Remembering Crystal Water

This weekend the Crystal Water Handicap will be run at Santa Anita, honoring the great horse who was twice California Horse of the Year and also a prolific and successful sire of good racehorses.

Today we salute our retirees Lennyfromalibu, who won the Crystal Water Handicap in 2004,

and Running Free, who ran third in 2005.

But Tranquility Farm's connection to Crystal Water goes deeper, as several of his last daughters were donated to us for safekeeping a few years ago.One of these was Love the Water, who found sanctuary here to have her last foal in 2007. Love the Water showed all the class you would expect from the daughter of a champion, and the filly she produced was one of the finest and most sensible horses ever raised here at Tranquility Farm.

As Thoroughbred pedigrees go in and out of fashion yesterday's champions are often swept into the dust bin of history and forgotten in a generation. Not so with Crystal Water, and it is wonderful to see him celebrated and to know that his fine qualities live on in hundreds of decendents today.


Saluting Oceanus

This weekend Santa Anita will feature the Gr.2 San Carlos Handicap, a race that our retiree Oceanus finished a close third to Surf Cat in 2006. The beautiful stallion Oceanus raced a total to forty-six times with five wins including the Gr.2 Gran Premio Conde de Hertzberg in his native Brazil. In the US he was a tough and durable competitor until the age of nine.

When Oceanus retired to Tranquility Farm in the spring of 2008, you might say that he was a formidable horse. If you have ever seen a lively production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew you have an idea what it was like to care for Oceanus in the first few weeks of his rehabilitation. Things often went flying out of the stall, including the grooms. But there were reasons, I told myself… it was March, it was snowing, and this glorious athlete was stuck inside with an injured leg. It would be enough to make anyone cranky. And then there was that issue of his Latin temper…
One day after a particularly harrowing session came the realization that Oceanus simply expected a fight, it wasn’t personal, and if he could not identify any combatant there would be no object for his aggression. We became his shadow enemy, not allowing any confrontation whatsoever to take place. A big bag of carrots was placed outside his stall (the cowboys snicker) and each time a human walked by he got some. Cleaning his stall and wrapping his leg was done without restraints, just carrots. I reasoned that a horse would probably not try to eat you with his mouth full, and little by little Oceanus came to view his new set of humans with a more positive attitude.

Two years at Tranquility Farm have worked their magic, and Oceanus is now a happy horse and a perfect gentleman who has learned to treat humans kindly. Like other difficult horses I have cared for in the past he has become my great favorite, probably because he has so much to teach us.


First Signs of Spring

Winter has been a long cold muddy mess here at Tranquility Farm, but looking out over the pasture that is the summer home of our retired geldings there is finally the feeling that spring is in the air. Fragile new grass is gaining strength with the returning sun, and soon the horses will shed their winter hair like butterflies coming out of their cocoons.

The fabulous geldings who call this pasture home are supported entirely by the donations of supporters and the fundraising efforts of Tranquility Farm. Here are a just a few:

Areyoutalkintome: 51 Starts, 10 wins, inc. Cal Cup Sprint.
Geronimo: 42 Starts, 10 wins, inc. Gr.3 Morvich Handicap.
Full Moon Madness: 61 Starts, 10 wins inc. Cal Cup Sprint.
Fly to the Wire: 27 Starts, 11 wins, placed Gr. 2 Las Barrera Hcp.
Publication: 25 starts-7 wins inc. Gr.2 Arlington Washington Futurity
Mananan Mclir: 47 starts-9 wins inc. Gr.2 American Derby

These great horses and many others depend entirely upon your SUPPORT for a peaceful retirement after running their hearts out on the racetrack. Please help us give them the happiness they deserve. The horses thank you!


Two Tranquility Yearlings to Neigh Savers.

Two of Tranquility Farms yearlings that are the offspring of rescued Warren Mares have been adopted by our sister non-profit Neigh Savers to be raised and trained at their Kimberlee Farms facility in Somis. Scythian Gold and Valerie’s Gift were both chosen for their outstanding potential as future sport horses.

Scythian Gold recently developed a juvenile cataract that will require surgery, and we particularly appreciate Neigh Savers adopting him at this time. If you would like to donate toward his surgery please contact Neigh Savers directly.THANK YOU!



Imagination is something all horse people share,although some are better at it than others. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the star power in each spring’s new foals, in fact it is almost impossible not too. But to imagine that a half-starved, sore-footed, washed-up race horse could have a great future takes whole lot more effort. But he did. And saving Fete gave us a valuable lesson here at Tranquility Farm, where we have almost come to expect happy endings.

We get a lot of calls from people who are discouraged and want us to take on a horse that they have “rescued” from the racetrack. Because we could never fit all these horses into our farm we have tried to offer some useful advice in our
"Guide to Retraining your Racehorse". But there is a footnote that we forgot to include. And that is not to give up.

Fete didn’t give up although when he came to us he was a bag of bones that could barely walk. And Charity Fillmore didn’t give up believing that the horse she had once loved as a two- year- old could one day come to live with her family, although he was years and a continent away. And so ends our story, with another lesson learned. No matter how horses come into our lives they all have something to teach us. If you feel that you are hitting the wall with your horse it may be that you are just looking for the door.