April 20, 2013

Last Saturday morning Arson Squad traveled to Keeneland for a guest appearance in the paddock. The Bloodhorse posted a wonderful account with videos and photos (see link under “More” on the sidebar). Arson returned to the farm happy and relaxed, and was his best buddy, I’m Charismatic ever delighted to have him back! If you didn’t catch Arson Squad’s Keeneland appearance or want to see him again, he invites you to visit him at OF’s Kentucky farm, just 20 minutes from Keeneland.

Saturday was a beautiful day at Old Friends. Tender, sweet April grass has burst out in all the paddocks, so the farm was full of happy horses. Plenty of guests came to admire them. Laura, Alex and I were kept busy doing the honors. Barbara had plenty of action in the office. So we were happy, too. We love spring when things get lively!

I know many of our supporters enjoyed getting Val’s weekly update, so the Saturday crew will continue that tradition, along with other posts by OF bloggers and guest bloggers. A brief introduction: I’m Beth, and if you’ve visited our Kentucky farm any Saturday in last 7 years we’ve probably met. Barbara Fossum has been holding down the Saturday office since fall, 2007. On weekdays Barbara works for the NTRA. She is a hands-on horsewoman with a deep knowledge of racing history and pedigrees. Laura Battles travels the world to photograph international racing. Between trips she helps out with tours. You can find her photos of the OF residents on our website and Facebook page. Alex LeBlanc, who recently moved from South Carolina to join the Georgetown College staff, finds time to do Saturday and Sunday tours and to get to know the horses. Many of them are already partial to her. A horsewoman and a great storyteller on tours, Alex is a valued addition to our weekends.

Now for the important stuff: The horses! Next to Arson Squad’s outing, Hidden Lake caused the most comment last Saturday. She must have had a lovely time rolling in the puddle near the mares’ waterer, since she was an absolute mud cake. Queenly as ever, she graciously doled out kisses with a very dirty nose.

The Girls L Battles Apr 20 2013

Hidden Lake L Battles Apr 20 2013

Commentator was playful (that’s news?), and the late afternoon sun brought out the rich tones in Gulch’s coat as he stood gazing with quiet satisfaction over his domain, his jeweler-exquisite conformation outlined against the spring green.

Gulch L Battles apr 20 2013

The Name’s Jimmy is responding well to the special care he’s getting for arthritis and was striding around his paddock with assurance, spotting the tours and waiting at the fence to cadge his share of the carrots. But my favorite part of the day was Williamstown’s sparkle this spring. “William,” a son of Seattle Slew, held the speed record for a mile at Belmont Park from 1993 to 2003. Though he too has arthritis in a back leg, he’s gorgeous when the mood strikes him to trot or gallop. An independent spirit and a bit of a tough guy, he’s impressive even when he stands still, big and nearly black with a broad white blaze and four white socks. When he trots, those white socks flash like stars. Lately he’s been so spry that he sometimes joins in the races between Commentator and Swan’s Way who live in the neighboring paddocks.

Commentator vs. Swan’s Way? How would a condition book describe that race?? But these two guys don’t care, they don’t spend much time reading PPs, they just love to run.


Williamstown 1 L Battles Apr 20 2013

Williamstown 2 L Battles Apr 20 2013



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6 responses to “April 20, 2013

  1. tbdancer

    So glad to have Old Friends back. We all enjoyed Val’s entries, and she leaves (figurative) “big shoes to fill,” but I think OF has found someone who will uphold the tradition of very descriptive “we are there” accounts of the days with such stellar warhorses as are found on this blog. Glad you’re back!

  2. Susan A

    Hi Beth,
    I’m so glad you just blogged about Arson Squad!….just watched the video clips on the Bloodhorse showing him prancing around the paddock at Keeneland…he looked AMAZING! It would have been very easy to believe that he was getting ready to run the next race..he looked “on the muscle”! I am so glad he’s doing SO well…you guys have really given him great love and care and I’m just so happy he’s “made” it through his difficult journey! I was going to call the farm yesterday after I watched the videos because I was so happy to see him, but decided I wouldn’t bother…so this is my SHOUT OUT….and my HUG to TATOR!
    Thanks for the blog….have really missed “seeing” and hearing about the boys! Please give my best to Val!

  3. Alex LeBlanc

    What a great first post! I am also sad to see Val go but wish her the very best and hope she continues to visit Old Friends as time permits. Thanks for the great introduction Beth! I can’t wait to read more posts soon!

  4. Tupster

    Hi Beth,

    Welcome & So Enjoyed Your Photos & Blog Today. I Always Love Hearing About Old Friends, Especially With How All The Wonderful Horses Are Doing!!

    Sorry Though, I Will Never Be Able To Get To Old Friends Which Is Why I So Love This Blog & The Newsletter, As I Live With Very Severe Total Full Body Chronic Pain Disease & Am Now Stuck In My Home More Then Ever, UGH!!!!

    Which Is Why I So Enjoy Hearing & Seeing Their Stories & Photos, Because Then It’s Like I’am Right There With You & Them, As Well!!!!!

    Give Them All Loads Of Hugs & Loves From Me, OK!!!!

  5. Brianna

    thank you for continuing the tradition! Lovely blog and photos this week!! 🙂

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