A Day in the Life: Broodmare of the Year Leslie's Lady

Gathered by the field gate, mares and foals wait for the 7:10 a.m. arrival of Clarkland Farm staff. First, the staff lead the mares and foals into their stalls in the barn. Leslie's Lady, 2016 Broodmare of the Year, is among the herd that resides at Fred and Nancy Mitchell's Clarkland near Lexington.

Leslie's Lady and her 2017 Medaglia d'Oro colt are the final twosome to meander toward the barn. ORDER THIS PHOTO

The 400-acre Thoroughbred nursery is owned and operated by the Mitchells. Nancy's daughter Marty Buckner, and her husband Matt Ernst, also are involved in the daily operation along with a few other staff. Established in the 1700s, Clarkland Farm has been in Nancy Mitchell's family since 1774. Nancy grew up on the farm where 1931 Preakness Stakes winner Mate also was raised.

Corner stall with heads in the feed tub by 7:20 a.m.  ORDER THIS PHOTO

Mares and foals spend about two hours in their stalls, getting fed, groomed, and attended to before going back out into their 45-acre field for the rest of the day.

Grooming time. ORDER THIS PHOTO

Leslie's Lady is the dam of multiple champion Beholder and grade 1-winning sire Into Mischief. She has a 2017 Medaglia d'Oro colt by her side, born April 4.

View from Leslie's Lady's stall. ORDER THIS PHOTO

Medaglia d'Oro colt grooming himself. ORDER THIS PHOTO

The mares and foals eat a mix of oats and sweet feed, get groomed, and then munch on hay while in their stalls. The animals often take a nap. On this day, Leslie's Lady snoozed standing up while her colt laid down in his usual napping spot under the stall window.


After a while, the foal got up and nursed before laying down for another nap. Marty Buckner returned to the barn to take care of the mares' additional needs and medications, like Leslie's Lady who gets a daily dose of Regumate.

Leslie's Lady, dappled and looking lovely at 21. ORDER THIS PHOTO

Pleased with the current crop, Fred Mitchell said they would likely sell their usual 12 yearlings in September and possibly sell some weanlings in November.

Walking back from the barn to their field. ORDER THIS PHOTO

Very much a herd animal, Leslie's Lady prefers to be with the other mares and foals in their big field. Once the mares and foals go back into their field, they congregate around their waterer and then walk a path to a beautiful area filled with trees and grass.

Leslie's Lady with her foal on a beautiful Kentucky day. ORDER THIS PHOTO

Special thanks to Clarkland Farm for the photo opportunity. Leslie's Lady, now 21 years old, is dappled and looking terrific. By Tricky Creek from the Stop the Music mare Crystal Lady, Leslie's Lady is in foal to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Click here to read more about Leslie's Lady in the July 29 issue of BloodHorse Magazine.

See more images and purchase prints from the BloodHorse Photo Store: photos.bloodhorse.com

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