OMRH Welcomes a New Mare

Our Mims Retirement Haven (Paris, KY) welcomed a new “Lady” to the sanctuary on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Exciting Bucket, a 1989 mare by Grey Bucket out of That’s Exciting, was donated to the Haven by Helen Fariello and her family.

Mrs. Fariello and her late husband Vincent raced Exciting Bucket under their own silks. Mr. Fariello trained the mare through 86 of her 92 races. Exciting Bucket won $86,304 with 19 wins, 10 places, and 14 shows in her career. All of her races were run at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky and River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her last race was at Turfway on 12/31/1999 and her last win was at River Downs on 6/3/1999. Exciting Bucket raced only in claiming races, yet she was never claimed away from the Fariello family.

After her retirement, Exciting Bucket lived at the Fariello farm in Piner, Kentucky, beloved and cared for by Mr. Fariello. She was never bred. Vincent Fariello passed away on January 12, 2014. Mrs. Fariello cared for the mare over this past winter after her husband’s death.

The Fariello family released this statement:
Exciting Bucket lived her recent retirement years on a small farm in Piner, Ky. She was free to roam as she pleased and she did just that!

She was loved by her owner/trainer, Vincent Fariello and brought him much joy during her racing years. Vincent was a small town trainer with the dream to stand just once in the coveted “WINNERS CIRCLE.” With great dedication and determination he was able to achieve that dream not once but 47 times.

Hall of Fame jockey, Pat Day, rode Exciting Bucket to victory in a prep race on Cradle Stakes Day at River Downs on 9/5/94.
Vincent owned several other race horses including Buckets’ full sister, OKA NO EXCITING.

After a brief illness Vincent passed away on January 12,2014. The family is excited and grateful that his beloved horse, Buckets, will spend her final retirement years at OUR MIMS RETIREMENT HAVEN.

OMRH Director of Fund Raising and Promotion Cheryl Bellucci remarked, “Exciting Bucket is so blessed to have a loving family who saw her through her racing career, kept her well in retirement, and took such care to ascertain her security in her later years. We here at the Haven are also blessed to be affiliated with such a wonderful group of people.”

Jeanne Mirabito, Farm Manager and OMRH President, praised the Fariello family, stating: “We are often blasted with the heartbreak stories of the race industry. We become despondent and look desperately for some shining light to give us hope, to remind us of why we fell in love with the sport to begin with.

“The Fariello family is that light. The love, the connection to the horse and the devotion to the horse’s well being… that’s what it is all about! That’s why so many of us get up before dawn, work long hours in sometimes brutal weather conditions and get inside late. It’s true we have a great deal of cleaning up to do in our great sport. But while we are doing that, we need to celebrate the good guys.

“In my eyes, Vincent Fariello was a top notch trainer. Buckets raced 92 times and her legs are as clean and sound as if she never raced a day. She shows no sign of the wear and tear that we see so often in horses that raced only ten or more times. Whatever he did should be copied and promoted because he certainly was doing something right.

“As I watched Exciting Bucket run and play in the OMRH pasture, I found myself taken with her long stride. Her stamina and her personality are completely intact. Her spirit is incredible. She is well aware of whom she is and that she is loved. These are rare traits in horses that campaigned so long and hard. I just couldn’t help myself. I spoke out loud, ‘Well done, Vincent, well done. All horses should be so lucky.’

“It is an honor to be chosen to care for this great horse through the rest of her retirement. And it is heartwarming to know that people like the Fariellos still care about our equine friends.”

OMRH became a 501(c) 4 nonprofit in 2006. Featured in Barbara Livingston’s More Old Friends, the Haven specializes in “restoring in health and spirit in aged mares.” The Haven is supported through donations, eBay auctions, and its online shop.

Our Mims Retirement Haven is home to Princess Royale, Bel’s Starlet, Blue Viking, Ms. Royal Flagship, Trail Guide, Dogwood Patty, and Exciting Bucket. Our Mims’ grandson, 1997 Breeder’s Cup™ Sprint winner Elmhurst, arrived in October of 2011.

Our Mims Retirement Haven:
Web Site:
Press Releases:

Jeanne Mirabito, Farm Owner, Farm Manager, OMRH President
Cell: (859) 227-6304

Cheryl Bellucci, OMRH Director Fund Raising and Promotion
Cell: (937) 776-1904

Photo by Heidi E. Carpenter

Photo by Heidi E. Carpenter