Monthly Archives: June 2016

June 8, 2016

2016 06 08 Squally maneDelay of Game 1993-2016

In Delay of Game’s passing we’ve lost one of our most valued friends and role models.

As some of the best do, he grew to wisdom after a rambunctious youth. Sarah Arnold, who’s known him since he was two, once told me that when she was his exercise rider her nickname for him was Stinky Dee. Sarah had the right to call him that. No one knew him longer or better, or loved him more than Sarah. By the time he came to Old Friends at seventeen he’d matured into a quietly dignified horse, patient about most things, and infinitely kind.

Delay of Game wasn’t one of those horses whose presence takes up a lot of extra space, but you felt his class at once. He wasn’t flashy, but his proportions had a rightness, his magnificent chest looked like it housed a powerful heart, and the pale celadon green flecks in his eyes were as beautiful as their intelligent, friendly expression.

Oh, he had plenty of spirit. His accumulating old age issues notwithstanding, he let us know that when it was time to do feet. But what I’ll remember best was the pleasure he took and returned. Being groomed on a summer evening. Trading nuzzles with his human friends. In the company of his paddock mate, Judge’s Case, who felt secure in his leadership. Delay of Game may not have understood all the words spoken to him, but he was remarkably willing to listen, to be open to his friends in happy times and sad ones. To the end, his strength was quiet, supportive and deep. He was a horse of genuine class in every sense. If we humans can achieve half his wisdom and grace in old age, we’ll be doing admirably. We’ll never forget him.


Delay of Game, Feb. 2016

Delay of Game, Feb. 2016

2016 06 08 Squally 2016Delay of Game in 2016


photos by his good friend Laura


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June 3, 2016

On Memorial Day we gathered to honor the five residents of Old Friends in Georgetown who passed during the last year. They were Mixed Pleasure, Francis (Do One Dance), Flick, Gulch, and Wallenda.

2016 06 03 Mixed Pleasure

Mixed Pleasure (1985-2015)

2016 06 03 Francis 2015 2

Do One Dance, a.k.a. Francis (1984-2015)

2016 06 03 Flick 2

Flick (1992-2016)

2016 06 03 Gulch 4

Gulch (1984-2016)

Wallenda 090826-01

Wallenda (1990-2016)

Supporters, staff and volunteers listened to Old Friends’ official eulogist Bill Mooney’s tribute to each horse. Bill said so much that was so meaningful, in so few and so eloquent words that each horse seemed to stand there for a moment, clear, himself, unforgetable.

2016 06 03 Bill M 2

Bill reads the eulogy


Those who were especially close to a particular horse or who wanted to share some powerful experience inspired by Mixed Pleasure, Francis, Flick, Gulch or Wallenda, generously shared how that horse came into their lives and made a difference in them.

2016 06 03 John

John talks about his friend and teacher, Mixed Pleasure.

2016 06 03 Val

Val tells the story of Francis.


We very much missed Bucky Sallee’s Call to the Post, but the tradition of the Last Call to the Post continued with Steve Siegel doing the honors. Those who remember, or have heard about, some of the residents’ interested responses to previous memorial Calls looked around and caught some heads flung up, some ears pricked. War Emblem was too far away for us to see if he responded, but Touch Gold seemed to love hearing “his song.”

2016 06 03 Touch Gold

Touch Gold charges over when he hears the call. “Where’s the race?”

Silver Charm just looked over and continued munching the lovely early summer grass. And with every right. Who’s been there and done that more convincingly than he has?

2016 06 03 Silver Charm

As always, Silver Charm exhibits the ultimate cool.


On the eve of the groundbreaking for the new barn on the site of the “small barn,” our former hospital and quarantine barn that burned down last winter, the sign was unveiled that will adorn the new barn, dedicating it to the memory of pioneering Thoroughbred aftercare advocate John Hettinger. Old Friends is grateful to Fasig Tipton and the many other generous donors who have enabled us to replace the all-important hospital and quarantine barn. Follow its progress on our Facebook page and on this blog.

2016 06 03 John Hettinger Memorial Barn

This beautiful sign will be on the John Hettinger Memorial Barn, now under construction.


People take for granted that humans can deeply affect each others’ lives, perceptions, and wisdom. Sometimes it isn’t recognized that an animal can contribute just as profoundly to our ability to live, feel, and gain wisdom. All of our supporters who have made Old Friends possible and make it continue to work possess a clear understanding of the powerful effect these horses have on us, both the track and as they continue to enrich our lives in their retirements. As handicapper, fan and longtime OF supporter Kate Dunn said after Monday’s gathering, “I guess Michael was thinking about helping horses when he started but I wonder if he knew how much the horses would help people.”


2016 06 03 Mixie and John 2015

Mixed Pleasure

2016 06 03 Francis 1

Francis (Do One Dance)

2016 06 03 Flick 1


2016 06 03 Gulch Nov 2015


Wallenda 091012-02


the good photos – Laura
the snapshots – Beth


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