG this morning.  Charmie loves watching the ladies run!

I’ve had some people asking, and yes, I’m Charismatic is most definitely outside in the morning, and available for visits.  Today he must have felt particularly good as he trotted and cantered back and forth for a good while, until our morning group came along. Then, as always, carrots rule and he enjoyed every bit of the attention. In fact, I think he is making up for lost time with the treats.  I can’t really blame him, since he was inside for so very long with that bad ankle.  The same is true for Stormy Passage—he is outside in the round pen in the morning, and morning tours have had the pleasure of seeing him enjoy the sunshine as well.

My first tour this afternoon featured folks who weren’t really horse racing people, but who were looking to entertain out-of-town visitors.  They picked a great day to visit the farm. The best part, I think, was how many pictures they took—I bet they have a picture of both couples with every single horse we met.  I actually suspect the horses were pretty amused by all the camera action.  There sure was a lot of posing. Ring must have shown his tattoo 30 times.

My last tour this afternoon was great fun as well, because it was the kid’s tour of the day.  One of the boys was really into the farm, spending 20 minutes talking horses with Roberta even before the tour began.  He was my carrot bucket carrier. The other boy on the tour (the one with the bright green sneakers!) was a great young horseman as well.  The four kids on the tour climbed on fences to scratch backs, fed carrots, gave kisses and generally enjoyed the horses as much as any visitor I’ve had, ever.  And the horses loved all the kids—even Leave Seattle stood for pats on his face.  Prized nuzzled, Swannie drooled, and Sunshine ignored his dinner in favor of the attention. Patton ate part of his dinner before we got to his paddock, and he gave out sticky, slobbery, molasses-scented kisses to all.  Poor Patton—even non-horse people notice just how, shall we say, well-rounded he is?  He’s pretty darn happy though, and he sure loves the attention.  And the treats!

I hate to drop some sadness into such a pleasant day, but Old Friends lost one of our great supporters and fans this week, with the premature passing of Tim Reynolds.   Tim will be remembered for his passion for all things horse racing.  We send out condolences to his family; we hate to lose our Old Friends, human or equine.

Which leads me to another loss:  I read today the terrific racehorse Fleet Indian died this weekend, from complications of colic. Fleet Indian lived across the road at Summerwind Farm, and I had the pleasure of meeting her a time or two.  She was one of those horses who had so much presence, she just stuck with you.  I’m so sorry for her loss, and I know her family at Summerwind is reeling.

Next week is opening weekend of Keeneland’s October race meet, another inevitable sign of fall. Autumn is a great time to visit Old Friends, and we continue to be open for three tours daily.  November brings the Breeders Cup and the Old Friends’ Breeders Cup Celebration on November 6. Call the office for more information.

We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends. 

-Val

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Sunday October 2, 2011

  1. Very sorry to hear of the passing of Fleet Indian.

  2. colmel

    It’s so hard to lose friends – human and equine. We lost our young mare to colic years ago and it just about tore our hearts out. We can commiserate with the folks at Summerwind. Fleet Indian was a champion and will always be remembered as one of the really, really good ones.

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