What a beautiful morning in Paris, Ky.  It’s Sunday, December 27th and 60 degrees – warmer than it should be.  Just put on a second pot of coffee, as Susan and Mariela (our oldest daughter and granddaughter) gather their things to head back to Wilmington, Delaware.  Chuck is still at the barn, as Sarah (another daughter) and I send off the girls and start breakfast.


Tinner’s Storm at sunrise.

Looking out the front door I’m enjoying another colorful sunrise and Tinner’s Storm sees me on the porch and, being the spoiled grandson of Secretariat, he believes if he comes to the fence he will be rewarded with a treat.  He’s right.

So we enjoyed another Christmas at Rosecrest Farm with uncharacteristically warm weather and more mud than we’d like, but the horses seem to enjoy rolling in it.  The horses are a little confused with this weather.  They grew their winter coats about six weeks ago preparing for winter and want to know just when are they going to need their coats.

Farm life in December is usually cold and the ground is frozen.  Not this year…some days I think it’s been warmer here than Southern California.  So the weather has been great for the B&B guests, we are able to tour the farm in my open air runabout.

Our furry friend, Rocky.

Our furry friend, Rocky.

In fact, several weeks ago I had just finished giving a group their farm tour and returned to the house when Chuck asked me if I saw Rocky (our house cat) at the barn.  I said no and that I had never seen him go past the B&B.  He said Rocky was up at the barn earlier, and when he tried to pick him up he ran off with Safi, one of the barn cats.  We walked up to the barn after dark looking for Rocky but did not see him.  Several hours later we heard a cat fight in the pasture next to the house but by the time I got out there… no Rocky.  I stayed up till about 1 am…no Rocky.

Chuck got up about 4 am… no Rocky.  After Chuck completed his morning routine, he drove thru the pastures … no Rocky.

Saturday… no Rocky.

Sunday…no Rocky.  So late Sunday afternoon Chuck took out Rocky’s food dishes and potty box, believing he would not be back.  About 6 hours later Chuck was at his desk when I heard him say, “Rocky is at the window!”.  We were very happy to have Rocky back.

It’s wonderful living in the country, but there are perils of all sorts for our precious companions.  Putting two and two together, we think Rocky managed to get himself closed in somewhere.  He was quite glad to be home, and is sticking close to home now….thank goodness.

This is also the time of year that the pregnant mares start showing their bellies and the ones due in January even start waddling a little.  The first-time mamas are confused about what’s going on with their bodies, since they have something moving around their belly.

imageThe weanlings are growing and anticipating January 1st when they all celebrate their birthday.  It’s a big day as they become yearlings, they switch and start going into the yearling barn.  It seems at this age they start behaving like mischievious teenagers.

So let me finish by catching you up on Sweet Halory….as you know from my last blog she came out of her race great and had a good breeze.  Well, the next morning Team O’Neill noticed a little swelling and heat in her ankle.  Diagnosis with a flake, the team got her in and the surgeon removed it arthroscopically.  After monitoring it for a week, she was then sent to a nearby farm to recuperate.  Luckily, she’s doing great and will hopefully be back training in about 90 days.  She just might get to work out with her old pasture mate Miss Noble Rose.

Miss Noble Rose upon her arrival in California.

Miss Noble Rose upon her arrival in California.

Yes, to those of you thinking you just saw her at the farm… Miss Noble Rose flew out to California just two weeks ago.  Here is a picture team O’Neill took of her when she arrived.  Doug did comment that she seemed a little fat but I thought she’s not fat… just fluffy ;).

For those of you who don’t remember or don’t know, Miss Noble Rose is the first foal of our Miss Dixie Rose.  Miss Dixie Rose was our first homebred to race.  She had a promising career as a two year old, she was always on the board.  Her first race she lost to Sassy Image (ultimately a Grade 1 winner of more than $800,000) and her fourth race she beat Havre de Grace.

As some of you know, Havre de Grace went on at age 4 to be champion and Horse of the Year, and Miss Dixie Rose came home with a chip in her ankle and missed her 3-year-old year.  Miss Dixie Rose came back as a 4-year-old to win, but we retired her early since her ankle seemed to bother her.  We are very excited to see what her daughter can do, and hope she has a successful career.