"Old Friends" Thoroughbred Retirement at Kentucky Downs set to close July, 16th

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SIMPSON COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- Horse racing is loved by nearly everyone. When those horses are done winning their races some are set to retire at "Old Friends", a retirement program for thoroughbred racing horses.

Many in the community are saddened by the recent news of the closure of the Franklin division of "Old Friends" in south-central Kentucky.

After four years the Franklin division of "Old Friends" thoroughbred retirement at Kentucky Downs is closing its doors.

"I've got to meet a lot of really nice and interesting people. My boss and everyone that works for old friends I just love them and I will definitely go back and visit them." said Farm Manager, Jennifer Jones.

The Old Friend's Franklin Divison started back in June 2015 and now these horses will return to the main retirement campus in Georgetown, Kentucky.

"I would say that it is a wonderful wonderful program and if you ever have an opportunity to go by the main farm and see all the big horses up there, I would definitely go see them. The owner and all my co-workers in Georgetown are super nice people and they give a great tour." said Jones.

The tours for "Old Friends" brought many to Simpson county.

"We get tours from all over the world here. I think Nashville is a big drawing card. From Nashville they find us. It's very interesting the people we meet here on a daily basis." said Simpson County Tourism board member, Ray Hutcheson.

The "Old Friends" at Kentucky Downs will stay in retirement and their presence from the Franklin Simpson community will surely be missed.

"I was personally not told why they were closing. I feel a loss because of this. A loss for the community and for this area because this has been a very popular place for anyone coming through here and I hate to see it end." said Hutcheson.

This is the last week to visit "Old Friends" for a tour with those cherished thoroughbreds. Tuesday, July 16th will be the last day the tour will be offered.

The horses will return to Georgetown, KY on July 25th.