Michael Blowen, an advocate of Thoroughbred racehorse aftercare and founder of Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, Ky., received the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ 2016 Lavin Cup.
Known as the AAEP’s equine welfare award, the Lavin Cup recognizes a non-veterinary organization or individual that has distinguished itself through service to improve the welfare of horses. Blowen accepted the award at the Dec. 6 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Blowen founded Old Friends in 2003 to provide dignified retirement for racehorses. The center cares for more than 160 horses across three states whose racing and breeding careers have ended. Old Friends is the only Thoroughbred rescue/retirement facility that specializes in accepting stallions and takes exceptional pride in their pensioned classic winners like 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, Silver Charm, and 2002 Belmont Stakes winner, Sarava.
More than 20,000 visitors and local tour companies visit Old Friends each year. The center is heralded as Thoroughbred racing’s living history museum, where fans can interact with their favorite Thoroughbred heroes. By promoting these celebrated racehorses through a campaign of education and tourism, Old Friends brings awareness to all retired Thoroughbreds and equines in need.
“Through his efforts, Michael inspires racing fans and Thoroughbred racehorse owners to remember the horse after both the horse and human leave the track,” said Bryan M. Waldridge, DVM, MS, the center’s primary veterinarian.
For more information about Blowen and Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement center, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its nearly 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.