The Kentucky Derby may be over, but the Thoroughbred industry never stops! To that end, I recently had the opportunity to view Normandy Farm’s latest-born foals. Normandy Farm sits on 254 acres of beautiful land that was formerly a part of the larger Elmendorf Farm next door, along with the third farm that adjoins it on the west side. The original owner, Joseph Widner (who died in 1946) converted the farm from cattle to horses, and built a historic replica of the barn which he hid away in after being shot down over Normandy during World War I. What makes the barn unusual is its abundance of animal statues on the roof, just like those on the original barn in France. Their purpose is to ward off evil spirits and protect the horses.
Normandy Farm currently houses about 19 mares, 14 of which are actively breeding. Breeding fees range from $20,000 to $120,000 each. Yearlings raised here have brought as high as $460,000 at recent auctions. Normandy’s owners send their yearlings to the annual Fasig-Tipton sales, as well as to the summer sales in Saratoga Springs, NY, where the selection of stock is hand-picked.
Mares can breed from as young as three years old and continue for as long as 20 + years. Owner Nancy Polk started her operation with just five inexpensive mares in 1997, and has continuously worked to upgrade her operation, taking the finest care of all of her mares and never putting any of them down after their breeding life has passed.
Watching the foals following their mamas within a few feet is the sweetest experience! Their little ‘stick legs’ are almost surreal….and yet, one never knows where the next Kentucky superstar will come from. So…onward to the next Triple Crown winner!
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After all, why not raise the next Triple Crown Winner yourself?
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