Today I made my way out to Oakhurst Equine (a combination veterinary and Thoroughbred farm) for their annual open house. Oakhurst has the honor of having two Kentucky Derby winners at stud: Grindstone (1996) and Giacomo (2005). Giacomo only arrived in the Pacific Northwest a couple of months ago, so this was the first time he could be viewed by the general public.

I have been wanting to attend their open house for a couple years, so I made my way up to Newberg, which is a very pretty drive. When I drove up there, Grindstone was out for viewing, though I didn’t know it was him as I walked over to comply with the big sign that said “check in.”


After talking a few minutes with the reception staff (and assuring them I had NO money, I just wanted to see the horses), I wandered over to see the horses.

And there was Giacomo.

He was THRILLED to see me, obviously.

But then something WONDERFUL happened. A groom came over and offered me a little carrot. I asked if it was really okay, and he assured me it was fine. “He’s surprisingly sensible about his treats.” And sure enough…

"Wait, you have a carrot?"
“Wait, you have a carrot?”
"I really need the carrot. I'm too cute to be carrot-less."
“I really need the carrot. I’m too cute to be carrot-less.”

So, obviously, I fed him the carrot.

"Got any more?
“Got any more?”
"No! You're wasting my time!"
“No! You’re wasting my time!”


Thus ended our brief flirtation.

After that I went outside where Baquero was being shown.

I thought he was not as “balanced” as Grindstone (above) but his front end was really lovely. I heard prospective breeders talking about how his foals were known for their soundness.

Next they brought out Slew’s Saga.

While more balanced, I didn’t care for his white eye, and when someone scratched him he showed signs of “thin Thoroughbred skin” which I find hard to deal with in horses.

Unfortunately, while I was there they did not bring out Giacomo, so I didn’t get to see him “out.”

My last stop was a look down their “for sale” isles. They had a couple broodmares for sale, several yearlings, and two “horses of racing age.”

"You're disturbing my nap" this broodmare says.
“You’re disturbing my nap” this broodmare says.

It was a good visit, but obviously a horse lover could get into a lot of trouble there!

One thought on “How many times have YOU fed a carrot to a Kentucky Derby Winner?”
  1. I was out there probably a couple hours earlier than you, Tara. I left there around 2 PM, but I was fortunate that Giacomo was outside being shown to a couple of women who had some prospective broodmares to breed to him. And luckily there was a break in the wet weather. Didn’t see Slew’s Saga but they also brought out Baquero and Grindstone. Grindstone wasn’t interested in showing at all – he is 23 years old, after all – but then they brought out one of the mares to his line of vision, and immediately gave a great show horse stance. There’s still fire in the furnace with him. Pretty sparse crowd, but I had some fun “horsey” talks with Cookie Root, a couple of older ladies who I might bump into next time at Portland Meadows or even Emerald Downs, and a pretty nice, talkative gent who has a Baquero son running for the first time at PM this Monday. And I managed to take photos of the nearby Ewing Young Oak, although the rain was returning and was getting dark. Your photos look nice, I especially like the head shots of Baquero and Slew’s Saga. It would be interesting to see if there’s more people there on Sunday and find out the results of the reverse auction, but I’m going to the cat show at the Holiday Inn near the airport and get my “cat fix”. Hope your new house and job are going OK.

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