New Thoroughbred Broodmare Retirement Facility
The Our Mims Retirement Haven (OMRH) proudly announces its existence with special news. Sugar and Spice (1977 Key to the Mint out of Sweet Tooth by On and On) has moved into the barn at Ahwenasa Farm near Paris, Kentucky. Ahwenasa is owned and operated by Jeanne and Pete Mirabito. OMRH is named after the 1977 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, Our Mims, who resided on the farm from February 9, 2000 until the time of her death on December 9, 2003. Jeanne Mirabito adopted the great mare through ReRun, a Kentucky-based Thoroughbred adoption group. Our Mims was 26 at the time of her adoption. Our Mims was Calumet Farm‘s first Eclipse winner and a half-sister to Alydar out of Sweet Tooth. The great mare was treasured at Ahwenasa and had fans visit from all over the world.
Sugar and Spice is a half-sister of Our Mims through the dam, Sweet Tooth. Sugar and Spice proudly carried on the family fame with several prestigious wins including the Mother Goose-G1 and Ashland Stakes-G2 and ended her racing career with 18 starts, 5 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds. Sugar then produced several winning foals. “How appropriate, ” said Jeanne Mirabito, “that the first horse to move into Our Mims’ empty stall is her half-sister.”
The Mirabitos purchased the 42-acre tobacco farm with one goal in mind: to create a facility for pensioned broodmares at which they would be pampered through their final years.
In addition to Our Mims and Sugar and Spice, another noteworthy elder equine has found her way to Ahwenasa: Hope of Glory (by Mr. Leader out of Daizel by Manteau). She won the Alcibiades, Falls City Handicap, Kentucky Cardinal and placed third in Matron Stakes and Santa Marguerita Handicap. Hope of Glory earned $168,421 with 35 starts, 9 wins, three places and 5 shows. Hope of Glory is the dam of ten foals. Nine of them raced and all were winners. ReRun sponsors this lovely old mare at OMRH.
The couple considers the retirement facility idea to be a natural progression in the already well-established routine of the Kentucky horse industry. “When a filly leaves the racetrack she moves from her trainer’s barn to a breeding farm because the breeding facilities specialize in breeding,” explained Jeanne Mirabito. “When a mare is no longer producing foals it only makes sense that she move to a different facility where the specialty revolves around aging mares.”
Mirabito has had great success at restoring the health of aged pensioners and/or keeping an already healthy elder equine healthy. It’s a matter of routine and observation. “The trick is noticing a potential health problem before it becomes a threat,” said Mirabito. Older horses tend to deteriorate quickly, and small problems can become big overnight. Once things get out of hand, treatment is expensive and doesn’t always help. But if a health issue is caught early it is often treated easily and without much expense.
The ultimate goal for OMRH is to create a tourist attraction modeled after the idea of the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park. Through admission charges and various other fundraising methods the mares can support themselves while promoting the horse industry and tourism. The result will be more room at breeding farms, owners who are content knowing their mares are being pampered and a place for fans to reunite with their old heroes. Most importantly, the mares will be returned to the limelight. They will spend their last years being adored by racing enthusiasts. “Our Mims loved visitors. She seemed to know they wanted to see her and pranced around with the pride of a champion,” remarked Mirabito.