Emerald Downs will host a Thoroughbred show Oct. 5 designed to appeal to a wide audience— the mothers of horse-crazy daughters, animal lovers who’ve thought about owning a horse but have been intimidated by price, and riders of all levels— in an event showcasing the ex-racehorse as a mount for every rider.
A Thoroughbred Affair, which is patterned after last year’s successful Totally Thoroughbred Show at Pimlico, will hold classes on the track, featuring demonstrations in English and Western riding, as well as lead-line classes.
“Most regular horse shows are geared toward other riders. For example, a Hunter/Jumper show is geared toward other Hunter/Jumpers and to their families. This won’t be a regular horse show,” says show manager Karen Worthington. “I don’t want to just be showing to other Thoroughbred exhibitors. I want to bring in the horse-loving general public, spectators, people like the mother of an 8-year-old horse-crazy daughter who will look at our event and say, ‘Oh, we could do that.’ ”
Noting that not all horse hobbies need to be prohibitively expensive, Worthington promises that ex-racehorses at Emerald Downs will show that trail riding and casual pleasure riding are two affordable options.
“I have a woman who will demonstrate dressage riding on her OTTB. She’s a single woman and a schoolteacher who has no intention of competing. She’s not shooting for the Grand Prix,” she says. “She’s a recreational rider.”
The event, which is also a fundraiser for horse charity The Prodigious Fund, will feature two rings, simultaneously demonstrating English and Western riding. In one arena, a horse may jump small fences, while in the other ring, another may demonstrate barrel-racing steps, she says.
Participants in the show will also be asked to write down the story of their horse, including details about how they found their ex-racehorse, and details about the animal’s life.
Stories will be affixed to a display wall, where attendees may stop and read the histories.
Thoroughbreds available for adoption will wear a green ribbon in their tails so they will be easily identified, she adds.
In addition, spectators will have the opportunity to interact with well-known Thoroughbred racehorses, including You Me and Emma B, and possibly West Seattle Boy.