Monthly Archives: January 2020

Euronfire (2008-2020)

As some of you know, we’re heartbroken to have lost the beautiful mare Euronfire to a paddock accident. I had planned to write a post about how kind and sweet she was, and how in the last few months she’d developed into the boss lady of her herd. Since Patti Davis, who enabled her retirement with us continued to love and visit her throughout that retirement, I asked Patti to share some memories of her. When I received these words from her, it was clear that Patti’s words should stand alone as the memories posted about her.


Euronfire enjoying a canter with MissZoey Belle

I knew Euronfire since she was a yearling, and when I first met her in her paddock across from Keeneland, I whispered to her, “I will always have your back.” I said that to her many times while visiting her in trainer Wayne Catalano’s barn; I said that to her again when my uncaring ownership partnership put her in an auction and turned away from her, and I bought her. I kept my promise, even though I was the smallest shareholder in that partnership. I had her back.

I had hoped she’d find a second career while briefly at New Vocations, but lingering illness prevented that, and when I asked Michael if she could become part of the small mare herd at Old Friends, he immediately replied, “Yes! Send her!” And I have had her back every since, encouraging others to support Old Friends and other TAA-accredited retirement homes.

and with her friend, Miss Hooligan

Whenever I visited her — about 2 or 3 times each year — I’d call her name and rattle the paper bag that held red, ripe pears (her preferred treat). She never failed to nicker and come trotting over for some love and her favorite snack. I know she recognized me each time I visited, and that was special indeed. A love story.

200201 Euronfire and Patti

Euronfire and Patti

I’m forever grateful to Carole and Antonio, assistant farm managers, who found Euronfire in distress in her paddock and came to her immediate aid. Thank you to James Crump who was also there that fateful morning, and to John Bradley who also loved her. My heart is full of thanks to Michael for saying, “Yes! Send her!” that day I’d called. And thank you to my beautiful redhead, Euronfire, who taught me more about Thoroughbred ownership and responsibility than I can express.

Patti Davis
Thanks to Patti for the
photo of Euronfire and Patti
other photos by Laura



Filed under Uncategorized

January 22, 2020

Cajun Beat (2000-2020)

All of the horses at Old Friends mean so much to everyone. But some, sometimes, make a special connection. That was the case for me and Cajun Beat. We were all shocked to learn of his sudden passing. But when I got the news from Michael all I could think about was getting a call from Donna Calloway at Padua Stables in 2014, asking about Old Friends possibly taking Cajun and his BFF, Padua’s Pride, the regally bred yet underachieving brother of European Champ Generous.

Cajun Beat with his buddy, Padua’s Pride

Cajun had been coursing in and out of my life. In 2003 I made a sojourn from New York to Santa Anita to attend my first Breeders’ Cup. I went to see the great Azeri win the Distaff. Then, she scratched. But the day turned magical nevertheless: Julie Krone became the first female to win a Breeders’ Cup race aboard Halfbridled in the Juvenile Fillies; the Turf ended in the first dead heat in Breeders’ Cup history between High Chaparral and Johar (and almost a triple dead heat with Falbrav only a nod behind); trainer Richard Mandella captured not one, by four Breeders’ Cup races; mother nature was setting records as temperatures rose to 99 degrees; and long shots were the order of the day. Cajun Beat, at 23-1, blew them away in the Sprint. It was hot as blazes, but the little dark bay son of Grand Slam was cool as could be. I always remembered him, I think because he was really fast (his was the 3rd fastest Sprint ever clocked at the time) and I liked his name—it made you want to listen to Zydeco and eat Jambalaya. Years later, I was lucky enough to work at Three Chimneys Farm, where I was surprised to learn that Cajun and Padua were retirees. I left to come to Old Friends before I had a chance to see him there, but not long after came the call from Donna. Cajun Beat was back. He was originally placed at one of our annex farms, and I saw him whenever I visited to take photos. The two boys were incredibly charming and hard to resist. Once Cajun and Padua moved to our main farm in Georgetown, I found myself with, regrettably, less time to visit. And then he was gone—as Michael noted, he was as fast in death as he was in life. It’s a mistake we make, always thinking there’s a tomorrow. Godspeed, Cajun.

Cindy Grisolia
photos by Laura Battles

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized