GEORGETOWN, KY – Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen announced today that Fasig-Tipton, through its subsidiary Blue Horse Charities, has donated $50,000 toward the cost of rebuilding a barn destroyed in a fast-moving fire.
The horse charity’s “hospital barn” burned to the ground last weekend after the roof caught fire. Two horses, Alphabet Soup and Archie’s Echo, were evacuated minutes before the structure became fully engulfed. No horses or people were injured in the blaze.
Soon after the conflagration, Old Friends began fundraising to build a state-of-the-art, fireproof structure.
Today Blowen excitedly announced that with the Fasig-Tipton/Blue Horse Charities funds, Old Friends is well on its way to realizing that goal. And the new structure will be named for well-regarded Thoroughbred welfare pioneer John Hettinger, founder of Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue in New York, and creator of Blue Horse Charities.
“John Hettinger’s commitment to caring for Thoroughbreds in retirement was unparalleled,” said Blowen. “I remember many years ago sitting on John’s porch in Saratoga discussing what we needed to do to protect these retired racehorses. I think he would have loved Old Friends as much as we love him. Blue Horse’s $50,000 donation is like hitting the Pick 6 without even buying a ticket!”
Blowen noted that all of the donations received will go to re-building a new, fire-safe hospital barn and also to updating and fire-proofing the larger, main barn on the organization’s property.
Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said the naming of the new barn is a fitting tribute to Hettinger.
“Blue Horse Charities was conceived and created by John Hettinger,” Browning said. “During the time of his family’s ownership of the company. We are delighted that Old Friends will name the new barn in John’s honor.”