Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital announced the winners of its annual Thoroughbred Sport Horse Awards this week.
Making the list for the third time is the beautiful gray gelding Courageous Comet, an exciting and talented animal who has competed at the highest levels of equestrian sport— dashing across fields and jumps at Rolex and the World Equestrian Games.
An exemplar of the talent that ex-racehorses possess for sport competition at the end of a race career, Courageous Comet has twice been named the Rood & Riddle Sport Horse of the Year, and has been named four times as a winner of the Open Eventing Division.
Open divisional awards, are given in each of the disciplines —Hunter, Jumper, Dressage and Eventing— and are based on points earned during the show season at USEF-sanctioned competitions. Those who earn the most points are declared winners.
Here are the of 2012 Open Division Winners:
- Hunter Division: Nicki, who raced under the Jockey Club name Nicki’s Favorite, and is sired by Favorite Express and is out of the mare Pretty Nicki. Susan McCarthy of Clayton, Mich., owns the horse.
- Jumper Division: Thomas Edison, who raced under the Jockey Club name Raejan Runner. Handsome Character sired Thomas Edison, and his dam is Love to Kiter. Alex Jayne of Illinois and Ira Schulman of Arizona own him.
- Dressage Division: Lord Kenmer, who is sired by Lord Avie. His dam is Search for Reality. Shari Wolke of Michigan owns him.
- Courageous Comet, who is sired by Comet Shine. His dam is Rosenelli, and Tom and Rebecca Holder own him.
Rood & Riddle also recognizes the up-and-coming stars in its Rookie Division. The winners for 2012 are:
- Hunter Division: Curb Appeal, who is sired by Foxtrail and out of the dam Wings of Society. Charlotte Clark of Ohio owns the horse.
- Jumper Division: Arkansas, who raced under the Jockey Club name Blackcuda, and was sired by Cornish Snow and is out of the dam Western Hula. The horse is owned by Steve Williams of Arkansas.
- Dressage Division: Puppylove, who raced under the Jockey Club name Rainy, and is sired by Shot of Gold and is out of the dam Rainfall. Suzanne Wepplo of Minnesota owns the horse.
- Eventing Division: Nonsensical, who is sired by Three Chimneys stud Point Given and is out of the dam On the Brink. Emilee Libby of California owns the horse.
The awards were created to celebrate those off-track Thoroughbreds who excel in post-racing careers, and who will be honored Jan. 17 at the United States Equestrian Federation’s annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.
Dr. Tom Riddle, cofounder of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, described the crux of the awards in an earlier interview with OffTrackThoroughbreds.com.
“My goal in developing this award was to try to put the spotlight on Thoroughbreds and on their usefulness in careers other than racing,” he says. “It’s very important to me that these horses who have served us so well as racehorses be given other opportunities.”
The Rood & Riddle awards, combined with work taking place throughout the horse world, is a boon to ex-racehorses everywhere, says Three Chimneys Farm Marketing Director Jen Roytz, who is proud that one of Point Given’s offspring is excelling as a sport horse.
“The fact that organizations like Rood & Riddle, Three Chimneys Farm, and countless others, are embracing and promoting retired and repurposed racehorses is helping to bridge the gap between the racing and performance horse worlds,” Roytz states in a press release from Rood & Riddle. “The results will benefit everyone, both human and equine.”
As congratulations are given to the 2012 winners, expectation and excitement builds for who among that list of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses will win the ultimate distinction of Horse of the Year. A panel of judges will make that decision in October.