December 14, 2014

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Silver Charm is doing fantastic. He’s got a great personality, proud yet kind, smart, friendly and full of a very special confident poise all his own. No question that he knows who he is, but he’s gracious. As Michael says, “He’s settling into life at Old Friends like the champion he is.” As our barn manager Tim says, “The classy ones, the smart ones, make everything easy on themselves and on us.”

Silver Charm meets Michael the day he arrives, after his reunion with Sandy Hatfield. Photo by Laura Battles.

Silver Charm meets Michael the day he arrives, after his reunion with Sandy Hatfield. Photo by Laura Battles.

It was Sandy Hatfield, his groom when he stood at Three Chimneys, who introduced the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to Old Friends the day he arrived, and who joined him again the next day for his meeting with the fans and the press. The cooperative efforts of the Japan Bloodhorse Breeding Association (JBBA), the Lewis family and Three Chimneys on behalf of this superstar’s retirement when his stud career was done are an exemplary instance of how we can all work together in the best interests of the horses who go overseas once they have finished their work toward the international development of the breed. It shows the best of worldwide respect for these equine athletes.

And we at Old Friends are over the moon that besides getting to have Silver Charm with us, we’re getting the benefit of Sandy’s expertise. She’s now an Old Friends volunteer!

To be sure, Silver Charm may have wondered what kind of place this was at first when it did nothing but rain, but this week the rain let up and we even had some sun. Temperatures in the Blue Grass have been fairly mild and Silver Charm has been getting to know his new digs.

Silver Charm enjoys the lake view. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Silver Charm enjoys the lake view. Photo by Tim Wilson.

...and the view of Game On Dude in his paddock. Photo by Tim Wilson.

…and the view of Game On Dude in his paddock. Photo by Tim Wilson.

What an interesting place this is! And who are all these new neighbors? Photo by Tim Wilson.

What an interesting place this is! And who are all these new neighbors? Photo by Tim Wilson.

Of course, he’ll also ease into his new job visiting with his fans and playing whatever part he enjoys playing in Old Friends’ teamwork to enhance the general public’s appreciation for the accomplishments of race horses, the care deserved by all retired Thoroughbreds, and the wellbeing of all horses. While still in quarantine he’ll get to watch tours and get a sense of the routine. Importing a stallion from overseas includes some additional tests required by the Federal government, so it’s hard to say exactly when his quarantine will be over, but by that time no doubt he’ll have noticed the carrot aspect of his fellow residents’ job. As for meeting, greeting, and being the star he is, he’s clearly already a total expert at all that. We’re already in love with his beautiful guy and look forward to every step of what we hope and trust will be his long and fun retirement.

It's nice to come to a place where you have fans. Photo by Laura Battles.

It’s nice to come to a place where you have fans. Photo by Laura Battles.

 

The other new development that has us tickled pink is how well the two newest paddock mates on the farm, Rail Trip and Catlaunch, are hitting it off. They’re just about inseparable, playing together, grazing together, and hanging out together, in the paddock behind Gulch’s. Mixed Pleasure has moved to the lakeside paddock across from Afternoon Deelites and is forming a friendship over the fence with Geri in the neighboring paddock.

Rail Trip and Catlaunch on their first day together. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Rail Trip and Catlaunch on their first day together. That’s Geronimo and Sea Native in the background. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Though Rail Trip was a national star based in California and Catlaunch ruled Ohio racing, the two geldings probably have plenty in common, both being millionaires and all.

2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Eldaafer still prefers his goats.

Eldaafer and Google. Photo by Laura Battles.

Eldaafer and Google. Photo by Laura Battles.

And Escapedfromnewyork, Marshall Rooster, Fabulous Strike & Commentator say, “Boys just want to have fun.”

Dinner time play. Escapedfromnewyork, Marshall Rooster, Fabulous Strike and Commentator. Photo by Laura Battles.

Dinner time play. Escapedfromnewyork, Marshall Rooster, Fabulous Strike and Commentator. Photo by Laura Battles.

From all of them to all of you, the very merriest of Christmases!

Beth

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “December 14, 2014

  1. Gae

    Wonderful pictures — every one of them. And a nice update on Silver Charm (the big one). Merry Christmas!

  2. Jean Nolan

    This blog never fails to make me cry and smile, simultaneously! thank you all for all you do – and thanks to the beautiful beasties!

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