Old Friends at Ashton Grove (last September when the weather was nice)
Last Tuesday, February 9, 2021, Old Friends welcomed a new resident to our Ashton Grove location. Ashton Grove Senior Community in Georgetown, Kentucky is home to sixteen of Old Friends’ Thoroughbred retirees. Three herds occupy three pastures. The first herd, who have long lived together at the main farm, may be familiar to many main farm visitors as “the red guys” because four out of the five of them are chestnuts. Now known as Ashton Grove’s “Founding Five,” they are Secret Getaway, Porfido (the only bay in the bunch), Ireland’s Eye, Massone, and one of the farm’s three stars, multiple graded stakes winner Daytona.
A smaller herd of three live in the middle pasture. All came straight to Ashton Grove on retirement but one is well known to racing fans: Magic Weisner who finished second to War Emblem in the 2002 Preakness Stakes. Magic Weisner is accompanied by his longtime friend, Bo’s a Ten, who is a daughter of our much-loved and much-missed Patton (1991-2014). She resembles her dad. The third member of that herd is another mare, Millie’s Thunder, a daughter of 1995 Derby winner Thunder Gulch and granddaughter of the great Gulch (one of Old Friends’ most revered retirees from 2009 until his passing in 2016). Millie’s Thunder raced only once. The thirteen year old mare has lived a life of ups and downs that eventually led to a slaughter auction. Thanks to the loving and practical help of Shirley Ford, Millie’s Thunder’s life turned around last fall. Under the care of John Bradley, manager of Old Friends at Ashton Grove, Millie has regained her health and high spirits. She’s the sweetest horse on the farm and has become the darling of the residents and staff of the Ashton Grove Senior Community.
And then there’s the third herd. They’re a motley crew of eight who came from four different herds on the main farm. At first four twosomes, they’ve now formed a herd with a clear pecking order and social life. They are Brilliant Decision (no star, but the herd boss), Wake Forest (he’s the star, having won the 2016 Man o’ War Stakes (G1)), Litigate, Talk Logistics, Padua’s Pride, Falcon Scott, Palmer’s Approach, and Riversrunrylee.
Those are the sixteen Thoroughbreds. But, as I mentioned, a new resident has now moved in at Ashton Grove.
Christy Cassidy, who donated Winston to OF, bought him to live at Ashton Grove last Tuesday.
Miniature horse Winston had a famous namesake. Er, well, not Sir Winston Churchill. The pinto mini was named by his former owner, Christy Cassidy, for the longtime miniature resident of the Kentucky Derby Museum, who retired to Old Friends and passed in 2018. This Winston, unofficially Winston II, is a 13 year old gelding with the perfect resume for Ashton Grove since he’s an experienced senior community and nursing home visitor.
His love for people—not to mention his cuteness—may give Millie’s Thunder a run for her money as Ashton Grove’s darling with the community’s residents and staff, and his experience and indoors manners should also make him a favorite visitor in Ashton Grove’s memory unit. This little guy is really something special.
But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. Here are Ashton Grove’s Thoroughbred residents and the arrival of new resident Winston.