OLD FRIENDS INC wrote -
In a little more than a decade Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, has put a new face on the concept of equine aftercare. Founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, the organization has grown from a leased paddock and one horse to a 136-acre farm and a herd of 158 rescued and retired horses, including several pensioned stallions. Blowen had long believed that horses past their prime could still be valuable – money-earning, even—if the venue was right. And so Old Friends opened its doors to the public, inviting fans to revisit their turf heroes. These days the farm attracts nearly 20,000 visitors annually who come to swoon over such American Grade 1 winners as Amazombie, Gulch, Game On Dude, and most recently Kentucky Derby champion Silver Charm. And while such rock stars draw crowds, the revenue they raise supports hard-knockers like Swan’s Way, whose resume boast 81 starts and only 8 wins or Easy Grades, a one-time Kentucky Derby contender who ended up struggling in $5K claimers at the age of 9. In 2014 Old Friends was rewarded with an Eclipse Award honoring extraordinary service in the sport of racing. But perhaps the greatest reward of all has been respect and support of the owners, trainers, and fans who not only donate to the cause of protecting these amazing athletes but come out to the farm often and visit with all of their old friends.