About the Haven
Our Mims was the 1977 Eclipse Champion 3-Year-Old Filly. Running in the Calumet colors of devil’s red and blue, the daughter of Sweet Tooth won 5 of 18 races, including the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks, the Alabama, and the Delaware Handicap.
In 1990, Our Mims was sold as part of Calumet’s dispersal sale. The following year, Jeanne Mirabito found a pensioned Our Mims on a local farm. With the help of a local rescue, Mims came to live with Jeanne… and a lifelong friendship developed. Jeanne wrote this lovely essay about her relationship with Our Mims.
Our Mims died of colic complications at the age of 29 in December of 2003 and was buried in Calumet’s equine cemetery. Her marker stands as a tribute to the fans who would not let her be forgotten. After a visit to Our Mims’ grave at Calumet, Jeanne remarked:
I can still feel the warmth of her breath on my cheek, hear the sound of her hooves hitting the ground, feel the vibration of her heartbeat echo with my own and absorb her unique presence to my very soul. So few humans are lucky enough to know such love. I have been blessed. -Jeanne
In memory of the great mare and her dear friend, Jeanne Mirabito created Our Mims Retirement Haven so other mares will be cared for once their broodmare careers are over. The Haven became a 501(c)3 on March 8, 2007 (Our Mims’ birthday). Since then, a number of famous and not-so-famous mares have found their way to the Haven.
The ladies, as they are called, are tended to with love and devotion… and respect. Given appropriate and timely veterinary, farrier, and dental care, the mares thrive under Jeanne’s touch. Fans are now able to see the ex-racers, the mothers, the grandmothers, and the great-grandmothers of their Thoroughbred favorites. Once a lady comes to the Haven, she is there for the rest of her life. When that is over, she is buried in the Haven’s cemetery (noted at the Bourbon County Historical Society).
“Specializing in restoring health and spirit in aged mares” is the Haven’s motto, and both Jeanne Mirabito, Farm Owner, and Cheryl Bellucci, Director of Fundraising, work very hard to make sure the ladies of the Haven are taken care of with the very best care every day.
- On April 24, 2012, the Haven was honored by being awarded 2012 Farm of the Year by the Paris/Bourbon County Chamber of Commerce. Read more…
- Barbara D. Livingston appreciates the work of the Haven so much that she included an entire chapter about Jeanne and the ladies in her book, More Old Friends.
- Announcement of the opening of the Haven: New Thoroughbred Broodmare Retirement Facility, Press Release, May 26, 2004.
ABOUT THE HAVEN STAFF
Founder, President and Farm Owner
Founder and President Jeanne Mirabito witnessed one of Our Mims’ races on television while she was a teenager. She brashly pointed to the screen and announced to her family, “One day I will own that horse.” Years later, when Our Mims’ racing and broodmare careers were over, Jeanne did. With a deep affection and knowledge of horse care and nutrition, Jeanne brought Mims back to health. Now, in honor of Our Mims, Jeanne is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy home to retired Thoroughbred racehorses and broodmares.
Jeanne personally sees to the needs of the Haven residents. She has amassed a vast knowledge of elder equine care, including nutrition, joint, skin, and muscle care. Jeanne also provides tours of the farm on request, attends promotional events, and provides interviews on request.
Director of Fundraising and Promotion
Director of Fundraising and Promotion Cheryl Bellucci met Jeanne and her husband, Pete, at an equine rescue function. Cheryl’s husband, John, had followed Our Mims’ racing career firsthand. Both were very pleased to hear that Mims had a fantastic permanent home. Cheryl and John visited Jeanne and Mims many times, and John even completed a sculpture of Mims for Jeanne. During one visit, Jeanne told Cheryl of her dream of opening an equine haven for elderly Thoroughbred broodmares.
When Mims died, John and Cheryl were called to Kentucky to witness Mims’ burial and pay their last respects. When Cheryl heard of Jeanne’s concerns about securing the proper stone for Our Mims’ grave site in Calumet’s equine cemetery, Cheryl stepped up and offered to chair the drive to raise the funds. Within a month, the money for Mims’ stone was secured. Then Jeanne once again mentioned her idea of the Haven, this time to honor Mims’ memory. Cheryl begged to be a part of it, offering to run online auctions, an online store, and other things to help fund Jeanne’s effort… starting the partnership that is still responsible for running the Haven to this day.