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Friday, January 14, 2011

Trim Toes for Zenyatta

The New York Times has a slide show today that allows readers to see Zenyatta in her new life at Kentucky's Lane's End Farm, including a visit from horseshoer John Collins, who took care of her feet when she was a yearling.
The New York Times has given us something to brighten up this January day: a great Zenyatta-at-home slide show. The most talked-about new resident of Kentucky, Zenyatta has been going through a makeover that will ultimately, with luck, see her turn into an equine domestic diva.  

The Times peeks in at Zenyatta like she's a celebrity hanging out at a spa ranch. Watch the highlights of Zenyatta's day...none less important, of course, than having her hooves trimmed by John Collins. Love the tongue, Zenyatta.

Check it out: At Home with Zenyatta, in the January 14, 2011 online edition of the New York Times.

What the Times didn't tell us is that Johnny Collins and Zenyatta go way back.  The Georgetown breeding farm specialist took care of Zenyatta's hooves when she was a baby. Zenyatta "wrote" in her diary about life at Lane's End:

"My blacksmith here at Lane’s End is the same person who took care of my feet years ago when I lived in Kentucky! His name is Johnny Collins. He is the same man who put on my shoes when I went to the Keeneland Sale in September, 2005! He took care of my feet when I was a little girl!

"Now, here he is taking off my shoes at the farm several years later. This is absolutely adorable! Johnny told me he’d been keeping track of me and all of my progress since then! It was so great to touch base with him, my first blacksmith, after all of these years!"

Zenyatta stays in touch with her fans through daily diary entries on her popular Zenyatta Blog; she probably has more followers than anyone in the horse business!

She wrote a blog post about her hooves' history in and out of horseshoes, including a nice tribute to her longtime California shoer, Tom Halpenny, who has been so generous with information to the Hoof Blog throughout her career.

She wrote? I know, I know. But if you read Zenyatta's blog every day, you really will start to believe that the mare is talking to you. If someone is ghostwriting for Lady Z, or channeling her thoughts, he or she is doing a great job!

Still not announced: which of Kentucky's eligible stallions will be selected to sire Zenyatta's first foal? Which one would you choose? I'd go with Medaglia d'Oro, I think.

Thanks to the New York Times for the great slide show!

 © Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to

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