Thoroughbred retirement farm building new visitor center inside old barn

Thoroughbred retirement farm building new visitor center inside old barn
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 3:35 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - An old tobacco barn at the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm is getting a facelift.

They broke ground two months ago on a new state-of-the-art visitors center that will be named in honor of Josephine Abercrombie.

Abercrombie was a horsewoman and philanthropist. She’s also the late owner of the Pin Oak Stud in Versailles.

Old Friends Owner Michael Blowen says he didn’t want to use the money people donated to Old Friends to pay for the barn’s renovation. Instead, he says, Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stud Foundation agreed to match up to $750,000 in donations. Blowen says, so far, they’ve raised $150,000.


Blowen says once it’s done, the outside won’t look much different because they’re using the barn’s original wood siding. The inside, however, will look different. It’ll be a space where people can watch the horses at old friends in their racing days, look at horse-racing memorabilia and more.

“I’ve always dreamed about having a place where people can come and watch these horses’ races on big TVs and we could have seminars about handicapping and we could invite special guests to come and talk about their horses,” said Blowen. “Some of the famous trainers who have trained these horses and made their whole careers on the backs of these fabulous animals.”

Blowen says they’re rolling right along with construction and they’re hoping to be done by Derby Day.