Sunday August 19, 2012

Summer is flying by.  In no time I’ll be complaining about cold and snow, or at least mud and rain!  But for now, the horses look pretty happy.  There is green grass, the weather has not been too blazing hot, and tours are plentiful enough that everyone gets their share of the attention and the carrots!

As the days get longer we will begin to see winter coats coming in, but we are not there quite yet.  Clever is beautifully dappled, as is Swannie.  Pops and Ring somehow didn’t seem to get as sun-bleached as they usually do, their bay coats remaining deep glossy red-brown.  I think I mentioned last week how You and I bleached out in kind of an abstract leopard pattern, and Williamstown is his usual summer purpley-brown-black dapply kind of hue. 

On the morning tour we took the golf cart up the hill to see Willie and Tinner.   Actually, much to their dismay, they were secondary attractions to Zippy Chippy, who lives in the paddock next door.   I might be off by a digit or two, but Zippy lost something like 102 consecutive races, including at least one race against a human.   Zippy became very famous along the way for that hapless record. In contrast, I doubt that millionaire Tinner’s Way has EVER been a secondary attraction, given that his dad was Secretariat!  But Tinner is learning to deal with it. 

Red Down South, Zippy’s buddy, comes right over for treats.  He is a really pretty chestnut horse with a white stripe down his face.  Very friendly and kind, Red is right in your face looking for attention.   Zippy, on the other hand, likes to toy with his audience.  He waits until he is sure we REALLY want to see him and have waited a proper amount of time for his grand appearance.  I don’t know Zippy well, but it has occurred to me his  “losingest racehorse” title perhaps wasn’t so much because he was slow.  I think it’s just as likely he planned it this way!  Think about it—he figured he could just one in a gazillion everyday  racehorses, or he could be the one and only ZIPPY CHIPPY!   

Our newest horse is newly–retired Lou Brissie.  Lou is a four year old, graded stakes winner by Limehouse.  His pedigree is here.  Lou is really cute; he’s a little guy with a pretty red coat.  He loves to pose—I brought a couple folks past his stall and up comes the head, the ears are pricked and he strikes his racehorse pose.  Right now he’s transitioning from being an athlete in training to a professional carrot hound, so it’ll take some time for him to settle down.  But he is a ham for sure.

I always tell my tour groups that for some reason, the men in the group are often the targets for nips from the stallions.  And quite often, the stallions prove me out.  But on the afternoon tour we had a couple of glaring exceptions.  First, Prized had his second visit in a week from a guy who has really taken a shine to him.  Prized, as you know, isn’t the most kissable stallion—he is very manly and wants you to respect his space.  But this guy was patting Prized, rubbing his neck, and everywhere he walked Prized followed.  At the same time, we had a big tall guy who kind of flipped for You and I.  Those two were chatting like, well, old friends!  While all this was going on, there was a young girl bonding with Sunshine.  Talk about a bunch of horses getting some love!  All of them would still be there if their respective families didn’t drag them away.  You know, a stallion manager for one of the big stud farms once said to me, “the horses just like who they like.”  And that is completely true. I should also add that I need to follow my own advice and not turn my back on the horses—thank you Danthebluegrassman, for that lovely black and blue bite mark on my arm!!

That’s about all from here for now.  We continue to offer tours daily—please call the office at 502-863-1775 for reservations.  We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!  -Val

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Sunday August 19, 2012

  1. Anne Castle

    As usual, your Old Friends weekley letter is a welcomed addition to my evening. Horses are funny and very true how some just take a shine to a
    “special” person. We have a filly who is kind and sweet to those she knows will give her a treat…but…pins her ears back and lunges at those that don’t…sort of a “How dare you walk by and not give me something!” If a little person is near she is full of love and affection no matter what.
    I love horse stories. They are the best. Thanks again, Val for an intersting read.

  2. colmel

    Oh, thank you, Val! What an uplifting, fun post this is! I can hardly wait to get back to visit some of my old “Old Friends” (especially Ring now that Bonnie’s gone), and meet some of my new “Old Friends!” I know when I see Tinners, I’m going to blubber like a baby. His daddy and I were friends and my first mare was bred to Tinners (she was also bred to Oscar). I wish I had their babies!!! It’s funny how completely these four-legged wonders can capture your heart. Obviously, there was some back-and-forth capturing going on with your guys and the folks who came to meet them. That’s one of the beauties of Old Friends. You make these animals real, flesh-and-blood beings to folks who might have not have thought of them in those terms previously.

  3. Vivien

    What a great tribute to Val and the horses is that last sentence, Colmel!

  4. Pat

    Great blog! Tell Tinner I am coming to see him, soon! He seems to remember me when I visit him –he came right over to me last time I called him–and has even let me pet him. I can’t wait to see him and everybody again!

  5. I just. Wanted. To day I really. Think. This. A wonderful. Place. For these. Horses. I be loved. Horses. My. Whole. Life. I live. In Cal if I lived near. Old friends. I would. Vulunteer.I just. A kidney. Transplant. 3 months. Ago. I always. Go to Los alamitos race. Course. Just. To see they helped when I was. So sick. With. All respect. For you do thank. You

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