A Visit To Claiborne Farm

A Visit to Claiborne Farm

If you are a fan of horses and especially a horse racing fan, I highly suggest make a trip to Claiborne Farm.     A few miles outside of the small town of Paris, Kentucky - which embraces the Parisian name with their own Eiffel Tower - sits Claiborne Farm and took the roughly one hour tour and met some of the best race horses and current sires in recent history and learned about the Claiborne Farm's incredible horse racing legacy.   On Monday, October 25, 2021, we visited Claiborne Farms.  The birthplace and final home for legendary racehorse Secretariat.

Claiborne Farm's motto is "Doing the Usual, Unusually Well" as evidenced in the below picture of their statistics.

Image taken from Claibornefarm.com

Upon arrival to Claiborne Farms, we checked in for our tour at the visitor's center where they played some of their horses greatest victories on the big monitor that overlooks the souvenirs  in the gift shop.  We were joined by two  high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) groups.  When they played Secretariat's 1973 Belmont victory, the girls in the group started crying -- even I could sense the awe inspiring feeling of the race having watched it hundreds of time, but to watch these young women be moved to tears watching a race that took place almost fifty years ago encapsulated thee tradition and feeling of a visit to Claiborne Farms.

The jockey stands in front of the Claiborne Farms Visitor Center dressed in Claiborne colors.

As impressive as the history and tradition are at Claiborne Farm, it pales in comparison to the beauty and awe inspiring feeling of meeting the actual horses.  On our visit we were introduced to Preakness Winner War of Will - the son of the big sire War Front and the horse cut off by Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby that led to the inquiry. War of Will has no knowledge of any of the racing history, he's just a gentle happy horse who loved peppermints and posing for pictures, nor does he realize that he is syndicated and worth 111 million dollars and they expect him to take over for his daddy (War Front) in the future who earns a 150K stud fee.

War of Will at Claiborne Farm

We also met Run Happy and learned the story of his owner Mattress Mack, Jim McIngvale, but not nearly as interesting as getting up close with the horses. The horses and the farm just made everything else disappear and a reassuring calmness seemed to fill the air.

Eventually, we met War Front who originally stood for 12.5K and now stands for 150K and breeds 3 times a day.  War Emblem has been syndicated and is worth 85 million dollars. Once again he loved his peppermints and was so docile I could have him lean over my shoulder while I hugged 85 million dollars.

War Front over my shoulder.

Yet, Blame was my favorite and not because he never finished out of the money or won 9 of his 13 races including the Breeders' Cup Classic, but because he was a fun loving horse that liked to slide the peppermints into his upper lip and suck on them while sticking out his tongue.  He was gentle and loved attention.  Which is interesting since when he won the BC Classic over the undefeated Zenyatta in 2010, he received death threats and Claiborne Farm closed to visitors for months and had to increase security.

BC Classic Winner Blame at Claiborne Farm.

The tradition and beauty of Kentucky and especially of Claiborne Farm in the Fall just has to be experienced.  If you love horses and especially if you love racing, Kentucky and Claiborne Farm is a must visit.  You will not be disappointed and while it is probably similar to other tours, Claiborne Farm really does "the usual, unusually well!"