Horses in History: *Noor’s story revisited
Last week, Lorraine Jackson explored the life (and afterlife) of racing legend *Noor. This week, she expounds upon the story with an interview with one of *Noor’s biggest fans.
In a follow up to last week’s racing tribute to *Noor and Charlotte Farmer, I had the great personal honor of hearing from Charlotte herself. She was as kind in this personal connection as she had been represented in the multiple stories on her and *Noor, and was quick to deflect her much deserved praise when she told me “Each time I was interviewed I borrowed a line from the movie Secretariat: ‘I’m just his voice’.” We can’t help but agree that *Noor’s story deserves to be told, and most importantly, it needs to be told right. On that note, I must make a a couple of corrections, and provide more information for our loyal racing-fan readers!
Charlotte was kind enough to take the time to clarify a few of the more obscure points of *Noor’s history, and if you are a racing buff, you will be glad to know it. Ms. Farmer was not only a great advocate for *Noor, but also an extremely knowledgeable and studious fan. She said in fact *Noor never was at Ridgewood Ranch (Charles S. Howard’s sprawling thoroughbred farm in California, best known for being the burial place of Seabiscuit). Rather, according to Charlotte, “Once *Noor was retired, in December of 1950, he was sent to Howard’s San Ysidro property in California then on to Lin Howard, Sr.’s Stock Farm in Moorpark, California. Later he would be sent back to Kentucky for breeding; returning to Lin’s property once the breeding was completed. In 1964 he was shipped to Loma Rica where he lived until his death.” And of course, Loma Rica was where *Noor remained until his recent reinterment in 2011.
Also, Ms. Farmer clarified that the ground penetration was paid for by Tom Nicholson of Grass Valley, who donated the time and equipment that was used to pinpoint *Noor’s remains at the former track infield. As she said, “It was one of many wonderful things that was done for *Noor.” I think we all join her in thanking people both inside and out of the horse community who are so kind as to honor our racing heroes.
And finally, I must use this opportunity to direct any interested “Horses and History” readers to a place that is actively preserving living history, as well as the final resting place of *Noor: Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky. Old Friends provides dignified retirement for “at risk” racehorses and they have opened their space to the public to appreciate their living legends. According to their website, Old Friends suggests that “while our guests come to visit a few ex-racehorses, they leave having been touched by the heart of a Thoroughbred hero.” For more information on Old Friends to visit, donate, or learn more about the many great missions they have taken on, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.
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