Old Friends Update – After the Fire

Photo © Tim Wilson.

At 7 a.m. on January 23, our small, quarantine barn burned to the ground. James Crump safely removed the barn’s two part-time residents, Archie’s Echo and Alphabet Soup. No one was injured. The Georgetown/Scott County Fire Department appeared in a flash and prevented the fire from spreading. It was the best possible outcome from a terrible situation. We’re still awaiting the final report from the fire Marshall and the final determination from our insurance company.

In the days following the fire, the horse-racing community came together — big time — to help. There were fans donating a few dollars and such organizations as the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and the folks at the NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Championship Charity Challenge making larger contributions. Not only that – neighboring farms offered stall space if we needed it along with hay and blankets. Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron showed up later that day to offer his help and make a donation. We were humbled by the outpouring of support and it made us optimistic about being able to rebuild.

Then, Fasig-Tipton and Blue Horse Charities donated $50,000. Fasig-Tipton’s President Boyd Browning called and asked if I knew John Hettinger. I did. John was the most influential member of the horse-racing community to support aftercare with his heart and his dollars, and I adored him. His intelligence, pragmatism and generosity has led to hundreds of Thoroughbreds leading productive, relaxed lives during their post racing and breeding careers. We are honored to name our new barn, The John Hettinger Memorial Barn.

Personally, I had never been around fire before. The ferocity and speed of the barn’s disintegration made me a believer. Now, I see our big old tobacco barn as a liability. So the new barn will be a bigger structure and as fireproof as we can possibly make it and, if we raise enough money, we would like to renovate our existing metal hay barn into a new “hospital/quarantine” barn for incoming horses and those that require veterinary attention.

We are currently designing plans for our new barn and determining a budget. The donations, combined with the pending insurance settlement, will be used to build a sturdy barn worthy of the Hettinger name. Once we begin, we will issue updates on our barn construction.

Genuine Reward now occupies Gulch’s paddock and Game On Dude’s new pal is Sarbonne. You might remember Sarbonne as Zenyatta’s target during her workouts. He never won but he did his job with grace and humility, contributing to her spectacular success. Now, he’s with another multiple Grade 1 winner and a great addition to the tours. Check out Barbara Livingston’s photographs of Silver Charm and War Emblem on her website. War Emblem is settling in very nicely. He really likes his space and, believe me, he gets it. He’s in the paddock previously occupied by Rapid Redux and Amazombie. Those two have moved into the big paddock next to Genuine Reward.

Once again, thanks to everyone for everything.
Michael Blowen

Rosie Napravnik & Joe Sharp
Rosie Napravnik & Joe Sharp

Amazombie… the hat

The Hats Off to the Horses! online auction continues by that one-of-a-kind milliner, Sally of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®. 100% proceeds go help the horses of Old Friends. AMAZOMBIE chapeau auction ends Feb. 11th 8pm EST. Many thanks to Rosie Napravnik and Joe Sharp for modeling! As always, our sincere thanks to equisportphotos!

Click here to bid!

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324
502-863-1775 www.oldfriendsequine.org   michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833
518-698-2377   www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com   cabincreek4@hotmail.com

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