We’re not the only ones concerned with our own retirement – the same thought could stress out anyone standing at the starting gate of the Saratoga Racetrack!
Most racehorses start their career at age 2, and only have a few years to run because of the physical stress of racing. Around the ages of 7-9, a thoroughbred racehorse retires.
The trouble is, most racehorses live to be at least twice their retirement age (Man O’ War lived to see 30). So what does a champion or a mediocre competitor do after their careers end?
The Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm has an answer.
The aim of this organization is to ensure the safe retirement of thoroughbreds. Recently, Old Friends partnered with Sackatoga Stables to make new retirement space for over 100 future retirees.
The space will come from Sez Who Thoroughbred Farm, a 265-acre space with a residence, 120 stalls and about 200 acres of fenced paddocks.
Old Friends recently purchased this farm, which has been closed for two years but needs only a few repairs, according to the new owners.
The new farm will have more room than both of Old Friends’ other farms in Kentucky and Greenfiled combined. The farm is hoping to use the extra space for a vet clinic and ferriers.
Plans are to eventually stable more than 100 retired horses there, including a number of high-profile champions.
A few possible names include Commentator (2005 Whitney Handicap winner), Hidden Lake (Eclipse Award Winner), and Affirmed Success, a descendant of Triple Crown winner Affirmed.
The presence of famous personalities might attract visitors, which Sez Who Farm heartily welcomes and anticipates. There will be a bed-and-breakfast to accommodate visitors, and possibly a New York Racing Hall of Fame.
Already, two Saratoga-based stables have agreed to give a $10,000 “down-payment” for each horse bought at the Fasig-Tipton’s sale last August 8-9.
This will guarantee each horse a spot at Old Friends’ farm once their racing career has ended. It is the first time any arrangement of this kind has been attempted.
The farm is expected to open next spring. For more information about Sez Who and Old Friends, contact (859) 509-4814.
Do you think this idea will take off? Would you want to visit your favorite champions at a retirement ranch? Let us know!