Memorial Day 2019
On Monday friends and supporters gathered to remember the horses who passed over the last year. The forecasted rain did not arrive, the weather was kindly cool, and the mood was gentle and loving. Mary Simon’s eulogies reminded us of the highlights of each horse’s career and honored each as a unique, and irreplacable, individual, and Vivian Morrison shared her loving tribute to late Old Friends volunteer Bea Snyder.
Afterward, attendees’ hearts were lifted as they visited the living horses, who didn’t at all mind cheering their admirers with their majestic kindness (Silver Charm), clowning (Special Ring and Popcorn Deelites), bravado (War Emblem), youthful fun (Game On Dude and Little Mike), and venerable wisdom (Alphabet Soup, Dinard).
Among the written memories shared with us by attendees were these poignant testimonials to the love and inspiration that the unique beauty, openness and courage of a horse can inspire.
Danthebluegrassman a.k.a. Danny Boy was my favorite, since my 1st visit in 2009. He remained my favorite throughout the years & I was blessed to visit him 6 times. He never failed to leave his slobber kisses on my shirt, which I loved. He will always remain in my heart. Thank you to everyone at Old Friends for all you do.
Pattie, Pickens, South Carolina
When Joyce and I first started volunteering at OF I was attempting to do a rudimentary repair on his paddock fence. I had zero knowledge of race horses other than to handicap them. Dan came over to where I was working to my uneasyness with him in my face, MR CURIOUS! He started my love of these amazing animals as more than just an athlete running in races.
Ken, Lexington, Kentucky
My sister Doreen & I live in NYC, but we love horses!! We have been coming to Lexington for 6 years now to enjoy the farms. Doreen passed away on April 3, 2019 and I am here honoring her.
Your dam, the truly brilliant & beautiful Genuine Risk, was one of our favorite race horses of all time. When Nancy Hapgood brought us to Old Friends we cried with joy to see you!!
P. S., You are frolicking with your beautiful mother Genuine Risk—& I know you are kissing my sister Doreen right now. Enjoy the flowers I left for you. It’s hard for people to visit Lexington who don’t drive, but we always loved seeing you. RIP!
Don, New York City
I’ll never forget my first sight of Regal Sanction in 2012, standing at the top of “his” hill, next to his trees with his gorgeous mane & tail blowing in the breeze. He spied us & immediately began coming to us, thrilling me, though I’m sure he was mostly anticipating carrots! It was love at first sight & I believe he knew from that moment. I immediately went to Pinkston’s and ordered him a gorgeous stud halter, which was actually too heavy for him to wear. I brought it back & presented it to him—he knew it was his!! On subsequent visits I just spent all of my time visiting him—he would hang out next to me the whole time, let me pet him & talk to him. I believe he truly understood how much I loved him & always will. I was truly blessed to know him. I now wear a locket holding hairs from his tail & will always cherish it. He was one of the most beautiful horses I’ve ever seen & will always be in my heart. I truly hope we may have more time together on the other side.
Sue, Sun Valley, Idaho
Silver Ray was the most gentle, sweet, amiable horse I’ve ever known. From our first visit here, he became our favorite. We always made sure that he would be on the tour.
Mike and Debbi, Chilhowie, Virginia
These horses’ lives were celebrated this Memorial Day. Geri and Yankee Fortune will be honored next Memorial Day.
Main farm residents
A P Valentine
Highland Ack (Landy)
our other locations
Black Tie Countess
Driven By Success
Say Florida Sandy
We will never forget them.
photos by Laura