The first stop on our horse farm tour was Claiborne Farm. Bill brought fresh muffins for some people he knows there. The man who gave us a tour is an old friend of his daughter's. The horses are treated like royalty there...we get sidewalks to walk on, they get nice rubber walkways.
Here's the view from where we waited for our tour guide:
We were introduced to several of the important stud horses there and given a fact sheet for reference. I had no idea
how much money some of these animals were worth! No wonder they have special walkways. ....wayout of my league....
Bill took pictures of us with the horses.
born in 1994
lineage: A.P. Indy Preach, by Mr. Prospector
height: 16.0 earnings: $728,200 fee for studding: $35,000
born in 1995
lineage: Fort Wood - London Wall, by Col Pickering
height: 16.1 earnings: $474,036 fee for studding: $10,000
born in 1977
lineage: Northern Dancer-Pas De Norm, by Admiral's Voyage
height: 15.3 earnings: $32,400 (3 starts, 3 wins) retired
Mike's comment: "I hope I look that good when I'm that old." This was one very muscular horse.
and the big star.... Monarchos
born in 1998
lineage: Maria's Mon-Regal Band, by Dixielan Band (he's a very musical horse)
height: 16.1 earnings: $1,720,830 fee: $25,000
I now have a piece of Monarchos' tail, because it was cut off for me. Poor Monarchos - he didn't look to happy about having some of his tail cut off. Mike said I need to keep it in a safe place - the way genetic engineering goes, "That DNA might be worth money some day." :>)
Next stop was to see a stable used for very famous horses: Unbridled,
Easy Goer, Secretariat, and
Bold Ruler (Secretariat's dad)
We then went to the barn where the do studding. It was all very high tech and the floor was piled high with shredded rubber. The number one thing they try to prevent is a cut for any of the horses, because you don't want infections, etc. Sounded like number two on the list was preventing unwilling mares from kicking their prospective mates (because this studding is done the natural way). Apparently, there is always the possiblity of a mare trying to break the poor guy's leg or something, ending his stud career.
The last stop on the tour was the horse cemetary. Due to the expense and difficulty of burying such a large animal, most
horses only have their head buried and the rest is cremated. Because he was just that special, Secretariat was buried whole.