GEORGETOWN, Kentucky (WTVQ) — The Derby is over, but the love of horses continues, especially for farms in central Kentucky.
Twenty years ago, Michael Blowen had a vision of giving retired racehorses a decent place to spend the rest of their lives, fast forward to the present and Old Friends continuing to thrive.
A recent donation opens the door for a new visitor center.
“I never imagined my old friend would grow so big. The need for a place like this grew because, as great as the Derby is, they’re all three years old and the race only lasts two minutes.Old Friends founder Michael Blowen said: said like this.
What began as a latent dream for post-retirement Michael Blowen has become a reality, providing aftercare for retired racehorses.
“When I was younger, I was a film critic for the Boston Globe and I saw how people were around movie stars, and they were kind of thrown out, but I never thought of that. It wasn’t really around movie stars, but I was really about racehorses, especially good racehorses,” he adds.
From 20 years ago to now, the vision that has been engraved in his heart continues to provide aftercare.
But as his love of horses has grown, so has the facility, and with the help of a friend, he’s transforming an old barn into a new visitor center.
“MS. Abercrombie’s foundation, the Abercrombie Foundation, has donated $500,000 to rebuild the barn. That’s why Abercrombie is one all along. So this is a huge tribute to her.” It’s a great tribute to her love of horses, and I think that’s what it all means,” added Blowen.
Ms Josephine Abercrombie’s support and passion for horses is commemorated for decades with a new visitor center.
“She always loved horses first. That’s where it came from. I always thought that racing should do a better job. They might make money, or the derby.” They try to get people into the race by saying they might win the race, but the odds of that happening are not that great, they just enjoy horses, so they need to be in the sport, and the horses win. Even if they lose, they still love their horses.”
There is also an exhibition space showcasing a collection of horse racing memorabilia, artwork and racing trophies donated to Old Friends by the Bobby Frankel Estate.
Old Friends is located in Georgetown. Click here for more information.