Happy Birthday Queen Z!

Guest blogger/photographer Mathea Kelley is back to share her latest update on our good friend Zenyatta.  Thanks Mathea! Hope you guys enjoy!

In the world of the Thoroughbred industry a birth at Winter Quarter Farm in Lexington, Kentucky on April Fools Day 2004 would prove to be anything but a joke. That is the day that the sensational mare Zenyatta was born. Little did the crew that watched the wobbly legged dark bay foal take her first steps know that they were witnessing the arrival of one of the greatest racehorses in the world. The hopes and dreams of owners, trainers, caretakers, fans and so many other people involved in Zenyatta's world would be rewarded untold times as they all watched her grow.

Last week I had the honor of being invited to Zenyatta's seventh birthday party. Zenyatta spent the morning of her birthday relaxing in the paddock with her gal pals. She came in for a late lunch and had a bath and shine in preparation for the festivities later that afternoon. Zenyatta had received baskets of fruits, peppermints and countless cards from her adoring fans nationwide. A kindergarten class made a life-size card of Zenyatta complete with cotton balls to represent her white markings and black yarn for her mane and tail. The entire class signed the card.  A special group of fifth graders from Ohio sent Zenyatta a basket filled with some of her favorite things. The outpouring of love for Zenyatta is amazing to witness.  After "she" made some thank you calls, it was time to party. Owner Ann Moss and the crew from Barn 55 flew in from California to celebrate with Zenyatta. On the lawn in front of her barn, Zenyatta enjoyed kisses & cuddles and many fresh carrots presented to her by the party goers. The staff at Lane's End also received some treats, cupcakes decorated with crowns and buttercream icing in the Moss' racing colors.  After her party  Zenyatta went back to her stall for an afternoon nap.

While Zenyatta rested, the crew from Barn 55 went to say hello to another Lane's End resident, Life is Sweet and see her new foal. Life is Sweet was more than happy to show off her new foal for the guests and allow pictures to be taken of her foal's antics.

The remainder of the day was spent reminiscing and relaxing with Zenyatta. The California connections returned home later that evening with their many memories and pictures from a fun filled day. Enjoy the pictures below from a wonderful day on the farm.

Zenyatta before getting cleaned up for her big party.
Headed to the barn
Heading to the barn for bath time.
Ready for company.
Zenyatta's card from her kindergarten friends.
Who's here?
Treat time
Zenyatta gets a treat from one of her party guest, owner Ann Moss.
More treats
Everyone eats lots of treats on their birthday.
Treat Time
She enjoyed every one too.
Picture time
Picture time. Say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Where's everybody going? I'm still eating.
Life Is Sweet Foal
Life Is Sweet's new foal at Lane's End Farm.

 Keep visiting www.ThroughTheLensBlog.com for updates on Zenyatta and other great mares.


Leave a Comment:

Race On

Thank you so much!  Zenny may be retired, but we still want to keep up with how she is doing.  This blog along with her website are what keep us happy.  Thanks again.

07 Apr 2011 4:48 PM
Kim S

Thanks for the wonderful pictures, dirty and clean.  :)  Looks like Zenny had a great time with "girlfriends" and Lane's End friends.  And isn't the little one, Life Is Sweet's foal, absolutely adorable. Great job Mathea.

07 Apr 2011 4:50 PM
Criminal Type

Awwww ! How cute is that baby ? I just love this time of year. The foals are always so adorable. Congrats to Life is Sweet and her connections. Happy Bday to Zenyatta.

07 Apr 2011 4:53 PM

Any and all info and pictures of the QUEEN are greatly appreciated. So glad to see her Mom and so many of her Cali friends came to see her on her big day. She looks absolutely splendid and very happy. Looks like LE is taking amazing care of Americas most beloved horse. If horses couls smile, Big Z would have a grin ear to ear. LOVE IT!!!

07 Apr 2011 4:57 PM
Mike Relva

Thanks for the great pictures of Zenyatta!!!!!

07 Apr 2011 5:22 PM
Paula Higgins

Thank you for the blog and wonderful pictures of our girl. She looks stunning as usual. I am so glad her family got to fly in and see her. I know they must miss her terribly. As for that foal, OMGosh nothing is cuter than that!

07 Apr 2011 6:13 PM
robin from michigan

Happy birthday Zenyatta. Hope you had a wonderful day.

07 Apr 2011 6:21 PM




07 Apr 2011 6:24 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for the birthday pictures! It looks as though Zenyatta had an interesting day with friends and family and treats! She seems happy with life on the farm.

07 Apr 2011 6:32 PM
Greg J.

Thanks for the wonderful photos, Happy Birthday to the one and only Zenyatta!

07 Apr 2011 6:56 PM
Trina Nagele

Marvelous pictures with Queen Z still looking regal and majestic even with carrot tops peeking from her mouth! And Life is Sweet's little one is absolutely adorable. Thanks for sharing and making us feel as if we were there.

07 Apr 2011 7:38 PM

Love the muddy dapples. She looks pretty happy down on the farm. Thanks Mathea for sharing Zenyatta's birthday day with us along with all your fantastic photographs. Looks like she had a great visit with the ladies from Barn 55. And how wonderful to catch a glimplse of Life is Sweet's foal. That little baby is just too adorable for words.

07 Apr 2011 7:38 PM
Katie Clawson

That's our girl!! We love you Zenyatta!

07 Apr 2011 7:47 PM

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful Zenyatta.  Also like the picture of the little colt.  Life is Sweet must be a proud mother.

07 Apr 2011 7:51 PM

Thanks so much for our gift of these pix of our HOY!!!!  They mean the world to a lot of people as we wait anxiously to see anything about her.  And that little foal is too sweet.

07 Apr 2011 7:54 PM

Life Is Sweet's baby is adorable!!  Thank you for all the great photos -- Zenyatta looks like she's enjoying her new life. :)

07 Apr 2011 7:58 PM
Sue W

Thank you for continuing to keep us involved in all things Zenyatta.  Her connections are doing a great job through Zenyatta.com but these pictures are so special...can you believe the Queen is seven?  And that foal...what a priceless picture.  Hopefully next year we will see a little Z running around with mom.

07 Apr 2011 7:59 PM

Nice pictures!  Man she has put on those LBS.!  It is important for her being a broodmare prospect for her to have those, but man she looks way different in those profile shots!  Glad she is happy and healthy.

07 Apr 2011 8:22 PM

Thanks for the beautiful pictures of Queen Z.  She looks great! I would prefer to see her with just a lead shank not a chain over the nose. She is a laid back horse that is uesd to crowds, especially

knowledgeable horse people like her gal family.

07 Apr 2011 8:41 PM
AJ from CA

These pictures of Z's B-day really made my day!!  

07 Apr 2011 8:44 PM

Loved sharing the big day with Zenyatta through these wonderful photos. She looks great with some added pounds and more beautiful than ever. I do hope she does not miss her CA family after they leave her because I know she remembers each one of them. Life is Sweet's foal is just precious.

07 Apr 2011 8:58 PM

@Dale, of course Zenyatta's owners and their guests can see her any time they like. They are paying her bills. That's a whole lot different than you, me, or any other member of the public showing up and expecting to visit her. Lane's End doesn't give public tours during breeding season. It says so right on their website. Like other farms in the area, when they do offer tours they are of the stallion facilities. Broodmares are not included on farm tours at Lane's End, Claiborne, Three Chimneys or any other big commercial farm. They're not set up for it. These farms are businesses, not museums. They are under absolutely no obligation to "open their facilities to the general public," as you put it. (Is your place of employment open to whoever wants to walk in and poke around? Mine sure isn't!) Maybe LEF will make arrangements for Z's fans to visit. Maybe they won't. The point is, we don't have any right to insist that they do so, and we SHOULD appreciate the "few pictures." You may not like it but you have to deal with it. Zenyatta is not public property.

07 Apr 2011 9:10 PM

That is one muddy horse. I bet she had a blast.

07 Apr 2011 9:16 PM

Thank you for sharing these great photos.  You are a great photographer! Zenyatta still looks beautiful, she has such a regality and awareness about her.  Kudos to the Mosses for going to Lane's End as much as they have, they truly love her so.  Life is Sweet's foal is priceless, what an adorable foal.  Seeing that photo makes all the troubles of a stressful day go away!  Thank you.  My prayer is that soon Zenyatta will be carrying a foal just like that.

07 Apr 2011 9:19 PM

Just so you all don't think I'm out of my mind, I replied to a post (by "dale") that seems to have been deleted.

Carry on.

07 Apr 2011 9:19 PM

Great photos & love Life Is Sweet's baby.

07 Apr 2011 9:21 PM
Jim C.

Thanks for the awesome photos of The Queen.

07 Apr 2011 9:25 PM
Pedigree Shelly

      Happy Birthday Zenyatta !!! Sorry to hear about her lost foal !!! Hopefully she'll be back on track with another date with Bernardini ! Fingers crossed :)

07 Apr 2011 9:27 PM

Well stated Laura J!!

Love the photos, Keep them coming!

07 Apr 2011 9:27 PM

It was nice seeing Zenyatta with her CA bffs. I am happy they come to visit her when they can. I am sure she likes seeing them again since they use to see and spoil her on a daily basis. Zenyatta is one intelligent horse and I am sure she knows who each and everyone of them is. Life is Sweets foal is adorable. He has grown some since the first pictures were taken. Can't wait until they name him.

The Kindergarten class has been so excited with all the recognition. It has been a big boost for their moral which they needed. Don't we all? ha... I will forward this to the computers at work so they can see their card again. Thank you Mathea for including it in your delightful photo shoot. I am glad you were invited along for the ride.

07 Apr 2011 9:37 PM
Mookie's Hero

The pictures are just beautiful and made my day. Can't get enough of Zenyatta as she is so special. The foal is really sweet. Any word on Zenyatta's breeding? Has the second time taken place and was it successful? Lovely time of year for foaling.

07 Apr 2011 11:16 PM

Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures of the Big Girl!

Aren't we lucky that the Moss family and friends are so  generous in sharing both time and love with Zenyatta.  Sure do miss her at the track but am equally grateful that she retired safe and sound.  

07 Apr 2011 11:51 PM

Thank you Mathea.  Appreciate all photos and videos of Zenyatta that you can share with us.  Thank you again.

08 Apr 2011 12:53 AM
Amanda Gilliland

Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful photos. Zenyatta looks great no matter what she is doing.

I know she had a great Birthday Party. I am so thrilled The Mosses have allowed her fan family to see her. I'm glad that Land's End takes such good care of her & protects her.

08 Apr 2011 2:13 AM
Mike Sekulic

Mathea Kelley certainly did a very fine job of photographing ZENYATTA!

I sure love how much Mrs. Moss loves ZENYATTA, it's one of the sweetest, most touching things I've ever seen in my nearly 40 years of being a racing fan. I'm not surprised, though, because I know I love ZENYATTA myself, and so many other people adore her as well, so it's understandable that the owner(s) would feel as they do. It's wonderful.

If ZENYATTA were mine I think I would put her in my yard, or I would move near her (close to the farm) and hang out with her, eating carrots and drinking Guiness. Talking to ZENYATTA is a wonderful thing. She pays attention.

08 Apr 2011 3:04 AM

Thanks, Mathea, for these wonderful photo --  so nice of you to share them with us!

08 Apr 2011 5:17 AM

Thanks for the great pictures. I love keeping up with "The Queen" and her court!!

08 Apr 2011 5:39 AM

Thanks for the pictures.  Especially liked the one of a muddy Queen Z.  Please keep the pics and stories coming.  Can never get enough of the queen!

08 Apr 2011 7:30 AM

I love seeing pictures of her dirty, too cute! And she still has those dapples.

08 Apr 2011 7:32 AM

My favorite picture is the head shot. She has such a kind eye. I bet she enjoys the "mud baths" with her pasture gals. It's like being at a spa!

08 Apr 2011 8:39 AM
LouAnn Cingel of Union, Missouri

Oh wow, love the pics and thanks so much for putting them here for us all to enjoy.  Loved the wonderful pic of Life is Sweet's baby foal, adorable! Looks like Zenyatta had a wonderful visit with some of her closest friends and family.  Zenyatta you are so loved and you will always be in everyone's hearts, especially mine!

08 Apr 2011 10:17 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

I couldn't wait to see these pictures and they are so sweet.  Thank you for sharing.  I love everything Zenyatta.

08 Apr 2011 10:32 AM
Debbie M

Thank you for sharing your pictures with us! Loved them.

08 Apr 2011 10:44 AM
Sue M.

Even muddier and heavier, Zenyatta is still an amazing physical specimen of a horse. I'm always struck by that when I see a picture of her. She looks happy and I'm glad to see her connections are staying close with her. I so hope the next breeding is successful. Life is Sweet's foal is adorable, but it isn't hard for a foal to be too cute, is it?

08 Apr 2011 10:45 AM

Great photos and captions for a great gal.  Love her in mud!

08 Apr 2011 12:24 PM



08 Apr 2011 12:36 PM
uncle mo lover amy!

THESE ARE THE BEST PICTURES :):):):):):):):):)EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY B-DAY BIG GIRL AND REST IN PEACE DRIVEN TO TEARS:(:(:(:(:(:

08 Apr 2011 12:51 PM
Love 'em all

What a fun day for all on Zenyatta's special day!  Mathea, thank you for all the wonderful photos.

That's the first photo I've seen of Z with a little mud on her!  Too cute!

So glad you shared a pic of LIS's baby, which is just adorable.  

08 Apr 2011 1:37 PM

Wonderful pictures! Wow, that first one of Zen all dirty made me do a double take! She's livin' the life now, isn't she? And she still knows how to pose for a picture. Life Is Sweet's foal is adorable too. Thank you for sharing.

08 Apr 2011 2:20 PM
Laura K

Happy Birthday Zenyatta !!!

You will ALWAYS have a place in my heart forever. You will be a great Mom to your colts & fillies, and teach them with Love, Spirit, & Vitality just like Dahlia did. You will enspire them to command attention with all the LOVE and Gentleness that we are so proud to call you & remember you as you are always a QUEEN. God Bless you : )

08 Apr 2011 3:31 PM

Mathea, you did it again...beautiful pictures of our dear Zenyatta.  Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures!! :)  

08 Apr 2011 3:37 PM

Thanks for sharing pictures with all of us on her birthday.  What a great celebration.  Love LIS foal.  Too perfect.  Fun to see Z all "muddied up".

08 Apr 2011 4:15 PM

Happy Birthday Big Girl!  I'm happy that your 'family' came to celebrate with you.  You're looking good and happy.  Enjoy yourself!

08 Apr 2011 4:26 PM
Especially Horses

Thank you for sharing.  Looked like everyone had a great time.  I particularly enjoyed seeing our girl Z all muddied up…it means she is relaxed and enjoying herself as she played/rolled in The Big Muddy…well deserved, of course.

@ LauraJ.  Well said and to the point…Dale or no Dale.

08 Apr 2011 5:14 PM

It ALWAYS warms my heart and brings a smile to my face to see a picture of Zenyatta. Now that is one powerful horse!!!!!!

08 Apr 2011 5:46 PM

Beautiful photos of our lovely Queen Thank-you

08 Apr 2011 9:51 PM

Thank you for sharing with all who love her...

09 Apr 2011 12:29 AM

Awww Life is Sweets foals marking on its face reminds me of the little boy fishing from the moon that you see at the beginning of movies if i remember right.  

09 Apr 2011 11:01 AM

Thank you so much for Z-updates! Keep em coming!! She looks as lovely as ever!

09 Apr 2011 11:05 AM

Thank you for the great pictures and all the updates.  I love Zenyatte, Happy Birthday!!

Keep the pictures coming......

09 Apr 2011 2:41 PM

Does Zenyatta look like  

Man Of War, I looked at the slide show of him and to me she looks like his daughter.  Beautiful!!! Will there ever be another like her?  Such a special one, a magnet personality that draws people to her WOW!!  Nope, not one like her..WOW what a horse!!

09 Apr 2011 6:55 PM

Life Is Sweet's foal is stunning and delightful would love to see her grow up..

09 Apr 2011 6:57 PM

Thank you Mathea for the beautiful photos of Queen Z and the special photo of Life Is Sweet's precious foal. WOW - those dapples are still fabulous, even in the dirt. I appreciate the wonderful memories you're creating of Z's special occasions and sharing them with the BH racing fans, many of whom may never have the opportunity to ever see her in the flesh. I visit zenyatta.com regularly; Dottie Sherriffs does a GREAT job educating youngsters about Thoroughbred race horses and getting them enthused about horse racing. But I'm very appreciative for your mature presentation - please keep the memories coming! To LAURA J - I wholeheartedly agree with your response to Dale.  

09 Apr 2011 7:53 PM

Yes Ragsy I agree with you I was thinking the same thing when viewing the MOW slide show too!

09 Apr 2011 10:59 PM

LIS's foals star on his forehead looks like the Dreamworks logo of the little boy fishing from the moon. Also to Ragsy, doesn't MOW have a Curlin face too? They definitely get the same expression on their face.

09 Apr 2011 11:06 PM

Happy birthday Zenyatta! Today I was reminded of just how extrordinary you really are. You never got beat.  Sure winners were beaten today. Uncle Mo for one.  It is mind boggeling what you did.

10 Apr 2011 12:37 AM

Thank you so much for the spectacular pictures.  They just made my morning.  She still looks the queen and always will be the queen.  What she accomplished and the love she awoke in so many is a legacy that will be almost impossible to match.  Life is Sweet's foal is a doll.  Can't wait for both Zen and Rachel's babies.  How goes Zen's second try?

10 Apr 2011 10:12 AM


Never thought about Curlin but YES he does have that look My Goodness all I have heard is the genes that far back doesn't matter...Oh, MY they really do....

Overwhelmed with the Awesomeness of Zenyatta, was she bred again???

Favorite pictures are:

Where is everyone going and She enjoyed everyone too..of course the foal picture is No. 1 also..

10 Apr 2011 11:50 AM
Sandra in Lexington

I still get chill bumps every time I see a photo of her...she's just spectacular!  Happy Birthday, sweets!  Hope you got my card!  xoxoxo

10 Apr 2011 3:29 PM

I know that Z is going to go to Mr. B, but what about Tiznow sometime in the future? I am not sure about the nicks between them, but aside from that looking at pictures of them both I think they would be a good match.

10 Apr 2011 5:35 PM

Thank you BH-staff and Zteam for all the wonderful articles and photos of Z and many others. It means so much to me to be able to come along for the ride in some way even if it is just from a computer screen. I love horses so much and to be able to see them really makes me so happy and helps fill the void of not being able to own a horse of my own.

10 Apr 2011 5:46 PM
Jenna M

What a great birthday for Zenyatta!  I love that Anne Moss and Dottie 'attended.' She's so very loved by so many people :>

10 Apr 2011 6:09 PM

I want to add my thanks to the wonderful people who let us share these wonderful moments with Zenyatta and Lanes End. I would love to share her life for as many wonderful years as she graces this earth. And even if this will be the only outlet to do it, so be it. Thank you again.

Also thanks for the shorts of Life is Sweets baby, he is precious!

10 Apr 2011 7:19 PM
Joel from Downey

Great pics, and thanks for the updates...It is so hard to believe that she will forever be absent from the entries...But I'm glad she's happy...ZENYATTA proves that time waits for nobody...Happy bd, Girl...PS-LIS foal pic is awesome...I loved her in the BC in 09...

11 Apr 2011 12:08 AM

Thank you!!!  I would use even more exclamation points or even type in all caps to imply shouting if I wasn't trying so hard to restrain my enthusiasm for the wonderful photos you have shared with us.  It is truly fantastic the Mosses and Lane's End have been so generous in sharing our Queen Zenyatta even in her retirement and I remain so grateful for them.  I'm sure you thought this was a tough assignment to get to visit the queen and take her pictures, but wow!  you really did a splendid job, Mathea.  Thank you again before I babble on.  I am also grateful to the connections of Life Is Sweet to allow the adorable photo of her precious foal.  It is a good day.

11 Apr 2011 12:15 AM

Giving the public access to Zenyatta while taking care of her needs is a daunting challenge but Ann Moss and Lanes End have to be commended for doing an excellent job and striking the proper balance here. Hopefully other owners and stud farms will be able to follow their example.

11 Apr 2011 10:16 AM

Thank you Mathea for the wonderful pictures! Zenyatta is still breathtaking and Life Is Sweet's foal is adorable, as they all are. Zenyatta is thriving. Kudos to Lane's End. Team Zenyatta continues to show the way to all other owners on how to treat fans of their racehorses. They welcome us into Zenny's life and are allowing us to share in it. What other owner does anything like this? Jerry & Ann, and John and Dottie are just fantastic! And I loved the card the kindergarten class made. Kudos to them as well!

11 Apr 2011 12:11 PM

She looks wonderful, muddy or spit polished. And what a remarkable greeting card from the class! That is so clever and cute! Yarn mane and cotton balls in her ears...just a wonderful keepsake.

Thanks too, for the picture of LIS's darling baby. Her people have to be thinking life is indeed pretty darned sweet with the foal in the SweetSpot. :))

11 Apr 2011 9:19 PM
Judy G. Loves Zenny/California

To quote Queen Zenyatta:


13 Apr 2011 1:02 PM

Love to Queen Z and to the newborn from horse lovers everywhere!

13 Apr 2011 1:22 PM

I just love the Queen.Just keep the  pic. coming of her... she is up there with all the greats.

14 Apr 2011 10:34 AM

Thank you Mathea for the wonderful pictures of Queen Z - muddy or not she is the most gorgeous female on the planet - among all species!

16 Apr 2011 11:02 PM

Bout time the racing industry got on the Z bandwagon.  Happy Birthday to the Queen.

01 Apr 2012 3:09 PM

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