After some beautiful early spring days – blop! – snow fell today. The ground is white and winter seems forever. To cheer away the wintery glums, I’m going to interrupt the theme of buddies to share some recent photos, most of them taken within the last few days, of some horses many have come to know and love over the years. How are Riva Way, Kudos, and other long-time favorites of many, doing?
First, a few photos of a horse who’s new to Old Friends but who’s being reunited with many admirers since he came to live with us a few months ago, 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem. He’s 17 now, a ruggedly handsome, nearly black horse with an individualist attitude.
War Emblem has settled into his home and is getting to know us. He likes to be on top of everything that happens and keeps an eagle eye out on everything in his world. We’re under no illusions. In War Emblem’s world we exist to serve War Emblem. Well, did we win the Derby?
Ahh, yes…how’s this for service? Tinner’s Way gets a nice grooming from volunteer Julie Witt. Besides her affiliation with Old Friends, Julie is part of the University of Kentucky’s Horse Racing Club, a student group who will be visiting Old Friends in April.
Over the years many visitors have gotten to know one of Affirmed’s best sons, $2 million plus winner and red hot miler from 1997 through 2003, Affirmed Success. He’s now 22 years old. He, Kudos and Northern Stone share the paddock across the way from Tinner’s.
As for Kudos, the G1 winner, donated by Jerry and Ann Moss in our early days, one of Old Friends’ “founding stars,” he’s doing great. He’s a social horse who finds good companionship whoever he’s with. He and Affirmed Success are great friends, and Northern Stone likes living with them, a smaller, less competitive circle where he gets to be a star, too.
Speaking of really long time residents, here’s a photo Laura took a few days ago of Riva Way. As some may remember, Riva has lived with us far longer than his dad, Tinners Way. His grandpas are two Meadow Farm horses a few people might have heard of, Secretariat and Riva Ridge. Riva Way is now 18 years old.
And speaking of the kin of Derby winners, some may remember when Falcon Scott, half brother to Giacomo, lived in the paddock that’s now Sarava’s. As you can see from the background, Falcon currently lives in one of our most spacious pastures among a thriving herd of youngish geldings like himself. As can be seen, he’s as kind, curious and attention-loving as ever. He seems to enjoy life with his gang of good buddies. Being herd animals, many horses feel the most secure that way.
…Like these two. Once Fabulous Strike (L) and Commentator (R) held off all challengers to occupy the lonely glory of the winner’s circle. These two have been there, enjoyed that, and now appreciate just hanging out with each other and English-bred Marshall Rooster.
On the theme of enjoyment, Older Female Eclipse Award champion Hidden Lake was quite busy Saturday.
While Ogygian’s grandson Cherono played on dry land.
Finally, I’d like to introduce a new friend, Old Friends’ most recent arrival and youngest resident, Saint Aloysius.
When three-year-old Saint Aloysius’ attempt at a career on the track didn’t work out due to a bowed tendon, his racing owner, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, generously enabled his retirement to Old Friends. Welcome, you cute guy!
photos by Laura