Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back To Their Roots

I finally visited the place I've been wanting to get to since I've moved here...

This is the farm that stood the grandsires for both my horses - Damascus (Ollie's grandsire) and Mr. Prospector (Toby's grandsire).
Both are buried at Claiborne but Damascus is buried at a different cemetery than Mr. Prospector. Mr Prospector just happens to lay at rest next to Secretariat...

And now Blame (better known at the Wooley household as "our horse") has retired to his place of birth to begin his life as a stud.
We were given permission to visit by Dell Hancock who knows all about our relationship with Blame. We were thrilled to see him! So we were up early to take his picture when he was first turned out. This is typically the time that a retired racehorse turned to stud muffin shows off in the paddock. Not Blame... he walked out and grazed. We got excited when he would walk with some purpose. Otherwise he was acting likes he's been out in that paddock a million times. We hung out and waited but nothing happened and it was overcast. So we went home and decided that should the sun come out we'd try again later when the other stallions were turned out in the surrounding paddocks (around 1pm).
This proved to work and we had much better light. The other stallions, particularly Parading, would show off when they first arrived in their paddocks and that set Blame off for some action



This lasted for about a minute, then he was back to hanging out in the far corner from us grazing and watching Parading who was doing the same in his paddock.
Blame is such a mellow guy!
While we were there, Blame was taken out of his paddock for prospective breeders to view him. This happened at least 3 times in the few hours we were there.

When he was turned back out he would give a little squeal and run again for about 30 seconds. The most action we saw was this hawk that was hunting for his lunch in an adjacent paddock. He was ridiculously close to us.

Finally, turn out time was up and Blame came in to get a bath and dinner.


He was still busy with visitors at this time...

and I'm a poor videographer with my still camera using a 300mm lens... LOL!

This photo I snagged is one that should be part of a caption contest - I have my fair share of ideas for it. Do you?


  1. Damascus is also my horse's grandsire ("Huey" is by Eastern Echo by Damascus and out of a Bold Lad mare, Cherry Lady). It's fun to see where our horses' ancestors are laid to rest. And Blame. What a handsome devil HE is. Nice dentition, too ;o)

  2. Claiborne is on my bucket list. Great photos. Love the last one especially.

  3. My horses grandsire stood at Claiborne also. You may recognize his name, That place is amazing. I want to go back there someday.

  4. TBDancer - is Huey a high strung horse? I read that Damascus was high strung and they attribute that to his coming in 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. He got a pony after the Derby and went on to win the Preakness and Belmont... I think Ollie inherited the high strung gene. ;)

    Thanks Dom!

    Amy - Alydar stood at Calumet farm which is next door to Keeneland. Claiborne is in the town of Paris, KY - about 40 min away from where I live in Lexington. I'd love to visit Calumet but those folks that own it now are very private.

  5. Huey "worries," but two weeks ago he was in a halter class for a junior team judging fundraiser for my dressage chapter. I had to wake him up every time we had to turn (it's not a dressage "in-hand" class where we run like our hair is on fire; it was a stand so the teams could see each side and the front and back, then walk around the arena). He had an acupuncture treatment after that, including an electro acupuncture treatment for his roaring. The vet tried to put a surcingle on him to hold the electro-pulse machine. He freaked out--too much like the saddling paddock at the track (which he hasn't seen for a dozen years). Once we took the surcingle off and moved him out of the crossties, I put the machine on my lap.

    I had to wake him when the 20 minutes of zapping was over, too. The acupuncture vet always starts with taking his pulse. He gets out of the trailer and it's like he's been napping. ;o)

    Huey was born at Bradyleigh Farm in Paris KY. Small world ;o)

  6. Oooh, thank you for the wonderful photos from one of my favorite places. Blame looks like a very happy boy. I have teary-eyed pictures of me with Red's headstone and stall, and the groom who gave us our tour (it was just me and my husband) sure told us the whole scoop on the breeding routine (TMI for Hubby, LOL). My caption suggestion for that last photo: "OH, YEAH, I'm Da Man alright!" :-) - Tracie