What is it like to have Zenyatta at Lane’s End? How is she different than other horses at the farm?
Manitou Springs, CO
A:I started hearing rumblings that the Mosses were sending Zenyatta to Lane’s End shortly before the Breeders’ Cup 2010, and we had some staff meetings here at the farm about it. I’d been told that she had a huge following, and obviously i had admired her through the years in racing, but I don’t think anything that I knew about her then would have prepared me for where we are now, a couple years later, my experience with her, and what she means to so many people.I remember she flew in on a plane to Bluegrass Field and was vanned over to Keenland on December 5th. I guess I should have gotten an idea about how it was going to be that day, because there were about four or five hundred people standing out in the freezing cold and rain and snow to watch her arrival. She didn’t disappoint; John Shirreffs came in with her and walked her around the walking ring at Keenland, and she was admired and photographed by everyone that was there. Everyone was genuinely enthralled by how magnificent she looked.
Again, I should have thought then, should have prepared myself… You always want to say that when we get her here, we’ve got to treat her just like every other mare. That works pretty well when you’re doing repro work on her, you have the blacksmith here trimming her, or you’re vaccinating her—you do treat her like every other mare. We have lots of nice mares here, and over the years we’ve had champions and terrific mares, but I must say that we’ve never had a thoroughbred stallion or mare that has the following of Zenyatta. Everybody told me that, but I had to learn it for myself.
Just being around her every day and being able to drive by her paddock, and listen to all the people that call in here and ask questions about her and follow her on the website… she’s definitely a rock star, no doubt about that.
The Mosses have been kind enough to let us do so many charitable things with her, be it selling halters or auctioning off visits, raising money for all kinds of different things. The last of which was some storm relief work that she did. It was their idea to have her here and to share with the horse community, and we have to sort out how we balance that. I know everybody doesn’t get what they want, but we try to be fair about it, understanding that she comes first. There are times of the year where you can come see her, and there are times of the year where you can’t come see her.
We see her every day and she never ceases to amaze us with the stuff she does, and she’s just different from other horses in a lot of different ways. Her feel for humans is totally different. We have lots of kind, quiet mares, but she’s thoughtful. I don’t think there’s any chance she’d ever bite anybody or kick anybody, and I think it was like that on the racetrack as well, from what I’ve heard.
Certainly, she keeps us on our toes here. We feel privileged to be some small part of her development, and we look forward to seeing her live out a long healthy life here and produce, hopefully, somebody that can keep up with her.
Note about visiting Zenyatta:
We understand the desire of many to visit Zenyatta at Lane’s End Farm. Currently, visits with Zenyatta are not available to the public. If the policy changes, the fans will be the first to know.
Farm Manager, Lane’s End
Michael H Cline is the Manager of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Kentucky. He has held that position for 33 years and he played a key role in the design and development of the farm from the time Mr. Farish first purchased the land in the late 1970’s.
Mike is a local having graduated from Woodford County High School and attended the University of Kentucky. He is the proud father to two sons, John and Chad and one grandson, Charlie.
Mike’s family has been involved in the Thoroughbred industry beginning with his father John Cline, who managed Haven Hill Farm for Herb Stevens and his brother, Pete is the Manager of Shawnee Farm in Kentucky. Prior to his employment at Lane’s End, Mike was Manager at Big Sink Farm in Versailles.