Life and Daily Operations at Old Tavern Farm
Alpine SkyJune 26th, 2020
Earlier this season, we asked what you wanted to learn more about at Old Tavern Farm. We received some great questions and inquiries. The farm staff reviewed them and their responses are below. There are a few more responses we plan to share over the next couple weeks! Thanks for following.
What factors do you consider in determining which stallion will breed to one of your mares? In season one of Foal Patrol Memento d'Oro's foal was by Bodemeister and this year her foal was by Empire Maker. Comme Chez Soi's foal in season two was by Malibu Moon and her foal this year was by Good Magic. Some of the stallions are relatively new, while others are proven sires. What are you looking for in a stallion when you consider breeding to one of your mares? - Deb from Tennessee
This conversation is usually ongoing throughout the year internally and with our sales agent Francis Vanlangendonck – i.e. pedigree, sales results, marketability, conformation, racing, etc. As commercial breeders we try to focus on stallions that are marketable; however, the long time horizon on breeding a horse can be a challenge. We try to target the upper end of the market, and keep a close eye on which stallions are selling and running well. Having a relatively young broodmare band we also want to breed horses that will ultimately get to the track and can perform. Lastly, we go to the stallion farms in the fall to look at stallions to see which ones would match well with our mares conformationally. Despite the careful planning, it is still up to nature to decide what kind of foal we will get.
How and why did the owners establish Old Tavern Farm, what are the challenges and rewards of a boutique operation and a location such as Saratoga Springs, and how does the winery fit into the scheme of things? – Kim
The farm was established in 2016. The farm was built completely from scratch so, we were able to lay out the farm to be as efficient as possible. Being boutique allows us to provide a little more individual attention to each horse. The drawback to being small makes everything very exacting, i.e. the loss of Alpine Sky ’20 is felt a bit more as we get attached to each of them and want them all to succeed at the next level. The vineyard and winery is run by Nicole Borisenok and was a way for her to be involved in the farm. Saratoga Springs is a great location for thoroughbred breeding as it affords us access to some of the best racing has to offer, the Fasig-Tipton sales are here, a world class veterinary clinic in Rood & Riddle, and the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame are all within 10 minutes from the farm.
Does Old Tavern Farm own the horses alone or do they have partners? – Arlene
The majority of the horses on the farm are owned by Old Tavern Farm.
How many horses in total are at Old Tavern Farm? How many are mares verses stallions? - Elisabeth from Florida
We have 7 mares, 6 foals, 10 yearlings, 1 2yo gelding, 1 pig , 14 hens, 1 rooster, 1 barn cat.
Do all the mares go to Kentucky Stud Farms to be bred or do some go to New York State stud farms? - Mary from Canal Winchester, Ohio
Generally yes, all of our mares are bred in KY. We did have to breed a mare this year in NY in order to be in compliance with the NY Breeding program.