• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Old Friends New Barn Ribbon Cutting


FOLLOWING A DEVASTATINGFIRE that destroyed the medical barn at Old Friends this past January, the Thoroughbred industry rallied around the farm to help build a new one. Led by Fasig-Tipton’s Blue Horse Charities’ $50,000 donation, as well as donations from many other Old Friends’ supporters, the new barn was completed in early July and has been named the John Hettinger Memorial Barn in honor of the Blue Horse Charities’ founder. Old Friends held a grand opening for the new barn on Saturday, July 9. Prior to the ribbon cutting, the festivities included a broadcast of Ercel Ellis’s weekly “Horse Tales” radio program, as well as appearances by Terrence Collier of Fasig-Tipton, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, Jean Cruguet, the jockey who won the Triple Crown aboard Seattle Slew, and Jeanne Mirabito, owner and founder of Our Mims Retirement Haven, a nonprofit organization in Paris dedicated to the rescue, revitalization and care of retired Thoroughbred racehorses and broodmares. The new barn, above, which was built with fire-retardant material and has all of its electrical wires buried underground, consists of nine regular stalls, two over-size stalls, an equine bathing area, and a small office for the staff. Participating in the ribbon cutting, below, on Saturday are, front row, from left, Collier, Cruguet, McCarron, and Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends. In back is Dr. Bryan Waldridge, the primary equine veterinarian for Old Friends, while in front, supervising the ribbon cutting, is Little Silver Charm, the “equine spokesperson” for Old Friends. (Photos by Rick Capone)

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