The Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series (TASS) hosted its first awards banquet Feb. 1 in a gala event that feted talented Thoroughbred-rider teams competing throughout the year in a show series that raised $30,000 for Thoroughbred charities.
Approximately 130 people attended the event, which recognized the many riders and horses who rose to the top of an eight-show series throughout Maryland and Virginia, and recognized the hard work of the many people and organizations helping to retrain and re-home Thoroughbred ex-racehorses.
“Our TASS Banquet was a huge success for Thoroughbreds. We worked to intertwine the connections of thoroughbred lovers, owners, trainers, riders, and breeders with thoroughbred specific charity partners and with Laurel Racing (Maryland racing). All who attended enjoyed a fun day! In 2014, we look forward to more thoroughbred shows and more second career successes for the breed, “ says Fran Burns, a coordinator of the show series.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of High Point Awards to horse/rider teams and the State Bred Awards. The following is a list of winners:
High Point winners were:
• The High Point Thoroughbred Award and the High Point Gelding Award went to Brittney St. Clair of Newport, Pa., and her OTTB Midniteperspration
• The High Point Filly/Mare Award went to Michael Bordwell and his OTTB Bokus
• The High Point Hunter Award went to Lauren Moran and her OTTB Deep Threat
• The High Point Jumper Award went to Karen Benson and her OTTB Money Makes Money
The State Bred awards were won as follows:
• Maryland and Maryland Million, which was sponsored by MHBA and Maryland Million, went to Testamonialy, who is owned by Kara Evans.
• Virginia Bred, which is sponsored by VTA, went to Terry West and Unmistaken Rhythmn.
• New Jersey Bred went to About Noon, who is owned by Sarah Zube.
• New York Bred, which was sponsored by NY Thoroughbred Breeders, went to Amy Bernsteil’s Karakorums R Wild.
• Pennsylvania Bred, which was sponsored by PHBA, went to Midniteperspration, who is owned by Brittany St. Clair.
The winner of the Green Horse award went to Jennifer Sponseller Webster’s horse, Campside, and the High Point Listing award went to Positively Macho, a CANTER Mid Atlantic Thoroughbred now owned by Olivia Stanley. The High Point Adopted Award went to Storming Marine of New Vocations, and now owned by Betsy Burton.
The High Point Rider ages 12 and under went to Kelly Marchi. And ages Selina Petronelli was the High Point Rider ages 13-17.
The High Point Master Riders for Amateurs (50 and up) was Terry West with the High Point Professional Rider Award going to Brittney St. Clair.
Terry West won the High Point Adult Amateur. Jennifer Sponseller Webster presented the Equiery Magazine Maryland Resident/ Rider award to Lauren Moran. The High Point War Horse award was given to the horse with the most points, who had earned more than $100,000 or had 50 starts or more. The award went to Karakorums R Wild who earned $77,835 during his racing career. He is owned by Amy Bernsteil.
In addition, the Richard Bennett Sportsmanship Award, which was named for the beloved horseman who was a longtime employee of Woodstock Farm, a place that once housed champion Thoroughbred Kelso and later, for a time, the MidAtlantic Horse Rescue.
The Bennett Award was presented by MidAtlantic Horse Rescue founder Beverly Strauss to a trio of women outriders at Pimlico and Laurel Race Course for their work retraining their Thoroughbreds as competitive hunter/jumpers.
Honored were Kaymarie Kreidel, Jodi Murphy and Valerie Kounelis, who trained their racetrack ponies to jump and show, and presented them in the show series this year.
In awarding the ladies the Bennett Award, Strauss said the lifelong horseman for whom the award is named, would have been proud. “These ladies love their Thoroughbreds,” Strauss says. “It’s not about points or ribbons. It’s all about their amazing horses and what they can do.”
In addition to highlighting the talents of Thoroughbred sport horses, the show series also raised approximately $30,000 from show fees, and donated the proceeds to various certified nonprofits helping Thoroughbreds.