Show-jumping jockeys, famous Thoroughbred racehorses likeLava Man, and luminaries throughout the California race industry will join equestrians who compete Thoroughbred sport horses at a horse show next month.
The Thoroughbred Holiday Classic Horse Show, the third in a series begun last year by Neigh Savers Foundation President Nicole Schwartz, will take place at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on Dec. 14 and 15, and feature appearances by trainer Doug O’Neill, who has sponsored a jump in the show’s hunter/jumper ring, and trainer Carl O’Callaghan, who plans to ride his successful and recently retired Thoroughbred Kinsale King.
The show, which is presented by the Siegel-CARMA Foundation, seeks to promote collaboration between the racing industry and equestrians, and to help raise awareness of the breed’s versatility as a sport horse, says Schwartz, who has a lifelong passion for Thoroughbreds, and adopted her first when she was a teenager. Yet, there seemed to be a dearth of Thoroughbred-only shows on the West Coast, she notes.
“I decided that I would propose to create a TB only horse show. They had them on the east coast, but short of having a few TB only classes at horse shows, nothing like this existed on the West Coast. I envisioned creating something that was competitive enough for the top sport horse trainer and welcoming enough to the entry-level horse and rider.”
Her goal to create an A-rated show experience to forge opportunities for OTTBs was soon realized with the collaborative help of personnel from CARMA, Santa Anita, After the Finish Line, and advisory board member Linda Moss.
Moss, who has been promoting the event, further describes the show in this week’s Clubhouse Q&A.
Q: Linda, please tell me how the Thoroughbred Holiday Classic Horse Show originated?
The Thoroughbred Holiday Classic Horse Show is the third in a series put on by the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show. Since this one falls in December, we decided to give it a holiday theme—what better way to celebrate!
Q: Please explain the connection between the show and famous horses like Lava Man and famous trainers like Doug O’Neill.
We are lucky to be located in the Southern California market, where we have a number of world-class racetracks, such as Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Del Mar.
Given this, we also have begun to gain the support and participation of various trainers like Doug O’Neill, who trained Lava Man, and other Thoroughbred owners, like Lisa Pratt, who owns Mr. Wolverine have also been supportive.
Doug O’Neill sponsored a jump in the hunter/jumper ring, and he also brought Lava Man to the show in August.
Mr. Wolverine’s owners brought him to our last show, and race-trainer Carl O’Callaghan is coming this time to ride his horse Kinsale King in the show.
Q: How does this Thoroughbred show differentiate itself from the other Thoroughbred shows, and, how many entrants are you expecting?
Unlike other parts of the U.S., Southern California does not have any regularly scheduled shows that are dedicated solely to Thoroughbreds. So we believe we are a first, and have a huge opportunity to provide these athletes with a venue to engage in fun competition with their peers. And most importantly, we hope to bring greater visibility to the OTTB, highlighting the versatility and athleticism of the breed.
Q: I understand you’re going to have jockeys participate in a hunter course.
On Saturday night, we’re having the Trainer and Jockey Calcutta, which is a cocktail party for trainers, jockeys and exhibitors and the LA Equestrian Center. The center is really beautiful, and there’s a long patio area, that they call The Berm.
On both sides of it, they have rings, and we’re going to run a hunter derby and second a jumper stakes, and during the intermission, the horse trainers and jockeys will do a jumper course.
Q: Where and when is the show, and how do people register?
The show is at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on Dec. 14 and 15. More information and registration forms can be found the Thoroughbred Classic website.
Q: Please describe the various classes, and levels of competition, as well as prize list.
Classes will include hunters, dressage, combined training, western and showmanship. There will also be classes designed for top sport horse riders and trainers, as well as for the pleasure-riding enthusiast.
All Thoroughbreds are welcome, raced or unraced, privately purchased or adopted through a private rescue.