I can’t believe it’s October in Paris Kentucky. The babies aren’t babies anymore, they all have been weaned. So no more “foals” at Rosecrest, but we have very active weanlings.
They no longer have Mom around to keep them behaving, so they are now bossing each other. It’s really fun to watch the more dominant personalities take control and the rest play Follow the Leader. But, then you also have the instigators who decide when it’s time to play and start chasing one another. If that doesn’t work, he or she will usually bite another on the butt and run while the others give chase. I do find it interesting how they just naturally run in big circles.
The few weanlings being prepped for the Keeneland November sale are learning to get along without their buddies when brought into the barn for the night. The first week a couple were very vocal about not wanting to be separated. Like weaning all over again.
If you are wondering why they have to come in the barn without their buddies, it’s so we have more time to work with the Sale Weanlings. All the weanlings are introduced to the trailer, walking on and off so they are easy to load when the time comes. (Trainer Doug O’Neil, once made an interesting comment that horses that load easily on trailers seem to adapt to the starting gate easier.) The Sale Weanlings start getting baths and what you might call spa treatments. They also spend time learning their runway walk: walk, pause, turn and pose and then do it again.
It’s all part of growing up, and the cycle of life. That’s been kind of reassuring the last two months as we’ve lost some very dear friends here in Paris. That’s a little of what has made it hard to write my blog. It’s bad enough every day to greet guests at the B&B and Lil’s as if there are no clouds in the sky, but it’s harder to sit down with your thoughts and write.
This is the time when you realize it can be a mixed blessing that Lil’s Coffee House has become a local hub. On Sept. 1 we said goodbye to Doc Layton. He was the first equine veterinarian in KY to have a pregnancy detecting ultrasound machine. When he developed Alzheimer’s, Lil’s became his daily lunch place (across the street from his and Lyn’s Loch Lea Antiques) where he delighted in seeing old friends, making new ones and having our BBQ special six days a week.
Three weeks later (to the day), it was Dr. Jim Ferrell. He was a beloved MD who cared for probably thousands of Bourbon Countians, was just starting retirement and lost a valiant battle with lymphoma. He celebrated a remission this summer with lunch at Lil’s where he was a regular with tennis partner, Dr. Johnny Griggs. Dr. Griggs – an equine veterinarian, steeplechase rider and trainer and Eclipse award winner – passed late last week.
One week after Dr. Ferrell, it was our dear, dear friend Steve Walton who succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 42. He was a fellow restaurateur, a master at anything he set his mind to – including most recently being Paris’ Downtown Paris Main Street Manager, and unequaled as a friend and confidante.
Early last week, we said goodbye to Sally Hinkle. She was 93-years-young, and I’m told she’s the reason there is a Main Street Program in Paris as she hosted the founding committee meeting for the Renaissance Program in Paris some 25 years ago. A gracious, kind and beautiful lady, she accomplished more for Paris than most will ever know. We were also lucky to count her as a friend at Lil’s.
Soooo many great people and dear friends we’re missing….thank goodness we get to make new ones almost every day.
Meanwhile, the races are running at Keeneland now and, even though we don’t have any horses running, the meet has been exciting with great races and beautiful weather. I’m crazy busy at Lil’s and the B&B and Chuck has been spending a lot of time on Wilshire Farm. That’s the new endeavor right behind us at Rosecrest. The land is absolutely beautiful with all the changes that WC Racing has made in the short time since their purchase this summer. It’s very exciting.
Here’s what our racing fillies are up to: Sweet Halory ran a good second at Santa Anita Saturday going 6-1/2 furlongs. She got off to a slow start, trailing the entire field by four lengths, but finished well to be second by about a length and a half.
Pistol Packin Rose has had two bullet works with Doug O’Neil not sure what race Doug will be putting her in and My Sweet Reward is working at Churchill Downs with Tom Amoss and I think will be getting her gate card soon. Sassy Rose is working and I hope Doug finds just the right race for her.