January 18, 2015

At last night’s Eclipse Awards ceremony Michael accepted a special Eclipse Award on behalf of Old Friends. In receiving horse racing’s highest honor for 2014, we are proud to be in the company of legendary race caller Tom Durkin and Barbara Livingston whose photographs have done so much to connect the spectators with the horses, and who has taken so many magical and memorable photos of our horses. We love it that Rosie Napravnik presented Old Friends’ award.

As wonderful as so many people in racing are, and as many humans contribute in many ways to Old Friends’ existence and continuation, this Eclipse Award is – above all – an acknowledgment of the horses. Along with Horse of the Year California Chrome and the other champions of 2014, Gulch and Ogygian got rounds of applause. It’s not just because they’re 31 and 32. It’s for all they and their fellow retirees have done for racing, some of them on the track and in the breeding shed, all of them for the important work they are now doing.

Silver Charm

Silver Charm

Fergus Mac Roich and He Loves Me Not

Fergus Mac Roich and He Loves Me Not

Whether they are Silver Charm, Game On Dude, the hardworking claimer Marshall Rooster, or Escapedfromnewyork who was never capable of racing, these horses, individually and all together, embody the courage, athleticism, intelligence, and willingness to give their utmost, that distinguishes these beautiful animals.



Highland Ack

Highland Ack

The Eclipse Award conferred on Old Friends last night recognizes staff and volunteers’ dedication and hard work and supporters’ caring and generosity. But even more, it acknowledges the awareness of the voting press, racing fans and racing participants, that the horses matter. Successful or not. Young or old. That however greatly humans contribute to the sport, horse racing is the horses.

Hidden Lake

Hidden Lake

Mixed Pleasure

Mixed Pleasure

We congratulate the horses of Old Friends on their important contribution toward the well-being of all Thoroughbreds, every time they look a visitor in the eye, amble over to give a fan who loves them the gift of their presence, pose for a photo that gets retweeted, or just nibble their hay and enjoy the mild winter sun. They are history. They are today’s spirited or relaxed enjoyment of life. They are horse racing.


photos by Laura



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6 responses to “January 18, 2015

  1. This is so perfectly said, Beth, thank you. It IS all about the horses, and Old Friends is a team that lives that truth.

  2. Susan

    Well Beth, I cried thought the entire speeches of Rosie and Michael last night…happy ones of course, but now I read this from you and I’m crying again this morning. 😂 I love Old Friends. Visiting you all, changes my life every time I come. Congratulations on the Eclipse award…so deserved! Hugs to all the horses!

  3. I am really enjoying your blog entries more and more Beth, they are really great! Like Susan, I was crying too. Please remember that Old Friends got the Eclipse Award and people like you and many others that are there for the horses on a daily basis are also to be thanked. Thank you so much Beth!

  4. colmel

    Thank you for another wonderful blog post, Beth! That Eclipse was one of the most well-deserved I can remember. Y’all (both human and equine) are such excellent ambassadors for the sport. You’ve also been instrumental in getting people to actually THINK about what happens to these horses after their days at the track are through. That, in itself, may be the most lasting and positive thing that has happened in the sport – ever.

  5. I saw the awards on the computer that night and I cried, knowing that this award was so deserved!! Michael accepted the award (and gave a great speech) but this was for all of you, all of you that work so hard to make sure these great horses are ALWAYS taken care of. After all, it is always about the horses. I visited in Sept. of 2013 and was just in awe. I’ve been a fan since I was a little kid and I felt the same way Micheal did/does that I was able to visit my heroes. I came mostly for Tinner (I was 9 when Secretariat did his thing and he’s been my fav since), but left thinking that I got to see so many more than just Tinner and that I fell in love with all of them. If I lived there I would be volunteering every day. So enjoy this award and the horses. Give them all hugs for me. Debbie

  6. Very proud of what everyone has accomplished. Michael’s the best!

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