May 30, 2018

Most of what goes on at Old Friends is about happiness. Keeping the horses healthy, secure and happy. Facilitating fun visits for the many guests who come to admire them. Witnessing joyful reunions between our residents and their former connections and longtime fans. We wish we could do all these things for each resident for the next 30 years. Sometimes the joy is so complete it feels like it’ll go on forever. But youngish horse or old, long retirement or all too brief, we provide for the final stage of horses’ lives, and now that we’re responsible for more than 200 horses, the number who pass each year has grown, too. Every Memorial Day we join our supporters and friends who can gather at the Georgetown farm. Together we remember the horses who have passed during the year. This year we shared fond memories of sixteen horses and a goat.

20180529 cemetery 1

Hard Luck Duck, Versailles Road, Our Revival, Tour of the Cat

20180529 cemetery 2

Early Pioneer, Ukiah, Private Zone, Come on Flip, Tinners Way

20180529 cemetery 3

Bonapaw, Burrwood, Diamond Stripes, Hidden Dark, Catlaunch

20180529 cemetery 4

Winston. Google the goat has a memorial plaque and Midnight Secret’s grave is at Old Friends at Cabin Creek, New York, where he lived.

20180529 eulogy

Michael delivered the eulogies. And yes, as always they brought tears at times and smiles at others. Such a wide range of characters leave behind tales and memories as varied, and as improbable and humorous at times as the individual horses themselves.

Steadfast friend of Come on Flip and others, Dr. Val Nicholson, concluded with her remeniscences and insights, and this year saw the beginning of what I hope will become a Memorial Day tradition. Those who wished to share their memories of those who had passed were invited to write them down.

20180529 Writing Memories 02

In former years, memories were shared aloud, which meant time constraints, hoping not to get up in front of people and cry, and that words spoken are words soon lost. Now these memories of the horses we all loved can be shared with a wider circle of people, many of whom couldn’t attend the gathering, and now we can keep them.

My own and other staff and volunteers’ remembrances can be found in blog posts of the past year, so rather than giving them short shrift here, I urge you to look back over those photos and words. But not all are represented there. Some, most of us at the main farm didn’t know, or didn’t know well. So this post remembers them all, not with words invented about them by humans, but in their own images.

20180529 Bonapaw

BONAPAW (1996-2017)
Sabona – Pawlova (Nijinsky II)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Burrwood

BURRWOOD (1994-2018)
Bayou Hebert – All Zip (Royal Trio)

 

20180529 Catlaunch

CATLAUNCH (2001-2018)
Noble Cat – Skilaunch (Relaunch)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Come On Flip

COME ON FLIP (1991-2017)
Commemorate – Phillippe Dancer (Sovereign Dancer)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Diamond Stripes

DIAMOND STRIPES (2003-2017)
Notebook – Romantic Summer (On to Glory)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Early Pioneer
EARLY PIONEER (1995-2018)
Rahy – Golden Darling (Slew O Gold)
photo by Laura Battles

 

Hay Duck

HARD LUCK DUCK (1990-2018)
Duck Dance – Me Bright Two (Rebel Cause)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Hidden Dark

HIDDEN DARK (1990-2018)
Ferdinand – Hidden Light (Majestic Light)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Midnight Secret

MIDNIGHT SECRET (1997-2017)
Key Contender – Flannel Sheets (Triocala)
photo by Connie Bush

 

20180529 Our Revival

OUR REVIVAL (2000-2018)
Ide – Flashy Revival (Grand Revival)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Private Zone

PRIVATE ZONE (2009-2018)
Macho Uno – Auburn Beauty (Siphon)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Tinners Way

TINNERS WAY (1990-2018)
Secretariat – Devon Diva (The Minstrel)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Tour of the Cat - Rick C

TOUR OF THE CAT (1998-2018)
Tour d’Or – Tune into the Cat (Tunerup)
photo by Rick Capone

 

20180529 Ukiah

UKIAH (2002-2018)
Unbridled’s Song – Dixie Pearl (Dixieland Band)
photo by Laura Battles

 

20180529 Versailles Road - Cindy Grisolia

VERSAILLES ROAD (2006-2017)
Street Cry – Not Offensive (Deputy Commander)
photo by Cindy Grisolia

 

20180504 Winston 2

WINSTON (1994-2018), who resided at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs and whose retirement with us was heartbreakingly brief

 

2017 08 21 - Google

GOOGLE, companion of Eldaafer on the track and in retirement

 

Beth

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “May 30, 2018

  1. Pattie Benedix

    Thank you for the Beautiful Tribute to those who have gone before us, to Heaven. I am saving next year’s vacation time to attend the Memorial Service at Old Friends, which is something I have wanted to do for many years. Normally I come in April to visit my “Dear Old Friends” but I feel the urge to pay my respect to those who have passed away. Here’s to a Beautiful & Happy Summer to everyone 🙂

  2. JD

    Beautiful. We always tell people we meet to visit Old Friends because it’s the happiest place on earth. With that happiness comes great sadness, too, when they pass on. You are so appreciated for your posts, as well as everyone at Old Friends for what they do to take such great care of everyone. Thank you.

  3. Kathryn Cogswell

    Dear Old Friends Folk: Each May 28th my 1943 birth celebration coincides with Memorial Weekend. This year, I am 75, and found out Sir Winston Churchill gave the go to the civilian craft that evacuated 300,000 soldiers from Dunkirk 28th May, 1940. The stirring first month of Sir Winston’s Prime Ministership is the essence of the stunning, much-honored film DARKEST HOUR. All of you make the world safer and better for the equine friends who retire to your loving care. Thank you again for welcoming `Mixed Pleasure´ in 2012. Sincerely, Kathryn Cogswell

    • oldfriendsblog

      We all consider ourselves fortunate beyond expressing to have had Mixed Pleasure in our lives. And we’re mightly pleased to have Windy Land in our lives now.

  4. Kathy Breakall

    Thank you , Laura Battle for these beautiful remembrances of some dearly loved old friends.

  5. Amy Gulbrandson

    Thank you for the beautiful tributes—words and photos. How special each of you are for all you do for each of your charges.
    Love and a million thanks to you all,
    Amy Gulbrandson

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