Barn Buddies

An unidentified rider poses with Auggie in the Hennig shedrow Photo: Lisa Walker
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: John Hennig’s Right-Hand Duck

When Auggie the duck started out his life, he was (probably) expecting to be a career Easter present. The Hennig family suspects the duck they came to know as Auggie was purchased as a duckling for someone in Cincinnati who got disillusioned with him when he grew big and noisy and lost his baby fuzz. […]

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Anyone who wanted to see Weemissfrankie had to go through Pickles, her personal security detail
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: A Cross-Species Love Story

Multiple graded stakes winner Weemissfrankie may have left the track some five years ago, but she is one half of a love story that is still a thing of legend among California barn buddies. In her short time in the barn of trainer Peter Eurton, the daughter of Sunriver caught the attention of resident barn […]

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Igor the zebu stands next to his feed pan (which, for reference, is about eight inches tall)
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Igor The Rescue Zebu (No, That’s Not A Typo)

When our advertising director told me her father, Milar Farm owner Larry Mayo, had rescued a miniature zebu, I assumed I heard her wrong. Perhaps it’s a small goat or pig whose name is Zebu? What could a ‘zebu’ possibly be, anyway — a cross between a zebra and an emu? Mayo had no such […]

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Lucy gets a pat from Berghammer
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Magnuson’s New Venture Gets Some Help From A Pig

After 23 years as assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, assistant Art Magnuson decided it was time for a move to a more slow-paced environment. He purchased a 65-acre farm in Schenectady County, N.Y., about an hour’s drive from Saratoga Springs, and began his own lay-up and training operation. The neatly-kept farm nearby Featherstonhaugh State Forest […]

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George poses proudly with Kingman's two Cartier Awards
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Frankel’s Four-Legged Security Guard

Frankel deservedly received a staggering number of accolades and reverent superlatives during his racing career, and his first foals are already gaining attention for quick success in their juvenile racing season. Marketed by Juddmonte as “officially the world’s best Thoroughbred” (referring to his record 147 Timeform rating), the bay son of Galileo is no doubt […]

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Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Barn Cat-In-Training

If there’s one thing Juanito, aspiring barn cat at Jimmy Jerkens’ Saratoga shedrow, takes seriously, it’s his capacity as supervisor of morning chores. And napping. And climbing that muck pit. And helping roll bandages. And — well, everything is pretty serious work when you’re a kitten. Juanito, named after Jerkens allowance runner Unbridled Juan (because […]

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George takes an opportunity to drive the Morley golf cart
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: George, The Rat-Chasing ‘Squirrel’ Of A Dog

Considering his recent streak of success highlighted by a win in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss, it’s no surprise that trainer Tom Morley thought I’d stopped by his barn on the Oklahoma Training Track to speak with him. His second guess was that I was looking for his wife, NYRA paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale, who […]

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Pierre in Summerfield's tack room
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: Pierre The Pig

Fasig-Tipton’s grounds in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., were hopping during the weekend ahead of its select yearling auction. Summerfield Sales’ section of Barn 3 was as busy as any, with plenty of buyers stopping to look at horses, but a sizable number also lingered to meet with Pierre. The Summerfield team member spent most of the […]

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Joe Sharp's assistant Calamity Compton, right, pets "Henny" the chicken as her caretaker Nestor Martinez holds Douglass the stable pony.
Pyranha Presents Barn Buddies: The Joe Sharp Menagerie

You just never know what kind of animals you might find in trainer Joe Sharp’s barn. “We have a little bit of everything,” Sharp laughed. “We have a couple of rabbits at the Spectrum (Churchill Downs’ satellite training facility). It all started because I have an 11-year-old daughter. We went to some auction up in […]

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Little Silver Charm
Pyrahna Presents Barn Buddies: Spokeshorse For The Stars

When visitors to Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky., come up the driveway to begin a tour, the first thing they see is a small, oval-shaped paddock and its even smaller resident: Little Silver Charm. Little Silver Charm isn’t in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, and he’s never won a graded stakes race, […]

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