Zenyatta flew to Lexington, Kentucky on December 6 and was given a heroine's welcome in the "Horse Capital of the World." Over 1500 fans turned out on a blustery winter night to both greet and say farewell to the great champion race mare. This was the final gig of Zenyatta's farewell tour, a fitting tribute for this creature that has crossed realms, between athlete and rock star.Vanned over to the sales pavilion at Keeneland Race Course from Bluegrass Airport, Zenyatta and her entourage, posed and danced (mainly Zenyatta) and chatted and signed autographs (mainly the entourage). Mario, her groom, paraded her. Mike Smith, her jockey, hugged her. In the video taken by the Thoroughbred Times, watch as Zenyatta struts her walk. She points her right front foot -- much like a ballerina's en avant movements. It is when trainer John Sherriffs shows her to the crowd that she begins her true dance. She's showing off for him. And kudos must be given to Sherriffs for taking her to the pavilion rail, giving the fans an as close as it gets opportunity to experience Zenyatta.
In both the slideshow and the video, Zenyatta's awareness is revealed. Watching her, you see that she is as interested in the crowd as they are in her. Her head up, ears pricked forward, she's looking right back at her fans. And Zenyatta's ability to look at the camera for the "money" shot is uncanny.
Following her appearance, Zenyatta was taken to her new home at Lanes End Farm in nearby Versailles, KY. First hand reports confirmed that her stall was comfortable and roomy, in a high security section of the farm. As it should be.
Lanes End is no stranger to visiting royalty. Farm owner, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom William S. Farish has hosted visiting British monarch Queen Elizabeth. One can only hope for the day when Queen Elizabeth, a lifelong horse lover, comes to visit our own queen, Zenyatta. As it should be.