Michael Blowen at Old Friends

Michael Blowen at Old Friends

Anne M. Eberhardt

Son of Ferdinand to Old Friends

Mikethespike will join Ferdinand's Star at Old Friends.

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center near Georgetown, Ky., has joined with Lexington’s Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center and CANTER Michigan to retire Ferdinand’s Star and Mikethespike.

“These horses are a great symbol of how Old Friends, the TRF, CANTER and other organizations can work together to safely retire and care for Thoroughbreds whose racing careers are over,” said Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen.

Ferdinand’s Star, a son of 1986 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Ferdinand out of the Dare to Command mare Rose and Betty, comes to Old Friends from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, an equine adoption and rehabilitation facility located at the Kentucky Horse Park. The 16-year-old gelding, who won one of 10 starts, was retired from racing and was retrained as a competitive Dressage horse.

Ferdinand’s Star was donated to the TRF after he was no longer able to compete due to soundness issues.

Sent to Maker’s Mark in 2008, the gelding was eventually able to be a lightly used school horse and a facility mascot, but a tendon injury ended his career for the second time.

Before retiring to Old Friends, Ferdinand’s Star was briefly part of the equine rehabilitation program at Blackburn Correctional Complex near Lexington and also spent several months being “clicker” trained by Kentucky-based artist and equine advocate Marti McGinnis.

Ferdinand’s Star will spend his remaining years at Old Friends in a paddock alongside Bull Inthe Heather, another son of Ferdinand.

Meanwhile, 11-year-old Mikethespike  (Anet--Black Tie Royalty, by Black Tie Affair) recently arrived from Michigan, where CANTER associate Gail Hirt had fostered him.

Mikethespike is a maternal grandson of Old Friends retiree Black Tie Affair. The Appgolucky Memorial Trust, which was spearheaded by Old Friends volunteer Vivian Morrison, funded his pensioning.

During his career the gray gelding  won 12 races and earned $85,301. He suffered a career-ending injury during his last race.