Latest News

People finds Old Friends' horse heroes

GEORGETOWN — Lolling in a French chateau, the twins of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt grace the cover of a special double issue of People magazine this month.

And 107 pages away, Michael Blowen grins in a photo as he stands between two retired horses at Old Friends Equine, a thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown.

Blowen, 61, and his wife Diane White, 64, are being featured in People magazine's Heroes Among Us. The non-profit retirement farm specializes in taking care of stallions that had racing careers.

The couple has already benefited from the publicity generated by magazine. That's in large part because the issue features photos of the Jolie-Pitt twins — photos that People and London-based Hello! magazine are rumored to have paid $14 million for.

Blowen and White say people in tour groups and at a fund-raising event have mentioned that they have seen the article; the farm has received calls giving donations and support, and Blowen said he's received a couple of e-mails from former colleagues from the Boston Globe, where he and White worked before they moved to Kentucky in 2001.

White said she has been recognized in Kroger in Georgetown since being featured in People.

The magazine has been on stands since the beginning of August and will be on sale through Aug. 25.

“We're just really lucky to be an afterthought after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and their two cute little kids,” Blowen said. “I should add that they didn't pay $14 million for our pictures. They came free.”

The couple were interviewed, and their photos along with their miniature horse Little Silver Charm were taken in late July, but they weren't sure when the story would be published.

“We hit the jackpot,” Blowen said of being in the Jolie-Pitt twins edition. “The only thing is that my little horse (Little Silver Charm) is mad because he thought those twins knocked him off the front page.”

Blowen said he had been trying to get the magazine to write a story about Old Friends Equine, but an e-mail from a farm supporter led to the feature.

Blowen started Old Friends Equine after learning that Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand was slaughtered for meat after his stud career.

Since 2003, the retirement farm has specialized in stallions and houses 30 horses, many of which had successful racing careers.

The horses include Popcorn Deelite, one of the horses that portrayed Seabiscuit in the 2003 movie.

The farm has grown to 92 acres, about 40 acres of which still need fences and paddocks. The farm has 60 horses on its waiting list, Blowen said. About 20,000 people a year tour the farm.

Little Silver Charm also has new-found fame. Silver Charm received a letter and a photo from a miniature horse named Oreo, a Palomino Pinto mare from South Carolina, requesting to be his “pin-up girl.”

“What are the odds that a horse you got for $40 off a slaughter truck would end up with his picture in People magazine?” Blowen said.