Season 3 is here! It’s hard to imagine, but after three years and 50+ episodes there are still a million places I want to share with y’all. One of those things is definitely a true blue(grass) Kentucky race horse farm!
I’ve always been a “horse girl.” When I was little I had this hilarious pony that I rode weekly on our family farm. She was the perfect pony to learn on, but she wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Just to make sure I was paying attention she’d throw in a good shy or buck at the start of the lesson and the proceed to act like it had never happened. She was ornery enough to keep me on my toes and make me a good rider but just sweet enough to keep me coming back. In short, she was the best.
During this time I found the most incredible series of books. It was called “Thoroughbred” and it had everything I wanted out of life at age 10: multiple books in a series centered around a young girl and her horse. As the name would suggest, it’s all about thoroughbreds and the world of horse racing. There are a ton of books, as in 72 of them! I couldn’t get enough and page by page fell in love with the incredible sport.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but there is a young girl named Ashely and a tiny horse named Wonder that no one believes in. Everything about the story resinated with my young, horse-loving heart. When it was all said and done, I ended up reading all 72. I would beg my mom to take me to the book store to get the next one so often that she started making me buy 3 at a time. That’s how quickly I was devouring them! You could say I was a little obsessed. While I never did race horses, I did have a thoroughbred hunter/jumper named Muddy Waters. I had dreamed of owning one since I read those books as a little girl and finally having my own thoroughbred to love and riding him was everything I had dreamed it would be and more! They are so athletic and powerful. I have never felt more regal than when I rode Muddy. I guess that’s why they call racing the “sport of kings!” Even though my competitive riding days are over, my obsession with thoroughbreds and racing most certainly is not.
So when the situation presented itself for us to film at the legendary Three Chimney’s race horse farm for season 3, I jumped at the chance. I have been to Toby Keith’s racehorse farm in Oklahoma (season 1 anyone?!), but there was always something about the Kentucky racehorse farm that fascinated me. The entire state’s culture is so centered around these pristine farms in a way that is unlike anything else in the country. And if we were going to showcase one, it had to be a farm that was equally as impressive as the sport itself.
The morning of the shoot, I stepped off of the bus and into my dream world. I swear when I get to heaven, it’s going to look a lot like Three Chimneys! It was a chilly, clear morning. The sun was just coming up over the distant hills. It was the kind of quiet that is only comes from a blanket of snow on the ground. All around me was the energy of a morning in motion. Horses were being lead from barns to their paddocks, their breath coming out in puffs as they briskly walked to freedom.
I was quickly ushered into a stunning old farm house that serves as the farm’s office. From the fireplaces, to the old log cabin walls, to the multitude of trophies – everything about the place reinforces what a dynasty Three Chimneys truly is. My favorite part was the hallway where halters of all of the horses who have called the farm home over the years are displayed. Seeing Seattle Slew’s halter in the bunch had me completely fan girling.
After meeting with the farm manager and learning about the history an accolades of the farm, it was time to meet the current generation of horses that are making a name for themselves in racing. Gun Runner, Will Take Charge, Palace Malice, each was lead out of their stalls and each took my breath away. Simply standing there, each stallion oozed athleticism and demanded my attention. Like with all true athletes, they had the “it” factor. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, I can only tell you that they all had it and I was mesmerized. The best part of the entire day was that I got to share it with you! I cannot thank the Borges-Torrealba family enough for allowing us to share their incredible farm with everyone!
All I can say is season 3 is officially off to the races and I hope that you’ll tag along because I have so many more wonderful places to share!