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Horses at Old Friends Equine

Old Friends is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) equine retirement facility in , accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA). The organization started with one leased paddock and two horses, but now owns 136 acres, Dreamchase Farm, with additional leased pasturage. It is the only retirement facility in the United States that accepts on a regular basis. Old Friends is currently home to over 150 retired Thoroughbred athletes.

Contents

Background[]

Geldings share pastures at Old Friends, becoming close friends

The facility was created in 2003 by former Boston Globe movie critic Michael Blowen, spurred by the death of 1986 winner in 2002. The presence of high-profile horses helps raise money, allowing after-care for more low profile horses.

In 2009, Joann and Mark Pepper's farm in , became a satellite operation of Old Friends Equine known as Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division named for trainer , who died in 2009.

In 2015, Old Friends announced a partnership with Kentucky Downs, with the cooperation and assistance of Simpson County Tourism. Located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, this satellite facility can house up to 10 retired Thoroughbreds and features daily tours and a gift shop. Residents currently include Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield, Ball Four, Rumor Has It, Hussonfirst, Lusty Latin, and Sgt. Bert.

In January 2015, Old Friends was selected to receive a special Eclipse Award honoring extraordinary service or contributions to the Thoroughbred industry.

In January 2016, a fire destroyed the organization's hospital/quarantine barn. Forunately, no horses or people were harmed. Plans are underway to rebuild a new fire-safe barn, aided by donations and fundraising activities.

Horses are kept "turned out" in their pasture as much as possible, with run-in sheds available in case of bad weather. Geldings typically share a paddock with one or two others, forming tight bonds. Stallions are more territorial and are thus kept in separate pastures. They do interact with each other though, often by racing down their fences. Visitors are allowed to touch and feed most of the retirees.

The Board of Directors consists of Michael Blowen (President), William Van Den Dool (Vice President), Diane White (Secretary), , Dr. , Clark Nyberg, Cindy Grisolia, Suzanne Mundy, Dennis Brida, Ron Portell, Ron Wallace, Mark Otto, Barbara Fossum and Corey Johnsen.

Notable residents[]

Silver Charm enjoying his retirement at Old Friends

Residents at the main farm in Kentucky range from to claimers. They include:

  • Affirmed Success (gelding, born 1994) - Winner of 1998 and , 1999 , 2002 , retired to Old Friends in 2007 after a stint at the .
  • (1991, stallion) - Winner of the 1996 . Retired to Old Friends in 2015 after standing at .
  • (2006, gelding) - Won 2011 , .
  • (gelding, 2001) - Two time winner and New York Horse of the Year (2007, 2008).
  • Eldaafer (2005, gelding) - Winner of 2010 . Retired to Old Friends in 2014 with his goats, Yahoo and Google
  • (2007, gelding) - The only three-time winner of the and winner of over million. Retired to Old Friends in 2014.
  • Genuine Reward (1993, stallion) - One of only two living foals produced by Kentucky Derby winning filly , he never raced. He was serving as a sire of before being relocated to Old Friends in 2015.
  • I'm Charismatic (2001, gelding) - Son of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner , he raced 92 times with limited success, dropping to the lowest claiming ranks. Purchased in 2012 for retirement to Old Friends.
Rapid Redux with Rail Trip
  • (2007, gelding) Winner of the .
  • Little Silver Charm (?) - and Old Friends' official "spokeshorse". One of the few non-Thoroughbred horses at Dream Chase Farm. "Author" of A Charmed Life as told to Diane White, published in 2016, the story of life at Old Friends.
  • (1998, gelding) - Low level claimer turned animal actor, performed the title role in , joined Old Friends in 2005.
  • Rail Trip (2005, gelding) - Won and over .5 million, joined Old Friends in 2014.
  • (2006, gelding) - Set a modern North American record by winning 22 consecutive races, winner of the , joined Old Friends in 2012.
  • (1999, stallion) - Winner of 2002 in the biggest upset in the race's history. Retired from stud in 2012.
  • (1994, stallion) - Winner of 1997 , and 1998 . inductee. Retired to Old Friends in 2014 after standing in Japan.
  • (1997, gelding) - Winner of 2003 and 2004 Grade 1 , joined Old Friends in 2005.
  • Sun King (2002, stallion) - Multiple graded stakes winning son of , joined Old Friends in 2017 after being pensioned from stallion duty, shortly after his sire's passing.
  • (1994, stallion) - Won the 1997 Belmont Stakes, denying Silver Charm the Triple Crown. Retired to Old Friends in 2015 after standing at Adena Spings.[19]
  • (1999, stallion until 2015, now a gelding) - Winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Stood in Japan where he was a notoriously shy breeder. Brought back to Old Friends in 2015 where it proved necessary to geld him to comply with USDA regulations.
  • Winning Dubai (2009, gelding) - A Puerto Rican runner who was retired and sent stateside after , along with several other horses. The son of E Dubai made over 90 starts, winning 22 times and earning over 5,984.

Notable residents in New York[]

  • This Hard Land, a seven-time winner in 49 starts who was named after a by .
  • King Congie (2008, gelding) - Stakes winner who contested the , he was rescued from an auction by Rosemary Farms, a horse rescue operation in 2016. He was returned to a previous owner, who then donated him to Old Friends.
  • , the first New York-bred horse in 125 years to win the .
  • Will's Way, 1996 winner.
  • , modern American record holder for the most losses —-"racing's most lovable loser"

Notable residents at Kentucky Downs[]

  • Ball Four (2001, gelding) - Won Kentucky Cup Classic, set two track records
  • Good Lord (2007, gelding) - 9-time stakes winner with over 80 starts, earnings of 3,305.
  • Sgt. Bert (2001, gelding) - Two time winner of the , setting a track record
  • Thornfield (1994, gelding) - Won , 1999 Canadian Horse of the Year

Deceased Old Friends[]

Former residents of Old Friends include:

  • Awad - Winner of 1993 and 1995 . Died in 2011.
  • A. P. Slew - Great-great grandson of Hall of Fame filly . Euthanized in 2014 due to complications from colic surgery.
  • Appygolucky - King of the Claimers at Beulah Park, holds track record for a mile at the now-defunct Ohio racetrack. Euthanized in 2009 due to spinal condition.
  • - Winner of 1988 . Euthanized on July 22, 2008.
  • - Winner of 1991 and Horse of the Year. Died in 2010 after a battle with cancer and arthritis.
  • Bonnie's Poker - Dam of Hall of Fame Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, . Died at age 28 in 2010.
  • Bonapaw - Millionaire winner of the 2002 that made over 40 starts. Was euthanized in 2017 due to complications caused by neurological disease.
  • - Son of , winner of 1993 . Euthanized in 2014 due to ongoing physical infirmities.
  • Catlaunch (2001, gelding) - Started over 100 times, earning over million at smaller tracks in Ohio and the midwest. Euthanized in May 2018 due to chronic neurologic disease.
  • - 1999 Lexington Stakes, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, died at age 21 in after a freak stall accident, shortly after arriving at Old Friends from Japan, where he had been standing stallion duties.
  • Creator (1986 stallion) - Winner of 1990 . In 2004, he was one of the first stallions (with Ogygian and Sunshine Forever) returned by Old Friends from overseas for retirement. Euthanized on February 28, 2015 after complications from colic.
  • Crusader Sword (1985 stallion) - Winner of 1997 and . A leading sire in New York, he sired 16 stakes winners and over .8 million in progeny earnings. He died in May of 2010 due to infirmities of old age.
  • Diamond Stripes - Winner of the 2008 Gr.II Godolpin Mile at Meydan and two other graded stakes. Euthanized at age 10 due to complications from sinus cancer.
  • Fortunate Prospect - Winner of 1984 San Vincente Stakes, sire of 537 winners Died at age 32 in 2012.
Gulch at age 31
  • (1984 stallion) - Eclipse Champion / Breeders' Cup-winning sprinter and sire of Kentucky Derby winner . Died at age 32 on January 17, 2016.
  • Halo America- Multiple graded stakes winning mare, dam of stakes winners Quick Temper and Marino Marini, and granddam of 2017 Preakness Stakes winner , euthanized at age 26 due to declining health.
  • Hidden Lake (1993 mare) - 1997 Eclipse Champion Older Mare, retired to Old Friends in 2009. Euthanized September 29, 2016 due to the infirmities of old age.
  • Kiri's Clown (1989 stallion) - Winner of 1995 , track record holder for 1 1/2 miles at . Retired from stud in 2006, passed 2014 due to complications from colic surgery.
  • Key Contender (1988 stallion) - Winner of 1995 with over 50 starts. Sired stakes winner Weathered. Died in July of 2012 due to colic.
  • (1983 stallion) - Winner of 1985 , 1986 , 1986 and 1986 . Ogygian was euthanized at the age of 32 due to colic complications. At the time of his death, he was the oldest resident at Old Friends.
  • - Won 1995 Breeders' Cup Sprint, Eclipse Award for Champion Sprinter, Hall of Fame inductee. Euthanized in 2006 due to cancerous tumors.
  • - Winner of 1989 in his first start on a grass course. Died in 2014 at age 28.
  • - Winner of 1988 , , and , . Died January 7, 2014.
  • - Winner of 1990 . Died December 24, 2008.
  • - Won three Grade 1 races, 1994 winner for Champion Older Horse. Euthanized March 2011.
  • - Two time winner of the , last born son. Euthanized at age 27 after battling a severe neurological disease.
  • Tour of the Cat (1998, gelding) - Won multiple graded stakes and over .1 million, before descending through the claiming ranks. Claimed in 2009 in order to retire to Old Friends. Died in May 2018 due to a diaphragmatic hernia.
  • Wallenda - Winner of 1993 Grade 1 Super Derby and son of Gulch. Euthanized in 2016 after a lifelong battle with chronic pain caused by a bad hoof.
  • Williamstown - Former mile record holder at Belmont. He was euthanized February 25, 2015 due to complications from .
  • Winston (1993, gelding) – miniature horse, former resident Thoroughbred companion at the . Retired to Old Friends and died just on May 2, 2018 before his 25th birthday due to an abdominal infection.

The following horses were re-interred at Old Friends when their original graves were threatened:

  • - Hall of Fame Champion re-interred from the former Loma Rica Ranch after planned development due to an effort headed by Charlotte Farmer.
  • - Hall of Fame Champion, 1998 Horse of the Year was re-interred from the former burial place at Hopewell Farm. The farm was sold at auction.
  • Glacial Princess - Two-time Ohio Horse of the Year (1985, 1986) who broke down during the 1987 ; re-interred after resting place was scheduled for development. The Glacial Princess Stakes is run at Mahoning Valley in her honor.
  • Springsteel - "Iron Horse" gelding with a race record of 76: 20-15-9 and earnings of ,340, five time stakes winner and track record setter, euthanized after breaking down after a race at , where he was buried. After the defunct racetrack was set for development, noted photographer Barbara Livingston and Michael Blowen arranged for the transfer of his headstone.

Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs[]

In 2015, introduced the Old Friends Stakes. A black-type turf stakes run in September, the race is held on the "Old Friends Day" race card, a day dedicated to the facility and thoroughbred aftercare. Along with their share of the 0,000 purse, the winner is guaranteed a place at Old Friends upon retirement.

The inaugural running in 2015 was won by 50-1 shot Kalamos, a son of who had previously won a Gr.III race in Europe.

The second running in 2016 was won by Flatlined, a son of Flatter who would go on to become a graded stakes winner.

The third running in 2017 was won by Sir Dudley Digges, a son of who most notably took the 2016 in an upset. The win was his first since the Queen's Plate.

External links[]

References[]

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