Monthly Archives: March 2018

March 21, 2018

Today we have snow. Lots of snow. Way too much snow for the day after spring equinox. Tomorrow higher temperatures are forecasted, then we’ll have mud. Lots and lots of mud. Laura took these photos some weeks ago, but they’re . . . prophetic? Anticipatory? Pretty much inevitable.

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Victor Cooley

Canadian star Victor Cooley doesn’t think it gets very cold in Kentucky, but this mud can sure make lunch service a little slower. A-hem, I said “lunch…” Mikethespike, who’s in the same paddock, thinks it’s all good.

20180321 Mikethespike

Mikethespike, a grandson of Black Tie Affair

Of course, if you’re not slipping and sliding in a Kubota delivering hay or slogging after horses who don’t particularly want to take their meds, that is, if you’re a horse yourself, mud can be…

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1997 Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold


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2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem

20180321 Elusive Honey

Elusive Honey

20180321 Can you tell which side

Can you tell which side Bint Marscay’s been napping on?

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“Hey Jones, I’ve got an idea.” Photon (front) and W. C. Jones

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“Yesss!” Photon and W. C. Jones

Rolling is fun. It can give you just the right look.

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Popcorn Deelites shakes off after his roll while Special Ring looks on.

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“Aren’t we handsome now?” Riva Way, Fergus Mac Roich and Disturbingthepeace

20180321 You and I

27 year old, usually dignified You and I takes a playful turn around his paddock.

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“Victor had the right idea. When’s dinnertime?” Rosebud (who doesn’t roll in the mud)

So, once the snow’s melted you, too, can come out and play in the mud at Old Friends. Consider it. Seriously. All weathers are fun at this farm and we’d love to take you out to see the horses, rain or shine. Give us a call. We’re back to our 3-tour-a-day spring-summer-and-fall schedule, 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00.

photos by the intrepid Laura



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March 9, 2018

On February 14, 1998, Alydar’s daughter Twenty Eight Carat delivered a special valentine, a handsome bay son by A. P. Indy. He was raced by former University of Kentucky Wildcats coach Rick Pitino’s Ol’ Memorial Stable (then called Celtic Pride Stable), and it’s not hard to guess why they named him A P Valentine. A grandson of Seattle Slew and great-grandson of Secretariat, he was remarkably muscular, athletic, and talented. Hall of Famer Nick Zito trained him to a juvenile win in the 2000 Champagne Stakes. He was a favorite for the Derby and finished second to Point Given in both the 2001 Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Eventually retired with $864,170 earnings, he began an enthusiastically heralded breeding career at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

Then, oops. How could a stallion named Valentine fail to get a single mare in foal? Coolmore, which owns Ashford Stud, had no choice but to retire him from stallion duty. Some of you avid race fans will remember this story. But did you know that A P Valentine did go on to be a dad? For Texas veterinarian Dr. William Day, he sired 28 registered foals, not enough for a career at a major stud farm, but 21 of them became racehorses, and two, A P Valor and Ifonlyjohnny, earned more than $100,000 apiece.

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A P Valentine in a sleepy moment. Photo by Laura.

Now permanently retired to Old Friends by Dr. Day, A P Valentine arrived just in time for—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. So I guess for his 20th birthday, he got Old Friends. He’s a handsome, confident guy with more than a passing resemblance to his great sire.

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River Squall. Photo by Laura.

Old Friends also thanks Dr. Day for donating Hawthorne Derby and Saranac Stakes winner River Squall. We miss our two sons of Summer Squall, Charismatic and the less famous but no less loved Delay of Game, and we welcome this son of Summer Squall, who on his dam’s side also happens to be pretty closely related to Creator. So River Squall is already family and we hope he’ll feel happily at home with us. He’s 24.

20180308 Prized PoachPrized Poach

Speaking of family, here’s newcomer Prized Poach, an unraced 8 year old son of Prized. He’s not on the main tour route—the farm is too large for all paddocks to be visited in a 90 minute tour—but he’s settled in and is currently with Tuneintobow.

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Michael and Joe Steiner graze…our two minis??

But what is this?

Are we seeing double?

Or are tours about to get twice as fun?

20180308 Winston and LSC

If you’re local you probably saw the coverage of Winston’s retirement from the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs on Louisville’s WHAS and Lexington’s WTVQ’s coverage of his arrival at Old Friends. If not, I hope you’ve followed the news on our social media and Little Silver Charm’s Facebook page. Little Silver Charm’s wisecracks notwithstanding, here’s the two enjoying grazing together this afternoon.

20180308 Winston and LSC 2

Can you tell which is which? (Hint: Winston’s got the long legs, Little Silver Charm’s got the big hair.)


Amid the celebration of our new arrivals, we are saddened by the loss of one of our long-time residents. Gritty, tough-knocking Hidden Dark was one of our oldest mares, and has battled a combination of issues during the last few years. “Dee Dee,” as some of us called her, never won a race, but in her time with us she showed the steady fire of an enduring spirit, no doubt an inheritance from her great sire, Ferdinand. We miss her.

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Hidden Dark (1990-2018) toward the end of her life. Photo by Laura.

Magic Dot, Ava Lotta Hope, Hidden Dark

Hidden Dark in her younger days (R) moving her herd, Magic Dot and Ava Lotta Hope.

Our summer tour schedule resumes on March 15, with 3 tours a day at 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00 seven days a week by reservation, or phone us to ask about our special private tours by appointment only. We hope to see you this summer when you come to meet A P Valentine, River Squall and Winston (Gorgeous George says “me, too!”). If you visited us last summer you’ll be pleased to know you can see Z Dager again in the barn area. He may be the absolutely sweetest horse we’ve ever had.

20180308 Z Dager and Dagmar

Z Dager gets a kiss from Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner, Old Friends’ artist.

Did you know that you can now pre-order Dagmar’s forthcoming book of gorgeous paintings of our horses, The Art of Old Friends? Find more information here.

We hope to see you soon.

The Real Photos are by Laura
Snapshots of Minis, Z Dager & Dagmar by Beth


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