MSPCA-Angell names Blowen ‘Human Hero’

The former Boston Globe reporter who founded Thoroughbred retirement facility Old Friends of Kentucky, will be honored next month by MSPCA-Angell with a Human Hero Award.

Michael Blowen, a longtime entertainment writer turned equine advocate extraordinaire, exemplifies the ideals of MSPCA-Angell founder George T. Angell, says the organization’s president, Carter Luke.

Michael Blowen pictured at Old Friends

Both Angell and Blowen were moved to get involved with equine welfare when they learned about horse tragedies, Luke says.

The MSPCA-Angell was founded after Angell learned that two horses had been raced to the death; and Blowen founded Old Friends for pensioned racehorses when learning Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand had died in a Japanese slaughterhouse in 2002. ([intlink id=”603″ type=”post”]Please see earlier story about Michael Blowen[/intlink]).

“Mr. Blowen shares many of the ideals of our founder, George T. Angell,” Luke says. “The tradition of helping horses has continued throughout our history.”

At Nevins Farm in Methuen, Mass., one of the organization’s care and adoption centers, horses and other animals are given respite, and in some cases, a retirement home.

And Old Friends has taken in dozens upon dozens of equine athletes at the end of their racing days, providing a “dignified retirement” and promoting awareness of the issue through tours of the facility.

“Michael’s work furthers the care of animals that are at times forgotten or slaughtered,” Luke says.

MSPCA-Angell President Carter Luke with his cat Lunar

Blowen says he is honored to accept the award on behalf of the amazing equine athletes at Old Friends, but not for himself.

“As one who saw the great work done over the years by the MSPCA, I am doubly humbled by this award,” Blowen says. “We are only trying to give back a little bit of the joy that (our athletes) have brought us.”

Blowen says he hopes the award will help raise awareness about ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds and how deserving they are of a dignified retirement.

“We are not giving them anything. They earned it all,” Blowen adds.

This is the 21st year the Human Hero Award has been issued. Recent past recipients include Marc Johnson and Karen Windsor of Foster Parrots in 2009; Tom Ryan, a blogger who hiked 66 New Hampshire peaks with his dog Atticus M. Finch, was honored in 2008 after chronicling his adventures, and reflecting on the unique relationship between animals and humans.

The Human Hero Awards is one of five honors to be celebrated Oct. 21 during The MSPCA-Angell Animal Hall of Fame Dinner. The event takes place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, Boston, Mass.

The awards highlight extraordinary efforts in the animal world, Luke says.

“Each honoree, both human and animal, has helped to enrich the lives of those around them and has had a positive impact on animal welfare,” Luke says. “Since 1987, the MSPCA-Angell has gathered its supporters to promote compassion for animals by honoring those people and animals who uplift us through their extraordinary efforts and encourage others to follow their example.

“These heroes represent all of the animal advocates, champions, and defenders who further the cause of kindness every day, all around us.”

5 responses to “MSPCA-Angell names Blowen ‘Human Hero’”

  1. Christy

    Total awesomeness <3

  2. Laura

    Michael works tirelessly to give the true stars of racing – the horses – the home they so desperately deserve. I only wish every horse could be as lucky as those who end up at Old Friends!

    Michael and his staff deserve every honor they receive, and then some. As a fan, first and foremost, thank you to Old Friends for the wonderful work they do day in and day out!

  3. TBDancer

    I saw a photo taken of Mr. Blowen with Black Tie Affair, one of the pensioners at Old Friends shortly before the stallion was put to sleep. Mr. Blowen is scratching Black Tie Affair’s head, and the horse’s eyes are half closed.

    They were “making a memory.”

    It is a touching photo on many levels, and it speak volumes about the special man and the special place he has made for “old friends.”

  4. Sharla Sanders

    Wonderful that Michael Blowen and Old Friends, continues to be honored by different organizations. The more awareness that is raised for retired race horses and pensioned stallions , the better.

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