(Edited press release)
Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement facility based near Lexington, will be featured in a segment on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric June 7th. This is the first news piece about Old Friends to appear in a national broadcast.
In an attempt to draw nationwide attention to the facility’s mission, an Old Friends volunteer contacted CBS about featuring the farm on its news show. CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger and his producer, Chloe Arensberg, visited the 52-acre Georgetown facility last week to create the segment.
They spent several hours with the farm’s 23 retired racehorses, including Eclipse Award-winning turf champion Sunshine Forever, the first stallion ever to be returned to the United States after standing at stud in Japan; eight-time stakes winner Ruhlmann; hard-knocker Swan’s Way; West Coast star Special Ring; and Popcorn Deelites, a gelding that appeared in the Oscar-nominated film "Seabiscuit."
"Mr. Schlesinger had a great rapport with the horses, and I’m sure that will come out in the piece,” said Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen, a former Boston Globe film critic who initially started the organization to bring back North American-bred stallions that were sold to stud duty overseas.
“One of my theories has always been that famous racehorses are tremendous tourist attractions,” added Blowen. “In retirement, they can generate a lot of income that could benefit less-fortunate horses.”