Taylor Made Horses in Lexington (Day Fifty-Six)
We are still in Lexington, Kentucky and the Brown’s are still providing us the opportunity to learn more about this great state and city. Today they set up a tour of a thoroughbred horse farm called Taylor Made. This 1600-acre farm is regularly the top consigner at horse sales including venues such as Keeneland and Saratoga. Their hall of fame lists 12 Breeders Cup Champions and many others in multiple divisions. Needless to say, this was an impressive place to pull up to. What was even more impressive were the people who work there. We arrived and immediately noticed that the massive driveway to the office was lined on both sides with American flags and we all thought how nice it was that they were present. We later learned that employees had placed them there to welcome us. We felt welcomed right away and that was just the beginning.
But first – the skies opened up and we experienced our first thunderstorm in Kentucky. It was MAJOR. We ran from the car to the office and entered soaking wet. The yearling manager John Hall welcomed us. Many of the staff quickly came down to meet us shortly thereafter. They apologized for the weather (like it was their fault!) and explained how they needed the rain. We spent the next hour or so waiting for the storm to pass, which it never quite did. During that period, the employees expressed great interest in our mission and supported us with individual donations. We also learned a bit about this horse breeding business, which we all knew little about. Let’s just say it’s a big business in Lexington – stud fees, yearling sales, retiree sales, etc, etc.
In spite of the rain, which just didn’t seem to want to stop, we were all anxious to see the horses, so we decided to do the tour by car. Many of the horses were indoors in preparation for a major sale about to occur in Saratoga, but we did get to see some horses out romping around in the massive fields. We visited a couple of stables and learned more about the business of breeding and boarding the beautiful animals. Finally we visited the yearling stable that had the horses going to Saratoga. I got to liking a horse named Holy Bridled, who also seemed to like me a bit. She will be sold this month and I hope to be able to follow her on the track throughout her career. I may even throw down a bet on my new friend if I can find her out there on the circuit. How else do you pick horses at the track anyway?! John Hall led our tour. He was not only incredibly knowledgeable and polite, but he took such an active role in telling everyone he introduced us to about our mission and The Ride, such as to a dentist who was filing down some teeth (on a horse)!
I wrote yesterday that I thought about the most memorable moments of this ride not being on a bike. Well, this one will be one of those for sure. If you ever get a chance to visit a thoroughbred horse farm, particularly in Lexington, Kentucky, I would jump on it. You won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it!
Thank you Taylor Made. Good luck in Saratoga. After what I saw today, I don’t think you will need luck though.
To the limit,