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GUEST BLOG: Dennis Lynch, 4,300 Runway Models on Parade

December 21, 2011
Filed in: Events

Dennis Lynch was bite by the horse bug at an early age. He has never had a job that was not associated with horses – he gets to work outside, wear comfortable clothes and watch thousands of horses develop from foals to stallions. And in his opinion, there is no better life than this. In his latest post for Filson Life, Dennis looks back on a famous equine event that you won’t want to miss after reading this.

What makes runway models like Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford so famous and sought after?  According to Google, requirements for a Runway Model include:

  • At least 5’9”
  • Slim Build
  • Great Hair
  • A magnificent complexion
  • Straight White Teeth
  • A Professional and Unique “Look”

Well, at the Kentucky Thoroughbred Yearling Sale on September 10, 2011, the requirements for success in terms of high selling price included:

  • 15.2 hands at least
  • Rocket ship body
  • Hair Coat: “Slick as a Seal”
  • Well Developed Muscle Condition
  • Teeth- “No Parrot Mouth”
  • “The Look of Eagles”

If anyone wants to experience an event more exciting, interesting and a helluva lot more fun than a fancy-schmancy fashion show in Milan, Paris or New York, come to a Thoroughbred Yearling Sale in Kentucky. It is here that you will find more than 4,300 Thoroughbred yearlings for sale.

Bring your Filson Travel Vest because you’re going to need all 20 something pockets! You’ll need pens, pencils, sunglasses, reading glasses, barn lists, consignors lists, catalogues, iPads, measuring sticks and a million other things.

Some of the best pedigreed equine athletes are spread out over 44 barns of beautiful rolling Kentucky bluegrass countryside.  There are hundreds of sellers, thousands of grooms, show people, farriers, horse chiropractors and even a few “horse whisperers.”

The characters you will find in the barn and sales arena rival anything in the fertile imagination of Damon Runyon.  Names like “Snake”, “Raggedy Ass Dilger”, “Smiley Pete”, “Indian Charlie”, “One-eyed-Pat”, “The Cornbread Mafia”, “Bad Cat Sweezey”, “Baby Head”, “Snitch Jr.” and The English gentleman Sir Robert Phillip Terence Collier (a.k.a. “Cocktail Clarence”) are just a few that will wander into your sights while just sitting on a bench watching the activity.

Billionaires, Heads of State, Arab Sheikhs, captains of industry and heiresses all intermingle trying to ply each other out of insider information concerning who’s the best horse in the barn and how much money you are thinking about spending.

You can communicate with the French, Germans, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, or South Americans if you can just talk “horse.”  Probably the biggest language barrier is with our UK friends, who have been doing this horse deal for a few hundred years longer than us Yanks but refuse to update the Queen’s English and change head collar to “halter,” “box” to “stall,” “yard” to “barn area,” a “bit of give to the ground” to “yielding turf” and “kidney blankets” to whatever they are. Yet whoever they may be, horses attract the world’s most fascinating people.

I don’t care if you have been around the world and to the Arkansas State Fair twice, because if you haven’t experienced a horse sale in Kentucky, “you ain’t never been nowhere and you ain’t never done nothing.”

Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll give you the “cook’s tour” and don’t forget your Filson travel vest– you’re going to need it!

It’s so nice to see Filson friend and guest blogger, Dennis Lynch, featured in equine pubs Paulick Report and Bloodhorse.



  • I love your blog Dennis…great writing style. You make me want to grab my Filson travel vest and pack my bags to grab the first plane to Kentucky. I bet you give a wild and fun \cook’s tour\!

    Posted by Cathy Bachman | December 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm
  • If you do accept Dennis’s kind invitation to the Thoroughbred Sales, be sure to ask for an invite to one of his martini parties – he and the wife shake ’em up right!

    Posted by davant latham | December 23, 2011 at 3:05 am
  • I love it.

    Posted by Tory Chapman | December 23, 2011 at 10:50 am
  • Dennis:

    Loved it well done. But your got to mention the bandit!

    Posted by Craig Bandoroff | December 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm
  • Great article Dennis. I’ve never been to the Arkansas State Fair but I guarantee it isn’t as fun as a Fasig- Tipton sale.

    Posted by Evan Ciannello | December 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm
  • One important thing to remember when in the barn yards their are 4300 reasons to Watch Your Back Cus Hosses are everywhere.

    Posted by rory callis | December 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm
  • I obviously have “dropped the ball” for all this years…I TOTALLY forgot to bring my measuring stick to the sale…I will be prepared for January this year!

    Posted by Short Pants | December 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm
  • He even drains the martini through a spatula while gently pouring. Damndest thing I ever saw. Dennis and I were selling a horse years ago together and while we were sitting on a tack trunk waiting for our turn, he said you know what Miller selling a horse at auction is hours of bordom followed by a few minutes of fear. Sure is a lot of fun though.

    Posted by Maurice Miller | December 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm
  • Not buying a horse this year, but a hand shaken martini might change my mind! Count me in!

    Posted by Jennifer Bradley | December 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm
  • The last time any of my family traveled to KY(many years ago), Dennis not only gave them the “cook’s tour”, he introduced them to Secretariat. Now this is a fellow who is “WELL” connected!!

    Posted by Sheila Bossmann | December 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm
  • Always love reading your blogs, Dennis. Keep it up my friend!

    Posted by Linda Gudgel Finnell | December 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm
  • Yearling sales in Kentucky are mainly business with a touch of pleasure. Dennis describes them well, but he will soar when telling tales of yearling sales at Saratoga in August. Iced tea or “Ale 8 One” in the Bluegrass. Champions, champagne and Petrus in New York. Your readers have a treat in store!

    Posted by tcollier | December 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm
  • Dennis,

    You continue to show the importance of what “genuine” means. You surely know of the enthusiasm I have for that.

    Posted by Jono Pults | January 2, 2012 at 2:59 am
  • I just thought I would remind you that the Greatest Racing Horse of all time was not a Kentucky Thoroughbred, but a gallant Virginia bred stallion named Secretariat. What a wonderful blog to get a glimpse into horse racing and the fine people associated with it and the fabulos Seattle based Filson line.

    Posted by Robert Hill | January 3, 2012 at 4:11 am
  • Filson is the nicest gear and so well made.. my husband loves his Filson wear.. it works really well when its cold and snowy to keep you from getting cold and wet.. they repel the water so well.. Just love that Filson Clothing.. !!!!

    Posted by patty | January 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm

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