I just love the whole Lava Man story. He’ll go to Old Friends after the Breeder’s Cup. For old times sake, here’s also the link to the video of him walking down the shedrow loose and helping himself to lunch:
I’m very excited to go see him! I’m going to try to make it out sooner rather than later.
I was wondering why nobody posted this before. I have mixed emotions about this. I loved his Facebook page and seeing pictures of him coaching the youngsters. The entire stable clearly loved him and he also seemed to really enjoy his job there. I also bought into the filly that was going to O’Neill’s barn, partly because I wanted to see some pics of her and Lava Man, but alas…
On the other hand, perhaps it was time for that trip to a nice retirement village where he would continue to receive lots of pats, carrots, and cookies. As the U.S.'s most famous pony, I’m sure he will draw lots and lots of fans, which will be wonderful for all concerned.
Kudos to team O’Neill who went along with Lava Man’s preferences for continued life on the backside and for allowing him to be a living example of the good things about racing life. Enjoy your retirement, Lava Man.
I think the most interesting thing about this situation is that I feel confident he doesn’t need to go to Old Friends. He has vacationed at various Cali farms at different points in his life. Didn’t he even do a couple schooling shows? Someone on his team is certainly in a position to retire him.
But, and I’m extrapolating here, he seems to enjoy the limelight. Somewhere like Old Friends may be a good fit from that standpoint, where he can have an easier life more compatible with his advancing age but still have a “job.”
I just hope he thrives. It will be a big life change for that SoCal boy.
My thought was that he’s getting stiff and would benefit from constant turnout.
What a perfect retirement! I’ve enjoyed following him in his long and varied career. Lava Man is the ultimate ambassador for thoroughbreds and racing.
Looks like Lava Man has adjusted well to his retirement!