New US Awards Aimed at Second Career for Track Thoroughbreds

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roodandriddle

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, May 1–New awards to spotlight a successful second career potential for Thoroughbreds from the race track has been created by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital based in Lexington.

The first awards will be presented to the top Thoroughbred sport horses of 2009, and named for legendary predecessors–Keen Award for dressage named after the Hilda Gurney Thoroughbred that the Moorpark, California-based rider competed at the 1976 Montreal and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, hunter (Stocking Stuffer Award), jumper (Touch of Class Award), and eventing (Antigua Award).

The U.S. Equestrian Federation will tabulate the points earned and verify that the winners are Thoroughbreds. Divisional honors will be awarded at the USEF’s annual Silver Stirrup Awards Banquet in January 2011.

An overall winner selected from among the category winners and presented with the Rood & Riddle Thoroughbred Sport Horse Award trophy during the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) National Awards Dinner, Sept. 10, 2010. A perpetual grand prize trophy will also be displayed at Rood & Riddle’s Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Our goal in creating these awards is to increase awareness of Thoroughbreds’ value as sport horses,” said Tom Riddle, a founding partner of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. “While some Thoroughbreds are raised specifically to be sport horses, others are finding greater success in their second careers as sport horses than they did in races. Through this award, we hope to decrease the number of unwanted horses in the U.S. by demonstrating their value in these non-racing disciplines.”

“These awards are a wonderful way to heighten awareness so that we may broaden Thoroughbred horses’ careers beyond the racing world,” comments TOBA President Dan Metzger. “By spotlighting their successes in second careers, we hope the awards will encourage people to rehabilitate and retrain Thoroughbreds after they have retired from racing.”

The overall winner will be selected by a committee comprised of four chefs d’equipe for each discipline: Hilda Gurney (Dressage), George Morris (Show Jumping), Mark Phillips (Eventing) and Patty Heuckeroth (Hunters), as well as Michael Matz, famed U.S. Olympic jumper rider and racehorse trainer.

“Thoroughbreds are the best. They’re lighter, quicker and more intelligent,” Morris said. “The best of any breed is the Thoroughbred horse, the best of that breed is better than any other breed.”

Matz said:”I think it’s a great situation. If someone takes the time to train a young Thoroughbred it could be worth a lot of money.

“The best horse I ever had was Jet Run, who wasn’t interested in racing but became one of the best show jumpers in the world. He showed in top level competitions from the time he was four years old until he was 16, was in two Olympic Games and won two consecutive Pan American Games.”