Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Special Place in Paris, Kentucky: Claiborne


 We visited Claiborne, a prestigious but low-key thoroughbred breeding farm. Many excellent race horses have lived or been conceived or born here. The entire property seems to glow with understated, practical elegance. Our niece was, alas, a tad young for the experience; a little surprised by the frank talk at the "breeding shed" (all technical and correct). But after that, it was all about the beautiful horses.


This one is Orb, the winner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The first stall that you can see behind Orb once housed Secretariat.


There was opportunity to photograph your meeting with the amazing animals. This was my second visit; last time we "met" Monarchos, who won the Derby second fastest to Secretariat's time. It appears Monarchos recently  passed away at another farm, sadly. We also saw Pulpit, another star, on that first trip.


Sometimes the horses clown around!


But usually they stand patiently, as they are trained.



War Front


With the company of her Uncle, our niece was able to step up to War Front for a photo. She prefers smaller animals, it's true.


War Front is currently the world's most "expensive" horse with a "stud fee" near a quarter of a million dollars!   Claiborne Farm is not a "petting zoo", it is a working business-farm. It's not for small kids! We "pushed it" a bit with our girl, but it was her first trip to Kentucky; she is accustomed to behaving well around adults. There is actually some danger since the stallions can be unpredictable. The procedure for joining a tour is to call ahead and reserve a place in a scheduled event; be on time, dress nice, be calm; give your guide a nice tip at the end of the event. They have a nice, high-end gift shop, too. A unique experience.

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