Old Friends Farm to add memorial sculpture of Medina Spirit

Old Friends farm to have sculpture honoring Medina Spirit
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Medina Spirit’s untimely death in December 2021 marked a sad moment for the sport of horse racing. Four months after being laid to rest at Old Friends Farm, an artist is sculpting a new memorial for the thoroughbred there, and it’s coming together with the help of the Baffert family.

Artist Kiptoo Tarus’s latest work is sculpting Medina Spirit by breathing new life into a dying Sycamore tree.

Old Friends President Michael Blowen said the idea came from a worker who loved the tree, but there was one problem.

“I said, ‘Sylvia, we can’t spend money that’s meant for the horses on a dead tree,’” Blowen said.

So Jill and Bob Baffert were able to step in and help sponsor the sculpture.

Tarus has weeks of work ahead of him, but he said the process is just as important as the final product.

“Every cut is a decision on the direction of how the pieces going,” Tarus said.

Blowen said because of the support the Baffert family has shown him through the years, this will be in part a tribute to them.

But he says it is a tribute to Medina Spirit first and foremost, focusing on the horse rather than any controversies that surrounded him.

“Regardless of what was adjudicated, he’s an amazing animal. He had an amazing career that was cut short,” Blowen said.

Blowen said the farm will hold an unveiling ceremony once the sculptures finished. They expect it to be done within the next few weeks.

Tarus’s other work in our area includes another horse sculpture at the Henry Clay Estate and a memorial for Breonna Taylor at Lexington’s Carnegie Center for Literacy.

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