Barn Buddies

Mia tries on her Secretariat costume
Barn Buddies: ‘Little Big Red’ In Secretariat’s Meadow

As Leeanne Ladin looked at the calendar, planning ahead for the upcoming Virginia Horse Festival at the Meadow Event Park, she realized she had a problem. Ladin is Secretariat tourism manager at the park, which sits on the site of Penny Chenery’s Meadow Farm. As she brainstormed ways to get festival attendees to interact with […]

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Krupika and Peaches share a cuddle
Barn Buddies: Long Live Peaches

Life as a barn cat can be risky. Although more sheltered than most outdoor cats, barn residents have to contend with nightly visits from wildlife, rough temperatures, and need to be very smart about cars and machinery. That’s why I was surprised to hear about the tradition of feline durability at Australia’s Arrowfield Stud. (I […]

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Zealous Blonde and Dottie the sheep
Barn Buddies: An OTTB And Her Black Sheep

Anyone who has spent time around the racetrack (or time reading this series) knows racehorses have a wide variety of species as companions. Goats, cats, dogs, even birds of various types are all commonplace. Every once in a while though, there’s someone who wants to do things a little differently, a “black sheep” of sorts. […]

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Symons with Hamish the Highland Cow
Barn Buddies: Jockey Finishes Work, Comes Home To ‘The Funky Farm’

Australian jockey Chris Symons has a somewhat unusual way of kicking back after a long workday at the track. When Symons looks out over his backyard on the Mornington Peninsula, he sees 60-odd animals of almost as many species. There are sheep, a Highlander cow, mini horses, and other farm animals. There is a rainbow […]

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BeBe (far left) watching over Game On Dude and Yankee Fortune
Barn Buddies: At Old Friends, Don’t Mess With Queen BeBe

Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky., is famous as the home of retired Thoroughbreds (most recently making news as the new residence of dual classic winner Charismatic). But anyone who has dropped by the farm office or taken a tour on a mild spring day can tell you it has also become a haven for rescued […]

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Chicharron snoozes alongside one of the Motion cats
Barn Buddies: Motion Stable Gets A New Species In Residence

The Graham Motion stable at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., has long been known as a safe haven for more than just horses. Besides the usual barn cats, goats, and occasional visiting dog, followers of Herringswell Stable on social media know the operation includes a sizable wild turkey named Tom. In recent weeks, […]

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Banks, Baldwin, and Barney (L to R) at Santa Anita
Barn Buddies: Rescue Dogs Give Photographer A Different View

Pets, particularly rescued pets, are often said to provide their humans with lessons about themselves. Those lessons are sometimes deep and meaningful experiences about friendship and compassion. While California racing photographer Cecilia Gustavsson said she has learned a few of those, her three rescue dogs have also taught her a lot more mundane things about herself. […]

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Duane in her tree outside the Hendricks barn
Barn Buddies: A Calico Named Duane

Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston has captured some breathtaking images of horses in her time, but if her social media is anything to go by, a barn cat is one of her favorite subjects. Livingston, who works for the Daily Racing Form, is well known for her love of cats generally but found a particular […]

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Hercules settles down for an afternoon nap with a friend. Kristin Mulhall Photo
Barn Buddies: When Hercules Lays An Egg

When California trainer Kristin Mulhall made a weekly trip to her local feed store to pick up hay for her string of racehorses, she used to pass by a pen of 27 baby turkeys. She grew accustomed to seeing one bird standing out from the rest, looking for attention. Each Saturday, she’d stop and play […]

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Maggie the goat shares a snack with Rosewhitenblue last summer
Barn Buddies: The Pickiest Goat On The Backside

If there’s one thing goats are known for, it’s their iron stomachs and insatiable appetites. Goat lore suggests they will eat tin cans, tires, and even the shirt off your back. Maggie the goat defies such stereotypes. Maggie, who is approximately three years old, resides with trainer Mike Machowsky on the backstretch at Santa Anita […]

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