Monthly Archives: November 2018

November 22, 2018

This evening the theme is – surprise! – food.

Food, and the anticipation of food!

Which is more fun? Sometimes that depends on who you share that waiting time with. Laura actually took these dinner time photos a few days before Thanksgiving, but food is a popular theme every day at Old Friends.

When mid-afternoon comes, the anticipation begins. The younger retirees tend to show their eagerness more obviously.

20181123 Cherono Rail Trip

Cherono (L): Do you see dinner coming yet? Rail Trip: Not yet, but mmm, I can almost taste it, can’t you?

But that doesn’t mean the older codgers aren’t plenty alert for the sight and sound of that orange feed Kubota. They’re just a little more cool and self-possessed about it. Besides, anticipation is much more fun when you can wise-crack to your equally worldly-wise buddies about what’s on the menu and the quality of the room service.  Or maybe, discuss the marvelous mystery of the feed shack. It’s very small, tiny really, yet meal after meal continues to come out of it. Nothing short of miraculous.

20181123 Dinard Archie BCI

Dinard (L), Archie’s Echo and Beau Cashin’ In look down the hill toward the feed shack. She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes…

And then, as so many of you readers have probably done today, there are all those things you do, all the ways you entertain yourself, while you wait for meal time. Only, sometimes you just can’t distract yourself. You’ve got to, really got to, get your teeth into something.

20181123 Rathor

Rathor. Don’t you love his spotted nose?


20181123 Eldaafer

How do you like my spots? Eldaafer.

“Do you see it? Is it coming yet? I think maybe I might hear it!


20181123 Bunkers Edge Cost Affective

Bunker’s Edge (L), Cost Affective (Rathor again in the background)

20181123 Miss Du Bois Binty Elusive Honey

Miss Du Bois (L, background), Bint Marscay, Elusive Honey

Yes! That’s definitely the dinner-mobile. I can tell by that big box in the back, and John with my favorite dinner utensil, the great, big, blue scoop! I like how he calls, “Hey boys! Hey girls! Come and get it!”

20181123 Fabulous Strike

Fabulous Strike licks his chops as he heads for his feed tub.

Last one to the tubs is a rotten egg! Or maybe what Sokitumi Samurai is really thinking is, first one to the tubs gets the best chance to finish first and then maybe steal some bites of somebody else’s dinner, too. Whee!

20181123 Sokitumi Samurai

Sokitumi Samurai

20181123 Bint Marscay Miss Du Bois

Nobody’d better even think about stealing Bint Marscay’s (L) and Miss Du Bois’s dinners!

Sometimes it’s hard to tell which brings more delight, running for the feed tub, or running for the joy of running.

20181123 Smooth Air 1

Smooth Air


20181123 Smooth Air 2

You go, Smooth!

And finally, the contentment of chowing down with a favorite companion or two. After all, there’s plenty for everybody.

20181123 Summer Attraction Palmers Approach

Summer Attraction (L) and Palmer’s Approach at a feed tub together.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all, from all of us at Old Friends.

photos by Laura


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November 14, 2018

Goof-off time at the farm. Summer is over. The Breeders’ Cup hoopla is done. The Georgetown Farm is now on its winter schedule, doing one regular tour a day at 11:00. Not all the horses necessarily approve of this.

20181114 silly season Johannesburg Smile

Johannesburg Smile. (No pun intended.)

This year’s new option to schedule a private tour at a time of your choice, with a tour guide who’ll facilitate exactly the kind of tour you have in mind (if at all possible) has an advantage from the horses’ points of view, too. It makes the transition less absolute, since unexpected admirers may add surprise carrots to the day.

But let’s face it. On a chill, damp day like today fewer people schedule tours of any kind, and so the horses are always a little at loose ends when the shift to winter comes.

20181114 River Squall looks for entertainment

River Squall looks for entertainment.

Watching the farm crew work has only limited entertainment value. If you’ve seen one bright orange Kubota trundling by, you’ve seen them all. Unless the Kubota is doing duty as breakfast trolly or dinner-mobile, of course. That never gets old.

20181114 War Emblem on the lookout

Did someone say dinner? War Emblem.

Some of the horses let the cold weather inspire them to race each other. Silver Charm has found another amusement, chasing any great blue herons who happen to land in his paddock. I wish I had a photo of that. It’s quite a sight, the big, grey stallion in full horse-flight scaring up a big grey-blue bird with a swoop of its mighty wing-spread.

But winter also offers its own quiet pleasures. After a few days, waiting for tours shifts into restful relaxation.

20181114 rolling - AD

Afternoon Deelites has himself a roll in the fallen leaves.

20181114 rolling - Kudos

Kudos also enjoys a roll. If you don’t have fingernails it’s a great way to scratch your back.

Not that eating carrots three or more times a day all summer is a hard job. But with more down time, afternoon naps become more frequent.

And winter has its own schedule. Horses thrive on predictable routine, and one of their favorite winter routines revolves around the daily delivery of yummy hay. Along with the predictable delivery of their grain meals, plus Carole’s and Antonio’s year-round daily rounds to provide care, their winter routine is both secure and pleasurable.

20181114 hay Miss Du Bois Elusive Honey

Miss Du Bois (L) and Elusive Honey munch their hay.

Because hay has many uses. For one thing, hay is fun to run for when it gets delivered.

20181114 hay Nobiz 1

Hay delivery. James and Nobiz Like Shobiz.

20181114 hay Nobiz 2

…and Nobiz does an impromptu Hay Dance.

20181114 hay Bourbonize Joey P

Bourbonize (L) and Joey P.

Hay warms the tummy and the whole system delightfully.

20181114 hay AS and GG

Alphabet Soup (R) and Gorgeous George snack on their hay.

And when you’ve eaten your fill…

20181114 hay Bint Marscay digs in

Bint Marscay chows down.

…your hay becomes a warm, dry, delightfully fragrant bed.

20181114 hay bed Dinard Archie BCI

Dinard (L), Archie’s Echo and Beau Cashin’ In.

And there are ways other than napping and eating to have a good time together. Even old friends enjoy making new friends.

20181114 Yankee Fourtune Z Dager

After being one of the farm’s chief meeters-and-greeters all summer, Z Dager, now residing in a side paddock, enjoys a quiet moment with his newfound friend, Yankee Fourtune.

20181114 Game On Dude Green Mask

Game On Dude (L) gets acquainted with Green Mask.

20181114 Dan and Fighting city hall

Danthebluegrassman and Fighting City Hall do … something or other together.

If you didn’t get to Old Friends this summer, think of it this way. Isn’t it proverbial how special it is to visit Venice in the off-season? The weather might not be as warm, the day may be a little overcast or the breeze chilly, but visits during Old Friends’ winter season usually mean a smaller group and so more up close and personal time with the horses. When the visitors are fewer the “locals” (horses) are more eager to see them, and on a smaller tour there’s more time for quality conversations with your guide about that particular equine retiree whose race career you followed, or who has just charmed your socks off for the first time.

So, is Old Friends fun to visit in the winter?

Come find out!

photos by Laura


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November 3, 2018

Congratulations to the connections of

winner of the
2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff

20181019 Williamstown Equisport Photos

Williamstown 1990-2015. Equisport Photos.

Monomoy Girl is a great-granddaughter of Williamstown (1990-2015). Williamstown, a son of Seattle Slew, came to Old Friends in 2007 and lived with us for nearly 8 memorable years. He was outstandingly handsome, powerful, tough, yet with a deep wisdom and kindness beneath that toughness. Some of his greatness of spirit lives on in Monomoy Girl, who has finished first in all but one of her 11 races, including her win in this year’s Kentucky Oaks.


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