Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY., announced today that the organization will permanently close its satellite division based at Kentucky Downs, the racetrack and historical racing gaming facility in Franklin, KY., at the end of July.
The division is home to seven Old Friends retirees, including Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield, Kentucky Turf Stakes winner Rumor Has It, and Grade 2 winner Ball Four. It has been open to the public since June of 2015, and tours were scheduled and conducted by staff at the Simpson County Tourism office.
The horses will be returned to Old Friends's Georgetown location and are currently expected to ship on July 25.
The collaboration was originally designed by Old Friends president Michael Blowen and former Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen to help raise awareness of retired racehorses and to promote local attractions in Simpson County.
“We had a wonderful run, but unfortunately, we did not achieve the level of tourism or growth we had hoped for,” said Blowen. “We felt it was no longer cost effective to remain open.
“We are eternally grateful to Dan Ware and his staff at the Simpson County Tourism Office for the enormous support they supplied this venture, and to our farm manager Jennifer Jones for the impeccable care she provided our horses,” Blowen continued. “The staff at Kentucky Downs has been a very gracious host, and we can't thank them enough for their backing in this project.”
Public tours will continue to be conducted at Kentucky Downs and the gift shop will remain open until July 15. To schedule please contact the Simpson County Tourism office at (270) 586-3040.
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