• The Show Circuit

What Calms a Nervous Derby Horse?

Darcy Costello, Louisville Courier Journal


All eyes are on the racehorses during Kentucky Derby Week. But in barns on the backside of Churchill Downs, you might find a behind-the-scenes animal napping in a horse's stall: goats.

There's Lily, who gets in trouble for eating flowers and is known for headbutting people who stop scratching her. 




And there's her pal, Roxanne, whose horns get painted pink for the Kentucky Oaks and who has a sixth sense for knowing which horses are running. 


You might see Trevor, the ornery, one-horned goat, who some say likes to eat Doritos. And, if you're lucky, you'll spot Oliver and Max, the baby goat duo, sprinting around — maybe even with a stuffed jockey on one of their backs. 


Goats, their owners say, can serve as companions for a nervous thoroughbred. Much like barn ponies, miniature donkeys or other animals that can help steady jumpy racehorses, goats make for a soothing presence in the stall.


For the full story and to see more photos of Lilly and the other goats check out the link below:

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/entertainment/events/kentucky-derby/2019/04/30/kentucky-derby-2019-playful-goats-calm-horses-churchill-downs/3548238002/?fbclid=IwAR1fF-oCcg9DboOXiJ4nQ6ClmbugY16Q8w9iknzLYldkj6OEcwA704mj168