Nearly 40 Thoroughbreds gathered Sunday July 11th at the Kentucky Horse Park to compete in two Thoroughbred restricted Hunter/Jumper classes. New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program partnered with the Robert Murphy Horse Show and put on a first class event where Thoroughbreds from many of the Midwest and East Coast states traveled to participate.
“If you build it they will come right?” shared New Vocations Program Director, Anna Ford. “If we create venues where horses leaving the track can show and compete against other Thoroughbreds, the classes are sure to be full.” This was definitely true for the New Vocations Thoroughbred Hunter Classic sponsored by the National HBPA and the NTRA, as well as theNew Vocations Mini Prix, sponsored by Castleton Lyons, when 38 Thoroughbreds competed for a total of $5000 in prize money.
The event drew many spectators as the announcer read a brief history on each horse as it entered the arena to be judged over a course of fences. Their histories ranged from graded stakes winners with earnings over 100k to horses that only raced a couple times earning next to nothing. The highlight of the day was the awards ceremony when the top four in both classes galloped around the arena for a victory pass.
Sarah Reilly with her 5 year old gelding Paris Review won the $2500 New Vocations Hunter Classic sponsored by the National HBPA and NTRA. Paris Review a son of Commendable was bred with the intentions to be sold at one of Keeneland’s sales by Mill Ridge Farm and Joe Dodgen. However, when it became clear that he would not be very marketable Sarah and her husband Sean Reilly purchased the colt and developed him into a show horse. “We loved the colt so much that we actually went back and purchased his dam Chosen Ticket,” explained Reilly. “I think many people have forgotten how good a Thoroughbred can be in the show ring. I personally prefer a Thoroughbred over any other breed and I would love to see more opportunities for them to compete.”
Allison Davidson with 16 yr old Sweet William won the $2500 New Vocations Mini Prix sponsored by Castleton Lyons. Although the gelding’s tattoo is now unreadable and race record unknown he clearly did race in his younger years. What is known of his history is that following his racing career he became a very successful Eventer. Now owned and trained by Elaine Schott from River Mountain Farm and shown by Davidson he has excelled as a Jumper. “The Thoroughbreds have great heart, and they always try so hard to please their rider,” explained Schott. “I think these type of classes help showcase the versatility of this breed.”
At the closing of the day Ford summed things up by saying, “It’s truly touching to see so many Thoroughbreds who spent the first part of their life going around a racetrack now enjoying the second half going around a show arena. This is just the beginning to something that I know will grow into a much larger and hopefully, trend setting event.”
Contact: Anna Ford/ Program Director, www.horseadoption.com