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Not exactly horsing around

Posted by Patricia Harris  March 23, 2012 05:00 PM

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It's been a decade since former Globe film critic Michael Blowen and his wife, former Globe columnist Diane White, moved to Kentucky and founded Old Friends Equine. The nonprofit organization provides retirement homes for thoroughbred horses that might otherwise be sent to the slaughterhouse after their racing and breeding careers have ended.

I caught up with Blowen recently at a travel show in Louisville and he had nothing but praise for the beautiful Kentucky bluegrass landscape and for the “athletes” that live on his farm in Georgetown, about 13 miles north of Lexington.

About 20,000 people visit the farm each year and their donations help to keep the nonprofit venture running. “It's a great tourism destination,” he says. “You can see the horses, feed them, pet them, and get your picture taken.” One of the horses even has a movie connection: Popcorn Deelites was one of the six horses who played Seabiscuit in the acclaimed movie of the same name.

“We want to put a facility in every state,” says Blowen. He has taken the first step by establishing Old Friends in New York at Cabin Creek Farm in Greenfield Center. Twelve retirees now live there. For information on visiting Old Friends in Kentucky and New York, see www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Photo by Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe

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