Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen speaks to a crowd at Ashton Grove Senior Living on Friday.

Ashton Grove Senior Living and Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement have teamed up in a unique way. 

The thoroughbred retirement home opened its third location Friday at Ashton Grove Senior Living center.

Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen said that he always wanted to combine retired race horses and retirees and connect with the retirement community, but it never quite came to fruition. 

Until now.

“The horses can be therapeutic for the people and the people can be therapeutic for the horses,” said Blowen. “I think this is going to be a great marriage.” 

Ashton Grove itself lies on 40 acres of land, once owned by Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms, complete with a horse stable with 12 stalls and eight fenced paddocks. The stable is still currently under construction with run-in sheds being put in place.

The main Old Friends is located on Payne Depot Road and was founded in 2003 by Blowen attracting nearly 20,000 visitors annually.

When Old Friends first opened in Georgetown, Blowen said visitors would tell him they wish they could live on the horse farm. So Blowen said he took their advice, which led to the partnership with Ashton Grove. 

“I think it’s a good idea to bring retirees, humans and equine, together,” said John Bradley, who will be the director of Old Friends at Ashton Grove. 

Old Friends at Ashton Grove will not only be for residents of Ashton Grove, but Scott County residents can also stop by and see the horses.

There are currently seven horses placed at Old Friends at Ashton Grove, but Old Friends says it does plan on adding many more horses in the future.  Eventually, around 20 to 25 horses may stay at Old Friends at Ashton Grove, sad Melissa Hauke, community relations director for the senior living center.

“It is going to be wonderful to get to welcome the community of Georgetown and Scott County in to Ashton Grove,” said Hauke. “If they are looking for a retirement community, we’ve got that, and if they just want to come and enjoy the equine they can do that too.”


Ian Teasley can be reached at

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