Took an amazing horse farm tour with Expedia while visiting Lexington. Here I learned much of the equine industry from a seasoned guide who has worked in the industry for over 40 years!
Our first stop was Katierich Farms, the farm of Larry and Katherine Doyle. This farm is 356 acres with a monthly cost of $300,000. to manage. The Doyle’s are New Yorker’s and live in Sleepy Hollow, NY, visiting several weeks of the year.
One of the barns..
Meet Miss Mary Apples born 4/14/2020. She is a yearling.
Some basic facts…
One year old horses are known as yearlings. When these lovely creatures are born they stay with their moms for 120 days. Once they leave their mom they gain 10-12 pounds per week. They begin racing after they are two years old.
A stallion is a guy horse and a mare is a girl horse. A baby horse till 1 year of age is a foal.
Every thoroughbred horse birth date is recorded as January 1st.
Horses stay outside overnight once the frost has past to acclimate to weather and for exercise.
In the fields they enjoy playing with each other and this provides socialization for the foals.
Pregnancy lasts 11 months, then 15-30 days later the horse is inseminated again. Mares are inseminated with the stallion mounting them, no artificial insemination. Injections are given to ensure the pregnancy is maintained.
Farms make their monies via stud fees which can be over $1 million dollars.
Let’s look at a few more of these beauties at the Katierich Farms.
The next farm visited was The Don Alberto Farm. This farm was purchased for $35 million and has over 2,000 acres. Mr. Alberto is from South America and owns a chain of stores similar to Walmart’s. The monthly cost for managing the farm is $600,000. On his property Seattle Slew is buried who was the 1977 Triple Crown winner.
The farm is a recent purchase and is currently being renovated. No horses are housed here, but aren’t the grounds beautiful?.
It was at this farm our guide told an interesting and funny story. There was a stallion who was taking 1 1/2 hours to stud, while this usually takes a relatively short period of time. When the owner came by to check on the horse and better understand the problem the stallion immediately did the deed. Apparently, the owner’s perfume did the trick. There is something to be said for pheromones.
The last farm visited while not as impressive is the home of two Kentucky Derby winners. As our guide stated horses have no preference for stable.
Also on this farm was a swimming pool for horses. It is a $25 per swim usually lasting 15 minutes.
Some horses on the farm..
A few final questions with response…
The Jockey Payment
All this horse information led me to question how jockeys are paid. Was told these riders get 10% of the race purse upon winning and agents get 25% of the jockey payment.
Why is Kentucky the horse capitol of the world?
Kentucky is loaded with limestone, even in the drinking water. Limestone is good for bones and this enhances bone strength making these horses better candidates for racing.
What an enjoyable morning visit..
A final shot..