Old Friends welcomes Silver Charm home from stud duty in Japan

Silver Charm in Japan. Image taken by Kate Hunter.
Image by Kate Hunter August 2010 at his stud farm on Hokkaido.


I have followed Silver Charm’s career from its beginning to stud duty which eventually took him far away from us to Japan.

His return to America is an early Christmas present for me, for which I am extremely grateful.

But he is not just coming home but retiring to Old Friends Equine. Does it get any better than that?

Appreciation of course also goes to this grand racehorse’s connections for paving the way to this happy outcome for Silver Charm.


Foaled February 22, 1994 is an American Champion Thoroughbred race horse. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Gary Stevens, Silver Charm will be remembered most for winning the 1997 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in the Triple Crown.

Silver Charm lost the third jewel of the triple crown by placing second in the Belmont Stakes to Touch Gold, by half a length.

He was voted the 1997 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old Male Horse. Racing at age 4, Silver Charm won the 1998 Dubai World Cup.

For some time, he stood at Three Chimneys Farm. Then, purchased by the Japan Breeders Association, Silver Charm was retired to stud in Japan.

When Silver Charm went to Japan in 2004, there was a clause in his sales contract called a “buy-back clause.”

Ever since the death of Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand, who was sent to a slaughterhouse in Japan when his breeding days were done, the New York Owners and Breeder’s Association, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, has begun asking for a small voluntary per-race charge (collected from owners of New York Breds) called the “Ferdinand Fee” to help fund racehorse rescue and retirement groups.

Some owners are now including buy-back clauses within their stallion contracts. [1]


Three Chimneys Farm announced in October that the 1997 champion 3-year-old male had been retired from breeding in Japan and would be return to the United States to live out his life at Old Friends

The decision about his retirement was a joint venture among Three Chimneys, Silver Charm’s owners Jeff and Beverly Lewis, and the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association (JBBA). [2]

An Open House at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky, to welcome the champion home was set for today, December 1, 2014, but there has been a slight delay.

Stay tuned!

[1] http://goo.gl/75kTvs
[2] http://goo.gl/b12kDz

3 thoughts on “Old Friends welcomes Silver Charm home from stud duty in Japan”

  1. I will never get over what happened to Ferdinand, a horrible ending for such a wonderful horse, RIP Dear Ferdinand …………. Always in the hearts of those who loved you !!!! I remember Silver Charm so happy , they added that oh so important by back clause , depremental for every throughbred sale !!!!!!!!!


  2. Oh, what a relief!! Never will I forget that dear Ferdinand was slaughtered for meat after the Japanese saw no further financial value in him.
    “Some owners are now including buy-back clauses within their stallion contracts” …. IMHO, for all that horses give to us — and to their owners — the remainder of their natural lives should be free from the threat of slaughter. They deserve nothing but humane handling, or a humane death.
    And if someone were to legislate that a humane death is required/commercial slaughter is prohibited, then we’d banish commercial horse slaughter AND we’d decrease the annual foal crop. Shame on those who lobby Capitol Hill in order to prevent the passage of the federal bills banning horse slaughter for human consumption. Get your friends/family to contact THEIR members in Washington DC: it’s time to ban commercial horse slaughter via S.541 & HR.1094. NOW. Find yours:


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