Sunday, March 3, 2013

Back To The Shed ~ A Visit to Three Chimneys

Guest Blogger Lindsay Hunter delivers a maiden mare to Flower Alley at Three Chimneys, and recalls some history along the way.

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Three Chimneys 2/21/13

The two Corgis, Solo and Millie, curled up and went back to sleep beside me on the seat, as if I had interrupted their morning beauty sleep by getting them up in the dark. Bailey rode shotgun, with a renewed passion
 for keeping a watchful eye for deer on Spears Rd, as we had seen three on our trip home last night from the farm. By the time I had slid the gooseneck ball under the trailer, fed grain to all the horses in the barn and filled their water buckets, the sun peaking over the hills toward Tates Creek Rd was bathing the landscape in golden light, very welcome after many days of dreary grey and cold.
We set off once more for Overbrook Farm, which since the passing of it’s founder, W.T. Young, had made its glorious barns and sweeping fields available to several Thoroughbred boarding operations. Stopping at one of the long barns of Terazzas Thoroughbreds, the pretty, almost black mare, Lovely Danielle, was loaded onto the trailer, and we wound our way through the tree lined avenues to the front gate, which swung open automatically as soon as I passed the guard shack. Like Hotel California in reverse, you can always leave, but you must have special access granted to get in through the locked gates.
Traffic was picking up for the morning rush hour, but we encountered no problems traveling New Circle Road to the other side of town. Lovely Danielle, a maiden foaling mare, was leaving her young foal for the first time and was understandably anxious. Eduardo (Terazzas) had written notes on the shed envelope, to remind the shed crew that she had been a bit nervous last year as a maiden being bred for the first time, and hoped she had the hang of it now, but to be watchful.
Old Frankfort Pike, the road to Three Chimneys, was thankfully not busy, as one turns left off the ramp, and there is often a lot of heavy construction traffic, police vehicles from the depot and semis getting back on New Circle to thread through in a hurry. Past the spot where Wolf Run Farm used to be, where I first applied for a job, the former Mare Haven Annex and the little red house where Larry DeMerritte and his wife used to live, now gone. 
Through the new roundabout at the section of old Viley, now rechristened Alexandria, up the hill with the High Croft Farm on the right, bound by stone fence, where I did get my first job, in the spring of 1980 working with Ricky Payne for Taylor Made Farm, then in its’ infancy. Who would have guessed back then that the humble operation run by the Taylor brothers would soar to such heights?
On past the newly relocated Padua Farm, down the hill past the former Mare Haven farm of famed veterinarian, Dr William O. Reed, now Casa Farm, past Darby Dan, Old Bradley Farm, Fares Farm, the old Buckram Oak property that is now Stonestreet, home of Rachel Alexandra. Past Chealis Hammond’s place, he a friend of Ricky Paynes’, where it seemed like there was always a party going on. That farm became Old Frankfort Stud, where Jim Plemmons stood Lil E Tee, who won the KY Derby in 1982. Now Frankfort Park Stud, it too, is leased to different operators.
Continuing along the old buffalo trail, passing the little white house on the left quaintly named “Dutchmans Acre “, we soon pass Meg and Michael Levy’s Bluewater Farm, on a former Three Chimneys division location, and on out past The Headley-Whitney Museum, Middlebrook Farm, Cathy Wieshoff’s Carriage Station, down over the bridge before the little store with the good sandwiches and cold drinks, up past Hopewell Farm and Pisgah Pike , and finally to Three Chimneys. 
As we turn left on Big Sink Pike, Lovely Danielle is shaking the trailer. There is only one trailer in the parking lot ahead of us, and promptly at 9 am, the prep guy comes to get our papers. Lovelly Danielle has a date with Flower Alley, sire of Bodemeister who ran second in last year’s KY Derby, and is now retired to stud at Winstar Farm.
Standing in the teasing stall, I could appreciate just how lovely Lovely Danielle was. A refined, tapered head (yes, the Arabian lover in me comes out) and strong, muscular body set on perfectly straight legs and neat feet. However, as predicted, she had only so much patience in the wash stocks, and after her tail was wrapped and her vulva cleaned, she could hold herself together no longer, and with a great leap out of the stocks, let us know she wanted to get on with the breeding and get back to her baby. 
Once in the breeding shed, she stood quietly while Flower Alley minced along the crushed red brick path from his barn to the shed, and was a perfect lady while he mounted and covered her. 
Hurrying back into the trailer, she made it quite plain that she was anxious to get back to her baby, and so with no further ado, the Corgis, now awake, and I whisked her back to Overbrook Farm and her baby.

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