Who We Are

Horse Racing's Living History Museum

Old Friends provides a dignified retirement to Thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. By promoting these once celebrated horses through a campaign of education and tourism, our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of equine aftercare.

A Message From Michael

Thank you so much for checking out our new website! Without the support of our fans, Old Friends wouldn’t exist. I hope you find what you’re looking for and, furthermore, you’ll be inspired to visit all of our great retired Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Kentucky to see these magnificent characters in person.

Our History

In 2003, Old Friends thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, put a new face on the concept of Thoroughbred aftercare. Former Boston Globe film critic, Michael Blowen, started our organization with a leased paddock and one horse. Over the years we have expanded to a 236-acre farm, three satellite locations and a herd of over 240 retired former racehorses and breeding stallions.

We opened our doors to the public, inviting fans to visit their turf heroes. As a result, Old Friends is now the “living-history museum” of horse racing. Annually, our horses attract nearly 20,000 visitors, who come to get up-close-and-personal with racing’s superstars, and also meet a few who never saw the inside of a winner’s circle.

While rock stars like 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm draw crowds, the revenue they raise supports hard-knockers like Popcorn Deelites, a one-time claimer who made a name for himself by starring in a Hollywood movie. Every horse at Old Friends has a story to tell, and our volunteer tour guides enjoy sharing them with their fans.

In 2014 Old Friends was a proud recipient of a Special Eclipse Award, an industry accolade honor-ing extraordinary service to the sport of Thoroughbred 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.

Little Silver Charm's Old Friends Timeline

2001

A Dream is Born

2003

FIrst Horse Narrow Escape

2004

First Return from Japan

2006

Dream Chase Kentucky

2009

Cabin Creek New York

2014

Silver Charm Comes Home

2016

Rising From Ashes

2017

Major Expansion

2019

North Dakota Friends

2020

Ashton Grove

2021

15 Years Dream Chase

The ups and downs, the ins and outs, I’ve been here since the beginning. I’ve seen it all. I am Little Silver Charm. I am the eyewitness to Old Friends history."

Our Farms

Dream Chase Farm, our main facility in Georgetown, KY., is home to more than 130 former racehorses and breeding stallions. Residents include Silver Charm, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and three winners of the Belmont Stakes – Touch Gold, Sarava, and Birdstone. Our roster includes Little Mike, Amazombie, Eldaafer, Stormy Liberal, and Work All Week, plus three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude. Located just minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park and Keeneland Racecourse, we are open to the public for tours by reservation.

Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, located in Greenfield Center, NY, is just a few minutes from the Saratoga Race Course. Run by farm managers JoAnn and Mark Pepper, Cabin Creek features 15 retired Thoroughbreds, including two-time Whitney Handicap winner, Commentator, and 2007 New York-bred Horse of the Year winner, Naughty New Yorker.

Old Friends at Ashton Grove, also located in Georgetown, KY., showcases a unique relationship between Old Friends Farm and the Ashton Grove Senior Living Community. The location combines horse retirement with exemplary senior living. Based on approximately 40 acres once owned and operated by Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms, the Ashton Grove location features 13 Old Friends retirees.

Team Old Friends

Administrative

Michael Blowen

Diane White

Barbara Fossum

Mary Greene

Cynthia Grisolia

Susan Smith

Viv Morrison

Rebecca Monakil

Horse Care & Facilities

Alphonso

Antonio

Beth

Bill

Billy

David

Grace

Jeremy

J.R.

James

Marisa

Moises

Tammy

Zach

Old Friends Tour Guides and Concierges

Andy

Barb

Becky

Beth

Carol U.

Carol W.

Charlie

Diane

Donna

Ellen

Jade

Jane

Joyce

Kelly

Ken

Kurt

Laura

Lisa C.

Lisa W.

Lloyd

Marc

Matthew

Pam

Steve

Tom

Wendy

The best job to have at Old Friends, by far, is that of a tour guide. We’re pretty much the face of the farm, the first people our wonderful guests meet when they come to visit our horses. Although our backgrounds are as diverse as the pedigrees of our retirees, we share one thing in common, and that’s our admiration of the great equine athletes whose stories we tell day after day, rain or shine. We’re all unpaid volunteers, so it’s not a job we have to do. To us it’s an honor and a privilege to share the legendary racing and breeding careers of our horses with the thousands of tourists who visit the farm each year.” — Tom Beatty, Senior Tour Guide

Old Friends Mini-Managers

Little Silver Charm

Old Friends and Georgetown/Scott County Tourism Spokes-Horse

Gorgeous George

Old Friends and Georgetown/Scott County Tourism Spokes-Horse

Winston

Old Friends Mascot Ashton Grove Senior Living

Fonzi

Mari Hulman George Annex Mascot
A Clowder of Cats

Buddy

Chief Greeter

Lucy

Office Potato

Selena

Gift Shop

Bobby

Rodent Control

Birdie

Michael's Minion

Bebe

Assistant Guide

Rufus

Farm Patrol

Princess

Senior Farm Cat

Patch

Rodent Control Apprentice
Board of Directors

    Officers

  • Michael Blowen

    President

  • Bill Van Den Dool

    Vice President

  • Barbara Fossum

    Secretary/Treasurer

  • Cynthia Grisolia

    Chariman

    Members

  • Jill Baffert

    Owner

  • Jeff Burch

    Industry

  • Susan Chu

    Baoma Corporation

  • Peggy Gdovka

    Breeders' Cup Ltd.

  • Corey Johnson

    CJ Throughbreds

  • Suzanne Mundy

    Canamer Farm

  • Clark Nyberg

    Finance

  • Bev Passerello

    Ashton Grove Senior Living

  • Ron Portell

    Finance

  • Mark Simon

    Daily Racing Form

  • Ron Wallace

    Equine Farm Management

  • Diane White

    Old Friends

Old Friends Volunteer Experience

The following volunteer positions are currently available:

We have limited volunteer opportunities for hands-on horse care. If you have experience working with horses and
would like to volunteer with our horse-care staff, please include detailed information of your equine experience.

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