We’ve opened up a wonderful big new pasture on the main farm. It’s on the south side, a little up the hill from the hay barn, and it runs all the way back to the tree line. This is one of the most beautiful spots on the farm. In the morning it gets sun, and in the afternoon that solid line of tall trees casts a nice, big shade over the upper part of the paddock.
So, which lucky horses have moved into these great digs? It’s three of the mares, 1992-93 Australian Juvenile Champion Bint Marscay, Ferdinand’s daughter Hidden Dark and Film Maker’s mom, Miss Du Bois. A fourth mare will soon join them, but for now these three girls, who have been together in a smaller paddock for some time, are exploring the wider spaces, their new surroundings, and some conversations with their new neighbors, in one another’s familiar company.
They have a spacious run-in shed. That brightly colored gizmo is their automatic waterer. You can see their shade trees in the background. Their feed tubs are positioned along the back fence in the afternoon shade, and in the winter the trees will make a bit of a wind break.
Here they are enjoying a gorgeous first morning in June in their new home.
Their fly masks don’t make for the best of photos, but they do keep the bugs out of their eyes. On tours I often get asked two questions: Can a horse wearing a fly mask see? Yes. It’s mesh. When you hold a fly mask in front of your own face, the world looks much as it does through a window screen. It provides a little bit of a protective sun glasses effect, but its real purpose is to keep pesky flies out of a horse’s eyes. So—second question—why are only some of the horses wearing fly masks? Often it’s because either they or a paddock mate pulled their fly mask off. And certain residents have let us know they don’t want a fly mask. Also, as a courtesy to visitors, a few of the superstars have no fly mask so that their faces will show in photos. Silver Charm and Game on Dude, for instance, wear no mask and use more fly repellant. As for the magnificently photogenic War Emblem, can you imagine him wanting a fly mask? He’s let us know he most certainly would rather not.
In case you’re wondering who’s moved into the paddock in the back 40 acres vacated by the three girls, it’s two of the guys who have been biding their time in the barn area, Jimbo Fallon who you may have met in his stall or seen in the small outdoor paddock connected to this stall, and Skip Away’s grandson, Skip’s World, who you may have visited when he got his turn-out time in the round pen between the two barns. Jimbo and Skip have known each other across the barn aisle for a some months. Now they’re getting to know each other much better as roommates.
As you can see, confident Jimbo seems to be spending some get-acquainted time reassuring his new buddy that life in a paddock of their very own is going to be really great. Their new home is perfect for two horses, with plenty of room to play and graze, and they also have some tree shelter on two sides.
I should mention that all the paddocks in this blog post are off of the main tour route. We try to keep as many of the stars as we can on the front of the farm, on the walking tour routes, but if you want to visit the mares, or Tinners Way who much prefers the peace and quiet at the back of the farm, you can often visit them by request. The best way is to ask ahead of time, when you make the appointment, so we can have someone, and maybe a golf cart, take you to the horse you want to see after the regular tour is done. My other best advice is to schedule your tour for 10:00 or 3:00 during the weekend, when a tour guide or other OF humanoid is nearly always free to take you to see the horse you especially want to see. If at all possible we’ll make it happen.
Currently our main goal is to provide more space and a continuing high standard of care for the growing number of residents at the Georgetown farm. As we do, we will eventually expand the available tour routes. For now, we have an option to make more paddocks–fencing, run-in shed, waterer, ground prep–on land just to the south of the new paddocks. Here’s some of that land.
Beautiful, eh? And it’ll be a lot more beautiful with horses living the good life on it. We’re working hard to make that goal a reality, and we couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for each and every one of you, our fabulous supporters. Thank you!
This morning Michael alerted me to a really great story about Sarava winning the 2002 Belmont Stakes, and about him now on the farm. It’s got good quotes from his partnership owner, Gary Drake and his trainer, Ken McPeek, and some really informative tidbits, so I thought you might enjoy it too. It’s posted on the Bourbon and Barns blog.