Editor's Note: Michael Blowen of Old Friends Equine released a statement on Friday calling the following press release “unauthorized” and clarified the new facility will not be officially affiliated with Old Friends. Read his statement here.
Old Friends Farm, a popular retirement home for Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, KY, has agreed to have a new affiliate on the West Coast.
Doug Freeland of Flagstone Group and Elizabeth Neil are developing a 95-acre parcel of land just outside of Temecula, Calif., to be used for both the retraining and retirement of Thoroughbred horses. Being aware of the great work that Michael Blowen of Old Friends in Kentucky has done, Freeland and Neil approached him with the idea of being his West Coast affiliate. In a move that is long overdue for the California racing industry, Old Friends Farm West, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, will be designed as a state-oft-he-art facility for the retired equine athletes who have given so much to the sport.
Development of the land is expected to begin in March 2019, and the vast property will include a welcoming Visitor's Center & Gift Shop, a Winery & Café, a Memorabilia Museum, one indoor and two outdoor retraining rings, multiple barns, a teaching Vet Center, and a beautiful Event Center for fundraising and charity events.
Elizabeth Neil, Director & President of Old Friends Farm West, said: “The plan is to have a premiere facility for the retraining and retirement of Thoroughbred horses, as well as a facility that allows the public to come and visit these former stars of the track, especially those who have raced here in California.”
The land will be developed by Doug Freeland of Flagstone Group, who will also serve as Chairman of the Property. Freeland said, “Southern California has been good to me, and it's time to return the favor. After arriving in San Diego as a young Navy pilot, and later becoming a real-estate developer, I've long been a fan of the Del Mar Turf Club. This is a non-profit venture that will be a win-win for our fourlegged friends and a feel-good project for all of us. We are excited that our Kentucky friends are supporting us and encouraging this endeavor.”
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