I recently ventured out to Antebellum Farm in Lexington, KY for the Antebellum Combined Test with a couple of co-workers to watch another of our colleagues, The Horse news editor Erica Larson, compete with her off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB), Dorado. (I will have a feature on Erica and Dorado soon)
Anyway, the purpose of the trip was to support Erica and Dorado as well as learn about grooming for eventing and to gain a better understanding of OTTBs in second careers.
One discussion particularly caught my attention between two riders, as one of the girls was waiting to go on course for jumping in Erica's division. This competitor mentioned that she was an assistant trainer for a Thoroughbred racing trainer. Thus she was discussing how she has always been around the track and competed in three-day events and combined tests with OTTB's.
She mentioned "I always have preferred Thoroughbreds and have competed with several over the years." She went on to reminisce on past OTTBs she has evented with, but the horse she was on today was actually chosen and possessed by her, versus being borrowed or possibly leased from her trainer. She proudly specified that her current horse was "right off the track." Clearly the horse had been trained for jumping and dressage as well, but you get my point.
In short, I have really only spent time with a handful of OTTBs in second careers. To hear two strangers exchange words on their favortism towards eventing with OTTBs was enlighting and upifting.
On a side note, I will admit that I also learned how to be an eventing groom.
The video below is Erica's dressage test and simply ignore my commentary as I am a student of eventing.