The winner of the 2015 Rood & Riddle Thoroughbred Sport Horse of the Year Award was announced at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders (TOBA) Annual Awards Dinner held on Sept. 10 at Stonestreet Farm in Lexington.
The winner, Sound Prospect, also known as “Sounder,” was named a divisional winner in the Rood & Riddle Thoroughbred Sport Horse Awards earlier this year. These awards recognize Thoroughbreds who have excelled in second careers as performance horses in dressage, eventing, hunter, and jumper competitions throughout the year.
Competitors earn points toward the Rood & Riddle Thoroughbred Sport Horse Awards at USEF-sanctioned events during the show season, and the open divisional awards go to the highest point earners. Rookie awards in each division ensure that newcomers are recognized as well. A Horse of the Year is chosen from the open winners by a panel of celebrity horsemen.
“Rood & Riddle is very pleased to present awards that highlight the beauty, athleticism and brilliance of Thoroughbreds competing in second careers as sport horses. It is especially gratifying to present the 2015 Horse of the Year Award to Sound Prospect, who is owned in part by a fellow veterinarian, Dr. Andy Clark and his wife, Kathleen Sullivan,” said Tom Riddle, DVM co-founder of Rood & Riddle.
Sounder is a 14-year-old gelding by Eastern Echo out of Miners Girl, and was bred in Kentucky by Bradyleigh Farms. Before transitioning to eventing, Sound Prospect competed in thirteen races. After his career on the track, Sounder was purchased and is trained by Alexandra Knowles. Sound Prospect is owned by Sound Prospect, LLC, a syndicate which includes Christie Campbell, Andrew Clark, Jeanne Gauchat, Knowles, James and Katherine O’Brien, Kathleen Sullivan, and Emily Wygod.
Excelling in his second career as an eventer, in 2015 Sounder competed in five three-star contests, finishing in the top 10 in four of those. He recently finished 16th out of 72 in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Rood & Riddle hopes these awards, created in 2010, draw attention to the exciting possibilities of second careers for Thoroughbreds following their race career. Previous winners of the Thoroughbred Sport Horse of the Year Award include Mensa G, Sea Walker, Houdini, and Courageous Comet.