Old Friends

Re: Old Friends

Postby Catalina » Thu May 10, 2018 12:04 pm

djnorth wrote:The incident with Kona Gold was sad. I couldn't remember if it happened overnight or early morning. I think he may have been turned out with another horse but I do recall there were questions on whether there was a night watch that patrolled the park overnight checking on the animals. It sounded like a kick injury and I think the KHP stopped turning them out in company after that, at least in the HOC pastures. It did sound like just a horrible accident that can happen with horses but at least they addressed it. Sunday I didn't attend the shows, so I don't know how they do it but KHP has some Champions in the Big Barn with the draft horses. I saw Da Hoss, Mr. Muscleman, Be a Bono and maybe one other in that barn. Don't know if they contact the owners or if it's agreed upon on donation or lending.

OF kind of clammed up with the news about Bluesthestandard came out. I don't even really have a problem with them farming out horses to other facilities since I'm sure they get more requests for help than they have space. However, it didn't seem that there was any attempt to contact the donor of the animals. I remember Kristin Mulhall had said that OF approached her about Blues and that she told them she would take him back if it didn't work. She didn't even know that he wasn't at the facility. I actually think that re-homing some of these animals would be good PR for the retirement industry. OF could show horses that are cleared for some work, be it jumping, dressage, pleasure, therapeutic etc. The horses should be cleared by a vet for the activity and the original donor should be notified and given first refusal.

I've sent small amounts even with the questions but I don't know if I'd be comfortable with retiring a horse there without some explanation of the policy. I also noted that OF's Board was never quoted as unveiling new policies for rehoming horses or keeping horse donors in the group. That bugs me a little too.


It bugs me considerably more than "a little". OF may accept donations of super famous horses, but in the normal course of events it is my understanding that the owner has to pay in order to get his retiree accepted into OF. If in doing so the owner has to sign over all rights to OF, keeping the horse for a while and then adopting it out for a rehoming fee sounds like positive cash flow.

It would be interesting to know how many people liked the set-up enough to keep sending their retirees to OF.
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Re: Old Friends

Postby djnorth » Thu May 10, 2018 6:18 pm

Catalina,

I suspect you're correct about "non-stars' going to OF. I recently talked to someone who contacted them about taking a 20+yo daughter of Ferdinand a few years ago. She was a retired broodmare. I was pretty positive that they would talk to her about taking the mare but the person that answered the phone said that they concentrated on stallions and referred her to Our Mims. She called but they didn't return her call and since the mare wasn't really a "rescue" she didn't pursue it. OF never discussed policy.

I guess I'm a serious hypocrite because I do send them small amounts. I don't heartily endorse them though without looking at the contract. I (I'm a vet but also a non-practicing attorney in OH) don't claim to be an expert but I told the person about Blues and told her we'd check the contract. Since the call didn't amount to anything, it stopped there. I guess I feel that since Blowen has been able to sweep the Blues incident under the rug with many people, and the OF Board hasn't addressed it, OF feels like that's "handling it." And there should have been some required reporting or checking on rehomed horses. He has been on-line before for money, whether it was for the barn destroyed by fire or the run-in sheds and fencing. I guess I would have expected the non-stars to be turned down or an appeal sent out for money for their care. It's disingenuous that OF would demand payment for non-stars and rehome them, apparently without letting the donor know. I also think he didn't keep Mulhall's evaluation of Blues in mind, as I think she did send a donation with him and she instructed that he was not to be ridden. If I remember correctly, the adopter said that her kids rode him.

I do find it interesting that Blowen appears to have two standards: one for the superstars and one for the commoners. It's funny that he underestimated Mulhall and Blues as well. Blowen kind of skeeves me out when we get the "saint" pose with Silver Charm, Game On Dude, or the others. I can't forget poor ol' Blues. And Blowen playing a victim in the story never makes me feel better about it. I guess I'd like to see it addressed, by Blowen and the Board. Don't know that I'd send a horse there (even a superstar) as things stand.
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Re: Old Friends

Postby djnorth » Thu May 10, 2018 6:21 pm

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Re: Old Friends

Postby hadrianmarcus » Thu May 10, 2018 7:53 pm

djnorth wrote: I do find it interesting that Blowen appears to have two standards: one for the superstars and one for the commoners. It's funny that he underestimated Mulhall and Blues as well. Blowen kind of skeeves me out when we get the "saint" pose with Silver Charm, Game On Dude, or the others. I can't forget poor ol' Blues. And Blowen playing a victim in the story never makes me feel better about it. I guess I'd like to see it addressed, by Blowen and the Board. Don't know that I'd send a horse there (even a superstar) as things stand.


I won't forget Blues either, even if I think Blowen would prefer we all did. This is the October 2009 Press Release announcing Bluesthestandard's move to Old Friends:

They may not be getting multiple Grade I winner Lava Man, but Michael Blowen’s Old Friends retirement facility will be graced with another accomplished gelding who ascended from the claiming ranks.

Multiple graded stakes winner Bluesthestandard, who went from $10,000 claimers to earn more than $1 million on the racetrack, will arrive today at Old Friends’s Dream Chase Farm in Georgetown, KY where he will spend the rest of his days.

The popular son of American Standard was retired from racing in April 2006, thanks to the combined efforts of then-owner Steve Sobel and trainer Kristin Mulhall, who was a long-time fan of the gelding. Mulhall offered to buy Bluesthestandard and retire him before he fell too far down the claiming ranks on the Southern California circuit.

In addition to his victories in the Grade III Texas Mile Stakes, and the Grade II Potrero Grande Breeders’ Cup and Palos Verdes Handicaps, Bluesthestandard finished a game second to Cajun Beat in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“Blue has a lot of fans that I have not been able to accommodate while he has been here at my house for the past 3 1/2 years,” said Mulhall “Realizing that he will never be sound enough to make a riding horse, which he truly loved, I talked it over with Margaret Ransom–who also played a huge roll in me purchasing Blue–about finding him a forever home where he would be able to see all of his fans.

“It was very hard letting him go,” Mulhall continued, “but after lots of thought, talking to Michael Blowen, and seeing what a wonderful job he has done, I realized that Old Friends was the best place for Blue to live out his years. I already miss him.”

The addition of Bluesthestandard is welcome news for Old Friends as Blowen learned last week that Lava Man, who had been slated to come to the farm for months, was instead being put back in training by his owners.
“It’s amazing to have (Bluesthestandard) with us,” said Blowen. “We have been able to help a few others that have fallen to the bottom of the claiming ranks. Kristin did an amazing thing retiring him, and she did an amazing job taking care of him. We hope all of Blue’s many fans will visit him in the coming months.”

From the assumption that he was going to a forever home...where is fans could see him....for the rest of his days............to a pretty grim death.
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Re: Old Friends

Postby sweettalk » Fri May 11, 2018 1:43 am

http://www.drf.com/news/grade-2-winner- ... rd-dies-17

and here it's said there's nothing negative suspected in his death :?: what a bizarre, and frustrating, story all around
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Re: Old Friends

Postby Ballerina » Fri May 11, 2018 9:14 am

We will be going to Old Friends later this morning and meeting up with Michael. I won't be asking him about Blues. He's dealing with a lot of grief and stress losing two of OF's wonderful horses.
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Re: Old Friends

Postby djnorth » Fri May 11, 2018 9:28 am

Let us know how the OF visit goes. Assuming weather holds up, it should be great. However, it's always interesting that he's always the picture of commitment and grief when one of the residents dies. Sorry for projecting my guilt complex on the world, but I wouldn't have been able to live with myself after hearing what happened to Blues. Wonder what their financials look like, his salary etc.
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Re: Old Friends

Postby TapitsGal » Fri May 11, 2018 9:44 am

Tour of the Cat and Catlaunch have passed
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Re: Old Friends

Postby bare it all » Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am

Heartbroken over Catlaunch... EPM is terrible. Such a personality on that one... despite him being a horrible cribber.

Rest easy, boys.
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Re: Old Friends

Postby Somnambulist » Fri May 11, 2018 10:22 am

djnorth wrote:Let us know how the OF visit goes. Assuming weather holds up, it should be great. However, it's always interesting that he's always the picture of commitment and grief when one of the residents dies. Sorry for projecting my guilt complex on the world, but I wouldn't have been able to live with myself after hearing what happened to Blues. Wonder what their financials look like, his salary etc.


Is this info available given their tax deductible nature?

I've never understood how the model is financially feasible honestly.
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