On Oct. 17, I was graciously invited to attend a benefit for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility near Georgetown, Ky. honoring Hall of Fame members Skip Away, Noor, and Precisionist.
I thought you all would enjoy seeing some photos of this special occasion. The event started with an observance for the three previously mentioned Thoroughbreds, who were recently buried in Old Friend’s new Hall of Fame cemetery near the entrance.
Precisionist was euthanized Sept. 27 at Old Friends after suffering from an inoperable tumor, while Noor was exhumed from his previous burial ground at the Loma Rica training track in California due to the land being developed and was brought to Old Friends at the end of August. Skip Away’s body was recently transferred to Old Friends from Hopewell Farm near Midway, Ky.
Skip Away's new gravestone at Old Friend's Hall of Fame graveyard; photo by Carol Ayers Knapp
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame partnered with Old Friends in the Hall of Fame event, which drew around 50 numerous fans, supporters, and industry members from several states. During the ceremony, Keeneland bugler Bucky Sallee played “The Call to the Post” and Old Friends owner/founder Michael Blowen gave a heartfelt remembrance speech in honor of the three late Hall of Famers.
Bucky Sallee plays the "Call to the Post," Photo by Carol Ayers Knapp
Old Friends owner/founder Michael Blowen delivers a eulogy; Photo by Carol Ayers Knapp
The event ended with dinner and live music at Nick Ryan’s Saloon, a fabulous new restaurant in downtown Lexington. It was such a joy to attend this event, and I was happy to see all the support it received! More than $2,500 was raised for Old Friends from ticket sales.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux and his girlfriend munch on oysters at Nick Ryan's Saloon; photo by Suzie Picou-Oldham
Old Friends works hard to host several benefit events each year in order to support its facility and put its cause in the limelight. Have you ever attended one? What did you think?
Here's your chance to attend another event at the farm if you haven't already:
Old Friends will host a special celebration of the Breeders’ Cup on Sunday, Nov. 6 at noon EST.
The festivities will take place at Old Friends’s Dream Chase Farm, and tickets are $25. Members or students tickets are available for $15, and reservations can be made by calling (502) 863-1775.
Guests will enjoy a full BBQ buffet by Furlong’s Catering and Staxx BBQ, farm tours, live and silent auctions, a demonstration on the making of Raku/horse hair pottery by the artists of Pottery Rowe, and music by Lexington favorite Roger BonDurant.
Speaking of the Breeders' Cup, I'm headed to Louisville very early tomorrow morning to report on all the happenings at Churchill Downs leading up to this weekend. I'm covering the Turf Sprint this year on Saturday, so I'll be especially tracking those horses and trainers.
I hope to be reporting to you again very soon from Churchill. Until then, take care, and as always, I welcome any comments, questions, or requests!