May 10, 2015

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

Last Sunday was Old Friends’ annual Homecoming, and what a party we had! Thanks to much hard work by staff and volunteers, preparations came together, the Sunday after the Derby arrived, and the fun began.

Highlights included reunions with supporters, longtime and new, enjoyed along with tasty Furlongs’ barbeque, plentiful beverages of all kinds, and delicious dessert thanks to the Spotz Gelato truck! Not to mention the great bluegrass music played by Shades of Grass!

Spotz Gelato truck - yummy! Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

Spotz Gelato truck – yummy! Photo by Kelli K. Barnett

This Homecoming, Old Friends had plenty new to share and celebrate, most notably the new hosts of honor, Silver Charm, Game On Dude—and Dude’s best buddy, Yankee Fourtune, a multiple graded stakes winner in his own right and a real character. Little Silver Charm held court, of course, making sure he got a BIG share of attention and petting. Movie star Popcorn Deelites and identity-proud Special Ring (I’d be too if I were a G1 winner) partied with admirers in fine form. Wallenda met and greeted in the small paddock.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Wallenda. Photo by Laura Battles.

Wallenda. Photo by Laura Battles.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Tour guides introduced newcomers Starspangled Heat and 2013 Canadian Turf Champion, British-foaled Forte Dei Marmi, as well as Porfido, a Chilean stakes winner who earned in graded stakes in the US before falling on tougher times as an aging claimer. Also on hand to greet their friends were our many longtime residents.

Golf carts made many trips up the hill to facilitate visits to Tinner, Kudos, Commentator, Affirmed Success and the mares and geldings who live in the back 40 acres of the farm, and to show off an area that was only planned as of last Homecoming, the big pasture that our Barn Manager Tim had dubbed “Area 51,” where nine geldings now enjoy each others’ society, as well as with a smaller pasture of four (Riva Way was glad to see many longtime friends) and Eldaafer’s roomy paddock with special fencing for his pet goats, Google and Yahoo. I saw Cherono and W. C. Jones cadge a few carrots. A few, and a few more. Mikethespike too.

Riva Way, Massone and friends. Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Riva Way, Massone and friends. Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

As evening drew on, people headed back for the big tent, where auctioneers Tom Sayre and Curtis Sharff once again turned their inimitable skills and wit to a lively auction that once again provided substantial support for OF’s retirees. The halter I most wish I could have afforded? Will Take Charge’s! …Or maybe Holy Bull’s! Gio Ponte’s! Eskendereya’s! Skip Away’s! Hard Spun’s! And… You get the idea. If you love horse racing, this year’s halters alone were amazing, thanks to the generosity of these horse’s farms or connections. And they were only some of the wonderful loot won by many lucky, and very kind, folks.

Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Auction goodies. Photo by Kelli K. Barnett.

Starspangled Heat celebrated the successful occasion by pirouetting a few complete turns on his toes.

Starspangled Heat celebrates. Photo by Laura Battles.

Starspangled Heat celebrates. Photos by Laura Battles.

Finally, twilight deepened. People lingered over their last conversations of the evening, petted a few noses goodbye, and slowly drifted back to their cars with smiles on their faces. Staff and volunteers did the clean-up dance. Horses grazed and dozed in the quiet.

Dude incandescent in the sunset. Photo by Laura Battles.

Dude incandescent in the sunset. Photo by Laura Battles.

Another Homecoming was over, and so soon. If you were able to celebrate with us, thank you for making it such a success.

Twilight on Homecoming evening. Photo by Laura Battles.

Twilight on Homecoming evening. Photo by Laura Battles.

If not, this year you won’t have to wait for another Derby weekend to mix the best of horse racing with partying on behalf of Old Friends. This fall, Keeneland hosts the Breeders’ Cup. Celebrate Breeders’ Cup with OF? Oh yeah! For developing information about our Kentucky festivities, keep your eye on oldfriendsequine.org. For New York fun, oldfriendsatcabincreek.com.

30 year old Mixed Pleasure, great-grandson of Seabiscuit. Photo by Laura Battles.

30 year old Mixed Pleasure, great-great-grandson of Seabiscuit. Photo by Laura Battles.

Meanwhile, visit with us this summer at both farms. Kentucky: 3 tours a day at 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00 (for reservations call 502-863-1775). New York: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm (call 518-698-2377 for schedule and events during the Saratoga meet).

Beth

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “May 10, 2015

  1. SusanA

    Hi Beth…I just had a heart attack (the good kind!) when I saw that Forte Dei Marmi is at Old Friends….I didn’t realize he was there! OH MY that is so awesome! I fell in love with Yankee Fourtune when I saw him in April and Porfido was so kind. Well, I guess I’m going to have to put a summer trip to OF on my teacher vacation list to see them again and meet Forte! I’m so excited he’s there! Thanks for sharing the Homecoming day…..I’m coming next year for sure just to get to ride the golf cart to the back 40 and see EVERYBODY! (Will you or Laura give Rail Trip an extra peppermint from me please!!!)

  2. Hi Beth, sure wish I could have been there to see you all. Such amazing and beautiful photos of the horses and everybody having fun. Really love the photo of Mixed Pleasure, he’s one of my favs. Do you know if there will be any bracelets made from his hair anytime soon? Sure would love one.

    • oldfriendsblog

      I don’t recall if any have been made from Mixie’s tail. I’ll mention your request, but you may also want to phone the office to ask for one, for whenever the next batch is made.

  3. mybigred

    I’m surprised Danthebluegrassman didn’t join in on the festivities !! He is one of the many Favorites of mine….Heck, I LOVE them ALL 🙂

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