I don't know where to start when it comes to describing a visit to Old Friends. It's a beautiful 70-acre farm, owned by Michael and Diane Blowen, that caters to the well being of retired thoroughbreds ... many of them stallions ... now living out their remaining lives in a peaceful dignity.
You're adventure starts by dropping in the gift shop at the front of the property, where you are greeted by the friendly staff and volunteers. Take your time wandering around the shop, which sports many fun and "can't leave for home without it" souvenirs. Of course, all proceeds are funneled directly back into the coffer for the horses ... so don't hesitate indulging!!!
Tours are available at 10am, 1pm, and 3pm daily ... but require a reservation. Just give them a call at (502) 863-1775 to set one up. Or, for that matter, drop by the gift shop a little bit earlier and get your name on a tour list ... whichever is more convenient to you. BTW, tours are free, but they do ask to see if you can make a donation to the horses.
Old Friends is all about the horses, and you will meet quite a few. Many of the horses you'll visit have very "heady" pedigree's, like Tinner's Way (last son of Secretariat), or AP Slew (son of Seattle Slew). You'll meet others, too, like Little Silver Charm, a miniature horse / pony that was saved while aboard a trailer heading to slaughter.
Afternoon Deelites is a big boy you'll wander past, previously owned by Angie Dickinson and Burt Bacharach, now enjoying his afternoons being fed carrots by the myriads of visitors. Another "Deelite" is named Popcorn Deelites, who played the horse Seabiscuit in the 2003 movie of the same name. He "thinks" he's a star, so has a pretty big head ... but make sure to stop by to say "Hi". Pop's paddock mate is a horse named Special Ring, and these two are just like peas in a pod. Make sure to ask Special Ring, "Can I see your tatoo?" ... where he will smile for you showing his registration tatoo on his upper lip!!!
A poignant moment can be had at the cemetery, adjacent to Pops and Ring. Many of the retirees have been put there as a final resting place, and are finally at peace.
In closing, if you're coming out to Lexington to visit the Kentucky Horse Park, or are using it as a launch pad to head to Louisville, definitely take a couple hours to visit Old Friends. You'll be able to meet some incredible atheletes and celebrities, and if you play it right, give 'em a big hug!!!
Jeff and Janet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.