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 Post subject: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disreparai
PostPosted: August 24th, 2011, 6:24 pm 

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I'm saddened that the Taylor family who made millions on Northern Dancer have treated his grave and resting place with such irreverence and disrespect.
Here is a link to a story from The Toronto Star newspaper.
Toronto News: Hero racehorse rests among the weeds - thestar.com


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 24th, 2011, 9:30 pm 
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Truly tragic!! I remember reading about a horse who is being interred and his grave is being moved to either KHP or Old Friends. I wish they could do that with orthern Dancer who is surely one of the most legendary!! It will be a shame and disgrace if a parking lot eventually covers the grave and final resting place of this immortal horse.





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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 25th, 2011, 5:16 am 

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The thing that annoys me most is someone will care for and preserve history and artifacts over their lifetime.
When they are gone their families go in and take whatever they can and don't give back or preserve anything.
I see these types of people as disgracing their family name and they are lazy, selfish 3rd rate plodders who do nothing but sleep all day and party all night.
When E.P. Taylor died many of us could see his son Charles and family didn't have the interest of passion to continue on with his father's legacy.
I would hope that someone maybe able to save the Northern Dancer grave and see if the Kentucky Horse Park will take it where it will be respected.
It's obvious no one in Canada cares to preserve a very significant part of Thoroughbred history.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 25th, 2011, 11:11 am 
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I Agree HTR!! SO SAD and disgraceful...especially knowing what that legacy meant to loved ones who are departed. I found a recent article today abotu the horse I was thinking of...It was NOOR....His remins are being moved to Old Friends.....Perhaps we can get Michael Blowen onto this and he will bid to have Northern Dancer interred at Old Friends with the other champions there who have been lost to us.


(Courtesy of Bloodhorse)



Update on Noor and Tribute to Awad

24 Aug 2011 3:54 PM

I wanted to give you guys a little update on Noor’s remains being sent to Old Friends. The plan is for the body of the deceased Hall of Famer to be shipped to Michael Blowen’s Georgetown Ky.-based farm Aug. 30.
Noor is being exhumed from his previous burial ground at the Loma Rica training track in California due to the land being developed. Immediately upon his arrival, Noor will be buried in a new cemetery for Hall of Fame inductees near the entrance of Old Friends.

Noor during his racing days, photo from Blood-Horse Library
On Aug. 31, There will be a public memorial service for the son of Nasrullah at Old Friends at 10 a.m. A bugler from Keeneland will play the "Call to the Post" at the service, and Blowen has prepared some readings. The two sons of Noor's trainer Burley Parke are expected to fly to Kentucky for the service.
Funds are still being collected to help with Noor’s burial costs, including a granite marker for his grave. Anyone wishing to contribute can send their donations via check, money order, or PayPal to Old Friends, 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, Ky., 40324 or contact their website (http://www.oldfriendsequine.org/). Please write the name Noor to specify for what your donation is intended.
The project to move Noor to Old Friends has been headed by Charlotte Farmer, with the help of Kathleen Kimber, Blowen, and Kittredge Collins, great-great grandson of Noor’s owner Charles Howard, who is best known as the owner of Seabiscuit.
In this blog, I would also like to pay tribute to Awad, a beloved resident of Old Friends that died in late July. The millionaire and four-time grade I winner, who still holds the record for the fastest Arlington Million (gr. IT) in history, had been pensioned since 2006.

Awad winning the Arlington Million, photo by Four Footed Fotos
“He’s just unbelievable,” said Blowen. “Little did I know (when he first arrived at Old Friends) how much he would eventually mean to the farm the years he was here. This horse did some amazing things.
“I was in Saratoga when they told me he died. In one way, I’m really sorry I wasn’t there, but in another way, I’m glad I got to talk to (Awad’s former trainer) David Donk and his wife Faye in person. That horse meant everything to them…they used to come visit him at the farm, and they adored him.”
“If you call David and get the answering machine, it says, ‘Hello, you’ve reached the home of David and Faye Donk and the house that Awad bought.’ They brought their kids to the farm, pointed out Awad and said, ‘This is the reason you don’t have to take out a loan for college.’ ”
One of Blowen’s favorite memories of Awad at Old Friends came a few years ago, when a man called the farm to inquire if the horse resided there.
“He and his wife had their first date at Arlington Park on the day Awad won the Arlington Million, and now they’ve been married for 10 years,” said Blowen. “They wanted to come to the farm to renew their vows with Awad. I told him he had to bring the preacher, and he did, and it was hilarious.”
Blowen keeps a snapshot of the scene, with little Silver Charm serving as “best man,” taped to his refrigerator.
Prized, winner of the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), now resides in Awad’s paddock. “They’re very similar…they like to scream and talk a lot,” said Blowen with a laugh. “You can almost hear the echo of Awad when you hear Prized bellowing.”

Awad at Old Friends, photo by Rick Capone
Finally, I would like to leave you with this beautifully written tribute to Awad by his former exercise rider, Jane Wagner. Since I didn’t know Awad well, I thought you might appreciate hearing about the horse through Wagner’s eyes.
What are your memories of Awad? Were you a fan? I would love to hear your comments.
About Awad... from his friend Jane Turner.
I just got news today that one of my best friends has passed on. His name is AWAD and yes he is a horse. First I want to acknowledge that I shouldn't be so torn up about it because for one, I haven't spent any real time with him for many years and two, he has gone on to greener pastures. Hearing of his passing brings to surface the wonderful memories of the time I was so blessed with his daily presence in my life. As with any passing it is those left behind who are sad.
For starters I like to say THANK YOU to all of those at OLD FRIENDS in Kentucky for making his last years of life as close to perfect as a horse could want. Who knows where AWAD would have ended up after he was no longer useful in the breeding shed if not for all your great work. The job you do providing for these retired horses is amazing!

Awad enjoying life at Old Friends, photo by Rick Capone
Who was AWAD? As far as racehorses go he had a blessed life; for starters he was sound, he was fast and he had a heart bigger than he was. In the racing business you would call him an "iron horse" because as some might say "he never missed as dance."
He ran from 1992 -1998. His official career summary says 70 starts, 14 wins, 10 seconds, earnings of $3,270,131. Of course those simple stats leave out the noses, necks, ½ lengths when he was 4th instead of winning partially because his breath taking, heart pounding come from last flying finish running style left him susceptible to a slow pace. It also set him up to break records when they set a lightning pace in front of him.
I met him the spring of 1993 when I went to work for David Donk at Belmont Park. I started galloping horses in Middleburg, VA for Paul Fout and all you ever heard was the "good ones run in New York." I was blessed by falling into jobs with excellent horsemen everywhere I went from Mike Bell in Arkansas and Kentucky to Eddie Gaudet in Maryland, Niall Brennan in Ocala and then Al Darlington In Aiken. It was Al Darlington who suggested I go to work for Dave. I thought I'd be there a year or two maybe. That was in 1993 before I met AWAD, my Little, BIG horse.
He was the first horse I galloped around that 11/2 oval and it was love at first bouncing step. Here was the horse that every other trainer or rider who had known one before tried to tell you about, simply the horse of a lifetime. A horse dreams are made of !! A horse whose simple presence in my life made me feel like a champion too. I was lucky to work with amazing people like Dave and Fay Donk and all of the horses were my best friends but traveling the US and then to Japan with AWAD was stuff of a fairy tale.
The first road trip was to Arlington for the Secretariat. The stabling was portable stalls in the parking lot because the stable area was under quarantine. I remember walking him after training and he would stop and look directly at the cameras but he was a long shot so they didn't take so many pictures. He tried to tell them!! When we went out to Santa Anita together we would back up and stand. I'd see some people pass by on 4 or 5 different horses. They'd joke with me "I hope you get paid by the hour not the head." Riding him took me out of this world to a place of peace like none other.
Some people thought he was crazy because he liked to talk a lot and show off but he was a great horse to ride and work with. He screamed all the time and announced his coming and going. We always got to ride in the front of the plane so he wouldn't disturb the rest of the horses and we didn't have to listen to him the whole way.
I've ridden quite a few horses in my 23 years at the track and having worked for Todd Pletcher and now for Christophe Clement; I've been on some extremely talented and successful ones. When I sit on one that gives me goose bumps, that feeling of floating on air; One that takes you into your own little world where it's just you and a horse and hooves barely touching the ground, it's AWAD I compare them to because we spent 365 days a year for 5 years in that elevated space.

Awad at Old Friends, photo by Rick Capone
When I first came on the track people told me "don't fall in love with them it's a business." I disagree. I'm here because I love them and as their keeper asking them to give their lives to me in service I owe it to them fast or slow, My heart will break a million times but I'll keep loving them all one-by-one. There will never be another quite like him but he taught me what to look for. He had that rare combination of cockiness, talent, and heart that all exceptional athletes possess. He was a true champion and how lucky was I to be along for the ride.
I read this quote many years ago before I had a horse but it describes my boy to a T:

"About the head of a truly great horse there is an air of freedom unconquerable. The eyes seem to look on heights beyond our gaze. It is the look of a spirit that can soar. It is not confined to horses even in pictures you can see it in the eyes of the Bonaparte. It is the birthright of eagles."
~John Taintor Foote
Thanks WADIE for letting me soar with you.
Yours Always,
Jane

Photo by Rick Capone



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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 25th, 2011, 12:02 pm 

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AfleetTreet - Excellent article on Noor. I remember both Noor and Citation as a young boy.
Penny Tweedy of Secretariat fame was also neglectful of groom Eddie Sweat who was the groom for both Riva Ridge and Secretariat.
After E.P. Taylor died his son Charles inherited everything and he had no interest or passion for Thoroughbred racing.
He and his wife put the money into supporting the International Film Festival.
They sold the farm for development, took the money and left E.P. Taylor's Thoroughbred legacy in shambles.
In my opinion Charles Taylor's wife and kids have disgraced the Taylor family name by not taking care of Northern Dancer's grave site.
There are some very nice rich people in this sport and business with class and then there is the others like the Taylors.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 26th, 2011, 1:40 pm 
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HTR,
Looks like the news about Windfileds FINALLY hit Thoroughbred Times...hoping all other outlets willplaster this on their front pages and someone like Old Friends will step up....CROSSING MY FINGERS!



(Courtesy of Throughbred Times)



Windfields Farm reportedly in dilapidated state



Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:00 AM




Windfields Farm, the farm synonymous with excellence in Canadian Thoroughbred racing and breeding and the resting place of legendary sire Northern Dancer, reportedly has been the target of “very nasty” vandals and is in a declining state.
The Toronto Star reports that Windfields, which closed nearly two years ago, “has fallen victim to nature, vandals, and bureaucracy."
“Knee-high weeds in the wind wave above the white pebbles marking the grave of Canada’s most famous racehorse,” the report said.
Established in Oshawa, Ontario, by the late E. P. Taylor nearly 60 years ago, Windfields closed in late 2009 and much of the farm’s land was passed over to developers and nearby Durham College. An area where the Taylor family planned to construct a commemorative site for visitors to pay respects to Northern Dancer is “in limbo” and the land is set to be transferred to the adjoining University of Ontario Institute of Technology.




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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 5:26 am 

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AfleetTreet - I like to think that with all the publicity concerning Northern Dancer's grave site something good will come out of all this.
I still feel the Taylor family has an obligation to rectify the situation.
My position is if they had gone on into financial bankruptcy I obviously wouldn't have gone this route.
The fact is they got money out of the development of farmland and I felt they were shirking their responsibility for the grave site.
The Toronto Star newspaper that printed the story is the largest circulating newspaper in Canada
Thank you and others for all the support.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 9:27 am 
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Nice to see there are still some good guys in the sport....Paulick Report just posted this:
http://www.paulickreport.com/news/peopl ... rn-dancer/

NORTHVIEW'S GOLDEN OFFERS HOME FOR NORTHERN DANCER
by Paulick Report Staff | 08.27.2011 | 10:58am
While our comment sections can get heated from time to time, it's moments like this that make what we do worth it. Richard Golden of Northview Stallion Station took the time this morning to offer his farm – a portion of which is the former Windfields Farm in Maryland where Northern Dancer stood for many years – as Northern Dancer's permanent resting place after it was reported this week that his original home at Windfields Farm in Canada had "fallen victim to nature, vandals and bureaucracy." Read the entirety of Golden's comment below:
Northern Dancer died at our farm when he was 29 years old. The day after he died, we were told to look in a shed that was on the farm and never used.We were told that there was a coffin for Northern Dancer in that shed and that his remains were to be shipped back to Windfields Farm in Canada along with his halter. We took care of Northern Dancer for 3 years before he passed away and his name still remains on his stall.

We have Kings Bishop and Tentam buried at our farm along with Caveat, Smarten, Two Punch and others. We would welcome the opportunity to pay for the removal of Northern Dancer's remains and place him where he belongs at the farm that he dominated the Stallion world when he stood for Windfields.



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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 9:33 am 

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Swale1984 - Thanks for the news tip.
It seems reasonable that the Taylor family and Northview can take of this, assuming the Taylor family will cooperate.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 11:02 am 

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I read the stories about the greatnhorse's resting place and it made me sick. Shame on those people...shame, shame, shame!!
I beleive that Northern Dancer will get the resting place he so deserves...that horse will always be one of the most influencial in the history of this sport...his legacy will remain for all time.
I beleive this part of his story will have a happy ending, thanks to everyone that has gotten involved in this, especially the folks at Northview.

I also read that story you posted, Treet, about Awad and his regular ex. rider...and that made me cry!!



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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 31st, 2011, 9:31 am 

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I read that they are now going to clean up Northern Dancer's grave...but, IMO, it still should be moved...eventually someone will build a parking lot of mall there...something...even if nothing ever gets built there, his grave should not be an ocscure plot of land in the midst of a university...it should be at the Kentucky Horse Park with a bronze statue there too.

http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s ... gravesite/



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 Post subject: Re: Northern Dancer grave in weeds Windfields Farm in disrep
PostPosted: August 31st, 2011, 2:28 pm 

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Fdf47 - There is a life size bronze of Northern Dancer done by Lisa Todd, daughter Michael Tod and Elizabeth Taylor.
It is located at Woodbine Race Track.
I should mention I'm also connected to the museum association and I know all the resources that are available as well as the protocol to be used.
The problem, in my humble opinion, is the remaining living family relatives have not done their homework by using the archival resources available.
If they reach out this can be done in such a way that it would make every human being very proud of Northern Dancer's final resting place.


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