Record crowds, stars turn out for OTTB event

Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron rides at Thoroughbreds for All event

Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron rides at Thoroughbreds for All event

The second annual Thoroughbreds for All fundraiser and awareness-building event broke all attendance records as crowds thronged the West Wind Farm in Kentucky, on April 26.

More than 500 people hailing from 28 states came to watch, listen and learn at the feet of master horsemen such as America’s most winning three-day event rider Phillip Dutton, and Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.

What they and other expert horsemen helped demonstrate to a crowd, in town already to attend the famous Rolex Kentucky Three-Day that same weekend, was that ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds are competitive, willing and trainable at the end of their track careers.

“The (sessions) were an inspiring demonstration of just how game and intelligent a Thoroughbred is after a racing career, and how much can be accomplished with them in a short time with skilled riding,” says Steuart Pittman, founder of Retired Racehorse Training Project, a Thoroughbred charity that joined with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program to organize the fundraiser.

Approximately $12,000 was raised for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption and for the Training Project to add to the coffers of the nonprofit organizations that work so hard to help re-train and re-home ex-racehorses.

Among the many highlights of this year’s event was the participation by Phillip Dutton, who offered expert opinion on the conformation and temperament of New Vocations sale horses who participated in training exercises.

And Chris McCarron gave a 30-minute riding demonstration to show, first hand, how a racehorse is ridden and trained on the track.

“Chris rode a recent New Vocations arrival who demonstrated both the brilliance and the spirit one would expect from a young horse alone in an arena with 500 strangers,” Pittman states in the press release, which is available to read on the Retired Racehorse Training Project website.

Steuart Pittman, left, and Phillip Dutton discuss OTTBs

Steuart Pittman, left, and Phillip Dutton discuss OTTBs

“He spent the first 10 minutes gently leg-yielding back and forth along the rail … allowing the horse to face the crowd … and all the while moving his feet and staying in a beautiful round connection to Chris’s magic hands.”

In addition to various Thoroughbred demonstrations, attendees were invited to tour both the New Vocations facility, as well as the famous Thoroughbred stallion farm, Three Chimneys.

Three Chimneys Farm, along with AmWest Entertainment and Gulfstream After Care provided funding for the event.

The Jockey Club provided and presented etched vases to honor equestrians who entered their Thoroughbreds at Rolex that weekend. A total of 16 Thoroughbreds competed, and five finished in the top 15.

As Kentucky was abuzz with the Rolex Three-Day and the excitement around the upcoming May 4th Kentucky Derby, the Jockey Club reminded the audience of its own growing commitment to support efforts to help ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds.

“The Thoroughbred Incentive Program recognizes and rewards the versatility of the Thoroughbred through sponsorship of Thoroughbred classes and awards at horse shows and events across the United States and Canada,” say Kristin Leshney, legal associate for The Jockey Club.

“The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the epitome of equine athleticism, and it was an honor to be able to recognize so many Thoroughbreds competing at this level.”

8 responses to “Record crowds, stars turn out for OTTB event”

  1. Jen Roytz

    That was SUCH an awesome event to be part of, and it was so cool to have so many of the attendees out to Three Chimneys on the Sunday afterward. We can’t wait to be part of it again next year!!!

  2. Kris

    How wonderful to see some of the biggest names in the sport horse industry taking the time to come out and show the public first hand how great our OTTB’s really are !!!
    Thank you to everyone who participated, supported and organized this wonderful event!

  3. Linda R. Moss

    This made my Monday! Such a great and noteworthy event to have!

  4. Tracie

    I was there and it WAS wonderful! So impressed with the whole thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis of the horses by P. Dutton and the veterinarian, and then their observations again with the three horses under saddle. They brought up a lot of points that I would not have thought to consider, despite devoting a lot of time to learning about conformation.

    One thing that stuck in my mind in particular was the gentlemen’s insistence that a horse have a good mind. Talent is great, but if you have a horse that doesn’t listen or absorb training, all the talent in the world is not going to matter.

    Huge thanks to Three Chimneys/Jen Roytz and New Vocations for a fantastic evening of learning!

  5. CC

    I hope this will inspire many to give a new direction for older thoroughbreds just for riding sake. I once rode on one, it was devine. No galloping, just a sleak and smooth ride all the way.

  6. ann banks

    Great article, thank you Susan, and you Jen Roytz, for being such champions of OTTB’s by helping the fabulous breed continue its legacy through the written word! ROCK ON!

  7. Paddy Head

    Great article, Susan. I wish I had been there. I will mark it on my calendar for next year and hopefully get out to Kentucky to see and meet the people and horses at this wonderful organization.

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