Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not into horses? Just move along, then.

Kentucky is famous for its bluegrass and fine horseflesh, and we wanted to see some of that horseflesh in action this trip. We thought about going to Churchill Downs to catch some races, but when we learned that we could watch horses being breezed at Keeneland and take in the November Breeding Stock Sale, that won out. So our last morning in Kentucky we packed up early and headed out to see some blue-bloods doing what they are born and bred to do - RUN!

At first we didn't see much action, but it was still a beautiful sight:
Then the horses started coming by, first in one direction, slowly:
Then from the other direction.
I could have watched them "fly without wings" forever, but our stomachs started complaining so we drove down to the "greasy spoon" Track Kitchen and ate with the locals. Then it was time to head over to the sale barn. There were beautiful horses everywhere.Too bad this black stallion wouldn't fit into my suitcase! Hubba hubba!

This was the covered walking area attached to the auction barn. Broodmares, racing prospects and weanlings were kept moving until it was each one's turn to head into the ring.

We were told by the veterinarian we met on Saturday that we would likely see a record-breaking sale - record-breaking LOW prices, that is. The referral practice she works for is down 50%, and the thoroughbred industry is really hurting. We heard Keeneland was the only Kentucky track that didn't cut their racing schedule this year.

This lovely mare was the first horse in Tuesday's sale, and brought by far the highest price of any of the auctions we watched. Some went for as little as $1000; quite a few sold for $3000. Hard to market the "sport of kings" in a suffering economy!

Since nothing in the sale was in our budget, even at such depressed prices, we headed back through the grounds to the grandstand to visit the gift shop and Christmas shop before leaving Keeneland.
We took one last look at the track:and headed into Lexington for our last destination before flying home to . . .


melanie said...

Well, if you ever come up this way, make it August and we can take you to "our" track (Saratoga) and horsey stuff...and I'm sure with all your experience I'll learn some things about horses I never knew...

thecrazysheeplady said...

You know what would have really been funny? If we'd both been on the backside at the same time and taken a picture of each other taking pictures of the horses :-D.

Enjoyed catching up on your trip. You sure managed to fit a lot of good stuff in! I'm so glad you had a good trip...and will be glad to see you again for WEG ;-).

Shula said...

Wow that looks like my kind of vacation. What greta looking horses. And yes the prices of horses is dropping everywhere so I am not surprised TB's are dropping too. Thanks for the report :)