Lexington, Kentucky — Horses

A Handsome Red Giant

Three Chimney’s Farm

If you love horses, farms or the incredibly interesting business of horse racing and breeding, Three Chimney’s Farm is a fascinating place to spend some time learning the process rearing and raising superior race horses.  This is the home farm of the renowned Seattle Slew, the only horse to win the triple crown undefeated. The detail in the care taken for the thoroughbreds of this level is evident. These animals are well loved and are in an environment that is spotless and thoroughly maintained with meticulous attention.

If you’re one of those people who don’t believe horses are intelligent, thinking beings – all it takes is the opportunity to meet them and it’s evident these imposing creatures are sizing you up and wondering if they are in the presence of an intelligent life form.  That in addition to the athleticism of their build and their poise, is a humbling experience.

Dynaformer

My group was led by Jen Roytz, the Farm’s marketing and communications director – who speaks to the features of the Farm with a genuine affection and deep knowledge of horses and the business.  The horses adore peppermints (well, some prefer butterscotch candy), but don’t expect to be able to feed or pet them.  We humans carry disease that could decimate the health of the horses and guests are asked to only observe.

Like humans, they each have their own personality.  A crowd favorite is Red Giant, who is known for his antics with his favorite past-time of throwing a ball around – he will actually throw the ball at people to engage them in a game of fetch (not sure who’s actually doing the fetching in this interaction).

Red Giant also just so happens to be the fastest sprint turf racer on the planet for the Mile and a Quarter.  And then there’s the studly stud, Dynaformer , who isn’t so friendly, but a site to behold and a prolific daddy whose stud fee is in the $150,000.00 range.

We also met the Kentucky Derby winner, Big Brown, who has a distinctive white spot on his side that has been referred to as a “start button”, “sweet spot” and “mark of destiny” among others terms.  One of the other ten top line stallions at Three Chimney’s Farm, Yes It’s True, who is known for literally staying the course when a drunk stumbled on to the track during a race causing all the other horses to scatter while he charged straight through to the win.

The Stables

Part of the tour includes an explanation of the complex breeding process, which is understandably stressful on the mares. It’s become a Three Chimney’s courtesy for a bouquet of carrots to be sent to the mares after their hot date with the stallions. I think the carrots would be a good place to begin with in the breeding process (geez, buy a gal dinner first).

Tours need to be booked in advance and cost $10 per person, with proceeds going to local charities. Contact: farm_tours@threechimneys.com, or (858) 873-7053 for bookings.

 

 

 

 

About Cynthia Cunniff

Cynthia Cunniff’s writing background spans marketing, PR, magazine editorial and travel blogging. She’s a graduate of the creative writing program at CSU Long Beach and went on to UCLA to further her writing skills. Growing up as a military dependent, she lived in several foreign countries and areas of the US. Post college she returned to international living and resided in London for close to a decade, where she took advantage of proximity to the rest of Europe and traveled extensively. She currently lives in the beautiful South Bay of Los Angeles, and Tweets about traveling in the U.S. and throughout the world @localpathworld.

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