Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm Experiencing Financial Woes

Old Friends, one of the most well-known and supported Thoroughbred retirement facilities in the country, has fallen on financial woes due to a clerical error by its bank. In order to retain its current status and continue supporting the horses
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Old Friends, one of the most well-known and supported Thoroughbred retirement facilities in the country, has fallen on financial woes due to a clerical error by its bank. In order to retain its current status and continue supporting the horses at its facility, the farm must raise $300,000 by the end of April.

Luckily, there is a silver lining in the situation. According to founder/owner Michael Blowen, who sent a newsletter to all Old Friends supporters about the money troubles April 13, the facility has raised more than $50,000 in the last 24 hours.

"These people are unbelievable…it’s an amazing thing; I’m just a conduit here," Blowen told The Blood-Horse April 14. Since sending out the newsletter, Blowen has garnered donations from several Thoroughbred owners totaling as much as $10,000 each, as well as numerous $5 and $10 donations from fans. "We’ve gotten over 350 emails already," he said. "People write nice things; they’re very complimentary of Old Friends, and they are coming up with all kinds of amazing fundraising ideas. I’m very optimistic now; I think we’ll be able to work out an equitable solution out with the bank"

Blowen explained how about three years ago, he requested that his bank rewrite the mortgage for Old Friends so it would have its payments due bi-annually. "They concurred and re-wrote the loan," said Blowen in the newsletter. "We continued to make payments on time through our bookkeeper

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Written by:

Esther Marr is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine.

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