Old Friends, located near Georgetown, Ky., has opened its first satellite for retired Thoroughbreds. Cabin Creek, a 40-acre farm just outside Saratoga Springs, N.Y., near Greenfield Center, will begin receiving horses immediately. An official opening and celebration is planned for July 22, 2010.
The auxiliary space will be named in honor of trainer Bobby Frankel, who died Nov. 16 after a battle with leukemia. A native New Yorker, Frankel was a long supporter of the Old Friends mission. The farm will formally be known as Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division.
Owned by Joann and Mark Pepper, Cabin Creek features 12 stalls, two round pens, five finished paddocks, and has raw space available for development and growth. The first resident, Moonshadow Gold, a 10-year-old New York-bred gelding acquired through the efforts of several equine-welfare advocates, will arrive later this week.
The property will be leased by Old Friends (Michael Blowen, president), a non-profit organization, which will continue to control all acquisitions and financials.
The Peppers, who built Cabin Creek from scratch 15 years ago, will handle day-to-day operations.
“When we built the farm my goal was to do Thoroughbred retirement,” said Joann Pepper, who began her life with horses as a groom for Nick Zito. “Initially we did boarding and foaling as a way to establish ourselves, but I always came back to the idea of retirement. I had read about Old Friends, and this summer an article in the Saratogian prompted me to call Michael. I explained that my farm was empty, and I wanted to emulate what he was doing. It just clicked that we would do it together.”
“This was just an amazing opportunity,” said Blowen, who finalized arrangements with the Peppers just last week. “I have always felt there was a need for Old Friends all over the country.
“While I was on my way back from Saratoga I heard about Bobby’s passing, and I immediately thought that a place in New York that was home to both top champions and bottom claimers would be a perfect memorial to his career. Any horse trained by Frankel will be given priority at Old Friends at Cabin Creek.”
The July 22 launch will be open to the public and will feature a memorial to Frankel. More information will be released closer to the date.
For more information about Cabin Creek or Old Friends contact the office at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.