You all know I have a heart for retired Thoroughbred racehorses that are able to find fulfilling, second careers. I want to commend the organization New Vocations for its dedication to this cause, and the fact it is actually proving its mission.
The organization, which claims on its website to “stand in the gap for retired racehorses by providing a safety net through rehabilitation, education, and placement in qualified, caring homes,” made a recent goal to draw these horses back into the show ring. The plan got off to a great start following the Kentucky Horse Park’s Country Heir Horse Show June 17-18.
“It was definitely a success and we were very impressed with the turnout,” said New Vocations program director Anna Ford, who also authored the book Beyond the Track on retraining retired racehorses. “Many of the trainers and exhibitors openly shared their appreciation of having a division for Thoroughbreds.”
Thoroughbreds from several different states traveled to compete in the New Vocations Thoroughbred hunter division consisting of four fence classes and one flat class.
Exhibitors competed for $2,500 in prize money, which was sponsored by Ron and Ricki Rashinski’s Homewrecker Racing. Scores from all five classes were tallied, and Kim Carey with her retired racehorse Jules Mom (show name Field Day) were the division champions. “I’ve always loved Thoroughbreds and was thrilled to learn about the new division,” said Carey in a release.
“The owners of Jules Mom called me when they decided to retire him from the track,” she added. “I took him sight unseen and have never regretted my decision. He has turned out to be such a great hunter.”
Reserve champion honors went to Stephanie Collier and Pine’s Angel. The Pine Bluff gelding was runner up twice as a 3-year-old on the racetrack, but never broke his maiden. He ran his last race with jockey Jerry Bailey and trainer Bill Mott.
While he may have not been cut out to be a racehorse, Pine’s Angel has become a top hunter, competing at many of the “A” rated shows.
Additional Thoroughbred classes will be held July 11 at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Robert Murphy Horse Show. There will be a $2,500 Thoroughbred Mini Prix sponsored by Castleton Lyons and a $2,500 Thoroughbred Hunter Classic sponsored by the NTRA and National HBPA friends of New Vocations. The event is open to the public and all interested are encouraged to come and watch.
For more information, visit www.horseadoption.com.