24 August 2015
The three of us joined DITI in July and are now based in Darley America in Lexington, Kentucky, where the horse breeding industry centers in the States. Lexington is famous for its “bluegrass” which is perfect for horses to grow strong. The unique way that water passes through the limestone earth underneath the bluegrass pastures provides a high mineral content in the bluegrass, leading to stronger bones in horses. Keeneland Race Course in Lexington is one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world. The Breeders’ Cup will be hosted at Keeneland this year.
Darley in America is made up of six farms, namely Jonabell Farm, Raceland Farm, Gainsborough Farm, Dubai Millennium Farm, James Lane Farm, and Stonerside Farm. In the first week, we toured these farms which set the highest standards for facilities in the breeding industry. All the horses are well taken care of by Darley staff and we could feel HH Sheikh Mohammed’s love towards horses.
During the second week, we started our horsemanship training sessions at the North American Racing Academy. People working in the barn start early in the morning to feed the horses and get them ready for their daily training. They also need to clean the stalls and keep monitoring each horses’ conditions and activities throughout the day. Trainers and riders work together to train the horse and prepare them to race.
We were very lucky to fly out to Saratoga Springs, New York to attend the races. We stayed at Darley’s Greentree training facility which is next to the Saratoga Racecourse. This was our first time watching a horserace in the United States and left us with wonderful memories. We were so impressed by the atmosphere in the racecourse where people were so enthusiastic. On Thursday morning around 7am, there were already crowds of people sitting or standing by the racetrack watching the horses’ morning workout.
This is only the beginning of our journey in the United States. We are looking forward to more challenges and adventures in “the horse capital of the world”.