The biggest news on the farm is the arrival of Poshsky. I’m putting together a video showing him settling in, which I expect to post here in the next few days. He’s a good looking, refined, 10 year old bay with a cute face and sweet nature who won the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at five but by age ten, having dropped to low claiming levels, was winless all year. Clearly, it was time for him to hang up his boxing gloves. Now he has, and he’s full of curiosity about his new home. Stay tuned for an Old Friends Blog Visit with Poshsky in a few days!
I’d like to share more of the great photos Laura took last week. Sokitumi Samurai isn’t the only horse on the farm who’s smiling these days. The horses on the main tour route are all showing, in their own ways, how pleased they are that tours have resumed. They’ve been getting the usual attention from the barn staff all along of course, and Michael and Diane have made the rounds of the farm with several buckets of carrots each evening, and the office staff also bring treats. Laura and I have scheduled our evening photography and video sessions intentionally so that we’re there on different evenings. Not because of social distancing – it’s a big farm – but to give the horses twice as many evenings when one of us comes around with treats, attention and mane combings or back scratches. But if we ever doubted that the tours matter to the horses – which we didn’t – their enjoyment is obvious. They’re making it clear how much they appreciate their visitors as well as their treats.
Horses are creatures of habit and find security in regular, predictable schedules, and the return of two regular daily events, at 10 am and 1 pm, return restores a routine that I think they missed. Nicanor and Sarava have started watching the parking paddock as 10 am and 1 pm approach. Nicanor is positioning himself near the gate again at tour times. While the horses not on the main tour route have seemed as cheerful as ever during the last months, some of the ones on the front of the farm were noticeably a little glum. Not Sun King or Afternoon Deelites, who have been bouncy as ever, but Touch Gold and Eye of the Tiger, and Nicanor, are all showing definite signs that they’re happy these days.
As for new guys Pollard’s Vision, Patch and Stormy Liberal, they think all these visits and treats are just great!
For the horses up at the back and over on the side, this mild spring and summer have brought the usual fair weather pleasures of relaxation, green grass and peaceful nap times under the sun or in the shade, as each horse prefers.
This photo of Brilliant Decision isn’t the most flattering Laura took, but I’m especially fond of it because his expression looks so much like his grandpa, Ogygian. Brilliant Decision is very much himself, and quite different from his damsire in personality (except for also absolutely despising peppermints), but I love these little flashes of family resemblance.
Speaking of family resemblance, Mixed Pleasure was a handsome guy, and so is his son, Windy Land. Windy Land pretty much rules his herd in the paddock just beyond the tree line from Brilliant Decision and Wake Forest.
Winning Dubai and Kalamos are doing great, as is Talk Logistics who is making a friendly companion for his new paddock mate Palmer’s Approach. Neither of these guys is much into the politics of living in a big herd full of extroverts and both seem to be thriving on just having one very nice companion.
Johannesbourbon, on the other hand, is a bit of an achiever and quite the extrovert. He’s moved up in the pecking order of his herd, now ranking higher than all but his close cousin, Cherono.
Hussonfirst, a sociable and easygoing horse, does well with whatever companions he lives with. Currently, his herd are his longtime buddies Fabulous Strike, Sokitumi Samurai and Marshall Rooster, as well as newer herd members Comma to the Top and Fantastic Day.
And I saved the cutest photo for last…
photos by Laura