Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm back

Sorry...lifes been busy. Time can fly so fast. Only 9 days till opening day at Saratoga. We're getting ready for all our Old friends to come over for a visit. The horses are all doing well. It was a brutal winter, but they all stayed healthy. Cowboy came home tonight for a little vacation. He's doing great in racehorse school, maybe he'll race this summer :)) Come visit him this Saturday at Open House.
I'm looking forward to seeing all the people meet the horses. The farm is beautiful when there is lots of visitors. The horses thrive on the attention. Please help us spread the word, it's the best advertising we could ask for. We have lots of events planned and more in the works......Maybe this fall we'll have a barn dance :)) Hope to see you soon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mr Cowboy

Cowboy left today, off to begin his training in Aiken. He didn't want to leave. It took almost 2 hours to get him in the trailer. He was a good boy, but he was stubborn. We talked a lot. He was born here, with a bumpy start. I loved him the minute I saw him, but he wasn't breathing. I did CPR and he came to life before my eyes. I called him Mister. He couldn't walk for 3 days. My husband Mark and I stayed with him the entire time, getting him up to strengthen his muscles, milking his mare, feeding him, giving him fluids, we worked really hard. The whole time, he was so sweet. On the 4th day, he was better. He was standing up all by himself when we looked in the stall. It was so exciting to see him walk and nurse and play. The first time he went outside, he walked like a drunken sailor, but he was walking. The first day in the sun, he got stronger, over the next 2 days he improved immensly. Life was good. His owner took him and his mare to Ky when he was 3 weeks old. I didn't get to see him until he was 8 months old, when his owner called and said I could have him if I wanted him. We went and picked him up that day. The rest is history, He's grown into this gorgeous 2 yr old chestnut stallion, he looks just like his sire Stonesider, and his grand sire Giant's Causeway. He's been playing the whole time with his friend Moonshadow Gold and his jolly ball and road cone. Eating a lot of carrots. He's healthy and strong. He has 25 partners in his racing career. We're all hoping and praying for the best, like all horse owners, dreaming of our horse being "The One". Cowboy has been fun and this new chapter will be exciting, wondering where it will lead. It makes me think of all our Old Friends here and in Kentucky. They were all somebodys dream horse. I love the mission of Old Friends, dignified retirement. All horses deserve that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nice Story for a winter day

I just came home from the barn and read this story Connie sent me. I loved it, it took me there, to a warm day, having fun at the track. All the horses here came from that world. I'm so grateful they have a safe place to be. I wish every horse born was given that promise of a good life. For them to have all their visitors come every week and to know they are happy. That would be a nice story too.

Thursday, 13 January 2011 11:38
By Sean Clancy

Carlos Martin, in a tan suit, read Sunday’s overnight in the racing office. His assistant, Dave, asked him why he was dressed up.

I nearly spat on the floor.


Respect for Saratoga.

Rachel Alexandra, Blame, Quality Road, Majesticperfection, A Little Warm, Proviso, Forever Together, Kantharos, Telling, Discreetly Mine, Malibu Prayer, Get Stormy and all the others making moments. Respect for the big horse.

Hammock, El Real Madrid, Slip Away, Dr. D. F. C., Doctor Peaches, Cherokee Speed, Pretty Boy Freud, Cedros, Interpatation, Missinglisalewis, Avenging and to all the others plying their trades, providing the fun. Respect for the little horse.

“The filly was awesome, bro.” “We will never know for sure, that’s what this game is all about.” “The small things in life will do me.” “I think we had a mutual respect for each other. I think he’d be OK with it.” Respect for the spoken word.

The leg kick of Tahitian Warrior in the paddock and the engine kick in the stretch. The height of Pocket Cowboys, every day, the New York-bred appears on the backside, big, tall, lanky and stoic. Tony Milan petting a nervous Nacho Corona on the head before the last race, and the horse acting like he understood. Respect for the little moments.

The last race on a quiet day, just another turf claimer. Glenn DiSanto and his owners cheer and celebrate the replay, watching their horse win over and over. DiSanto’s relief when they post his number. Respect for winning.

With a tape recorder in his face, Steve Asmussen asking, “click me,” to tell me something off the record. Jonathan Sheppard telling the truth and then asking not to be quoted about it. Rick Dutrow saying it straight, “The owner picked the spot.” Respect for the truth.

Chad Brown’s constant fascination with the process, “I want to know when you sleep.” Kip Elser’s light every morning; if it’s off, I know I’m early . . . If it’s on, I know I’m late. Todd Pletcher clocking a gallop; not a work, a gallop. Respect for the clock.

Watching Lara and Dave Duggan, kids and mother screaming for their 2-year-old to win its debut on the grass. Poor horse carried us all and got beat at the wire. Respect for the chance.

Tony Dutrow walking from the track apron, through the paddock, across Union Avenue, up the old pony track and back to his barn. Still not finished, two racetrackers trying to make sense of the racetrack while A Little Warm gets a bath. Respect for the quest.

Watching the Adirondack with my friend Chuck Lawrence. His filly finished third and vindicated his decision to bring her here and my decision to write a column about her before the race. Old friends, new challenges. We’ve come a long way since that two-bedroom apartment on White Street, dirt on the floor as thick as the Oklahoma. Respect for the climb.

Jimmy Toner’s straw pillows; old-fashioned. They used to be a tradition, every stall had them. Now, so few follow our ancestors’ leads. So sad to see traditions flame out. The box seats have slipped so far too. I never thought I’d be a traditionalist, but golf shirts in the boxes at Saratoga? The sagging roof on the outrider’s barn, some day it will go too. Stopping and picking up a slate shingle for old-time’s sake. Respect for history.

Bill Mott’s pony, standing in the middle of the yard, awaiting his job, like an old workhorse, plow hitched and fields to be tilled. Mott watching his horses jog for soundness on the hard road outside his barn; afraid to look, but more afraid not to look. Respect for the obligation.

The sallow eyes of Doug Fout after spending days and nights with exercise rider and – more importantly – friend Ben Garner who had a reality-check of a fall this week. The fight of Verena Stock, who fell while schooling a horse in South Carolina. The horse has come to Saratoga and run two jackpot seconds while Stock tries to recover normalcy in a hospital in Georgia. Respect for life.

The constant wonderment of why riders take their feet out of the stirrups and unfasten their helmets. Such a silly way to threaten what you love. Respect for the unanswerable.

Blue walking back to the stakes barn with Admiral Alex. The winner of one race, the runner of one race looks like a Travers winner. The oldtimer couldn’t have his horse any better. Respect for the coup.

The days spent in the golf cart with Jack, Jane, Ryan, Nolan, Chappy and Miles. Respect for the youth.

Another year winding to a close. All the hopes and dreams about to be tucked back into brush boxes and suitcases, awaiting another year to come out and play. Respect for the greatest race meet in the world.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just being Thankful

I forgot to tell you all about the great soup that our friend Susan made. It was Lentil soup, and it was wonderful. It is thought to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year, so I had 2 cups and am looking forward. Our volunteers here are great, I know that we couldn't do it without them. Our tour guides Theresa and Nicole know all the facts and make the tours fun and interesting. Connie takes the greatest photos, we will hopefully add more to the website soon. Sam comes 3 mornings a week and helps with all the clean up and has become a great horseman this past year, he just showed up one day and said he would like to learn.
Our neighbor Dickie gives us Sunday mornings off, he comes over and feeds and spends time with all the horses. Janelle and Pat feed every Tuesday night and have never missed a week. Bobbie, Cathy & Kim come every chance they get to help with everything and spend time with the horses. Then there is all the great people who work so hard on fund raising, Susan, Carol, Myrna, Jackie, Pat, Bobbie, Peg, Tresa, her mom June, and so many more. It's amazing to me how these horses draw people and then make you fall in love with them to keep you coming back. It's great. I'm so Thankful to all these people I can't express it properly.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year

Wow, 2011. Where have the years gone. I guess they have gone into a wonderful life of family, friends and horses. We had a birthday party for the horses yesterday and over 150 people came to visit them. We consumed a huge birthday cake and drank gallons of coffee. You could tell the horses were happy. The tour guides were worn out, but they looked happy too. Things got so busy so fast that 3 of the horses became nauseous from too many treats. I will be a better parent from now on and not let that happen again. They were all fine after an hour or so. Mr Cowboy, our newly official 2 year old race horse provided all the entertainment (up until he got gas from too many treats). Today they are all mellow and resting, just like me. Also a big event to kick off the new year is that we formed our racing partnership for Mr Cowboy, Cabin Creek Racing, last night. Wish us luck as we send Mr Cowboy to South Carolina to meet up with his trainer Bill Allyn. I'll keep you posted on things. I wish everyone the best for the new year and hope everyone comes to visit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Beautiful Season

I hope all is well and the holidays have left you peaceful. Tonight we are expecting our first snow storm and we have brought all the horses in the barn. Most of them like to come in at night. The one who protests the loudest is Cool N Collective, ironically when he first retired here straight off the racetrack, he really wanted to be in his stall, he was uncomfortable outside the first days, now he's had his freedom he doesn't want to be confined. Every time I walk by him, he lets me know he's not happy. After they all settled in, I groomed them and felt so thankful for my job, of caring for these magnificent animals. To spend time with each one and take care of them, brush them, clean their feet, listen to them munch hay gives a peaceful feeling I want to share with everyone. Come visit, feel it for yourself.   

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2nd 2010

Here we go.........
First off. I would like to thank all the folks at ITT Tech for this wonderful website. They donated it to us to help the cause of Old Friends and all off our horses here in NY & KY. We are forever grateful.
All the horses are doing great. Very eventful bringing them all out of the barn this morning. Karakorum Patriot can be quite a handful to walk, he gets something in his head and it's off to the rodeo. When he finally is turned out in his paddock he leaps straight up in the air, I'll try to get it on video. Our farrier, Corey came today and took great care of all of the horses. My husband Mark has been clearing land for more paddocks. Michael Blowen told me the other day that there is over 60 horses on our waiting list, seems overwhelming but with so many great people working on this, we'll make it happen.