Old Friends Improves Horses’ Lives
The American Association of Equine Practitioners named Thoroughbred racehorse advocate and Old Friends founder Michael Blowen as it’s 2016 Lavin Cup recipient.
The equine welfare award recognizes a non-veterinarian dedicated to improving horses’ lives. Blowen founded Old Friends in 2003. It serves as a Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, KY.
The center cares for more than 160 horses across three states. Once a Thoroughbred’s breeding or racing career ends, Old Friends gives residents a dignified retirement, even for stallions.
Popular residents include the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Silver Charm and War Emblem, who won the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Old Friends is also a visitor hotspot with 20,000 guests annually. Fans can interact with the living legends of the track, which allows for educational opportunities. It also brings a heightened awareness of the retired Thoroughbred’s plight to the public.
“Through his efforts, Michael inspires racing fans and Thoroughbred racehorse owners to remember the horse after both the horse and human leave the track,” Bryan Waldridge, DVM, MS said. He is the horses’ primary veterinarian.
Blowen accepted his award this week during the AAEP’s 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, FL.