Our OLLI (University of Kentucky Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) group had a private tour of Darley’s Jonabell Farm near Lexington. It’s just one of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s (Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai) “hobby farms.” He has 5000 thoroughbreds at his farms in the UK, Ireland, France, the United States, Australia, and Japan. Darley is the Thoroughbred stallion division of Godolphin, a global horseracing organization founded by the Sheikh.
Nyquist, winner of the 2016 Kentucky Derby, has been standing at stud here since 2017. His advertised stud fee the first year was $40,000. Two other Kentucky Derby winners are at Jonabell, too: Street Sense (2007) and Animal Kingdom (2011). And Triple Crown winner Affirmed is buried at Jonabell Farm. He was buried whole, the ultimate honor for a race horse, wearing the flamingo pink colors of his original owners, Harbor View Farm. Affirmed was the 11th horse to win the Triple Crown and the last horse to win for a 37-year period, when American Pharoah won in 2015.