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Archive for May, 2015

Rolex 2015 a Success for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

May 01, 2015 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship gave a demonstration during the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program even at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. (Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship gave a demonstration during the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program event at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
(Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

April 30 Lexington, KY – New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program once again had a successful Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event experience, with a constantly busy booth in the trade fair, a large Thoroughbred-centric event at the conclusion of the dressage on Friday, and an open house on Sunday morning before the showjumping began.

The New Vocations’ booth at Rolex sold over 550 T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and cadet jackets throughout the weekend, encouraging OTTB aficionados show their love of the breed. The rain ponchos were also a hot commodity as the weather on Saturday left a lot to be desired.

A New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program sweatshirt. (Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

A New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program sweatshirt.
(Photo credit: Jan Westmark)

For the fourth consecutive year, the organization partnered with the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) on Friday evening to host Thoroughbreds For All, an event that celebrates the athletic ability of Thoroughbreds in second careers. AmWest Entertainment, Wild Aire Farm and Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-care were co-sponsors of the event.

Beginning with a delicious Southern-style dinner, the event opened with six horses being brought into the arena in-hand for a conformation and pedigree analysis by Dr. Stuart Brown of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Steuart Pittman, president of the RRP, and Nuno Santos, former jockey and owner of Santos Sport Horses.

Next up was a powerhouse clinician lineup including Laine Ashker, a regular competitor at Rolex Kentucky CCI**** and rider of the magnificent off-track Thoroughbred Anthony Patch; international dressage high-performance rider, trainer, coach and clinician Reese Koffler-Stanfield; and world-class colt trainer and winner of both the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup and the 2014 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle Reining Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship.

Reese gave clinic-style demonstrations  to New Vocations graduates Monopolize, a 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover entrant ridden by Julie Hall, and Dundee, ridden by Dr. Jill Stowe. Both horses are at different stages in their dressage careers, so the crowd was able to learn how Reese brings them along, as well as how she adjusts her training techniques between Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds.

The next guests, Laine Ashker, and mom Valerie Ashker, gave a fantastic flat work and gymnastic clinic to two other Makeover contestants, Emily Daignault-Salvaggio on Gin Joint and Jordan Pruiksma on Fullback.

To round out the evening, Dan James gave a fantastic liberty demonstration with his own horses, then explained to the crowd how he begins desensitizing the horses to both crowd noises and the whip. New Vocations’ adoptable horse One Brave Warrior was the demo horse, and soon was not even blinking when the whip was swung around his head or cracked!In between demonstrations, the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program recognized Rolex riders on OTTBs, including Laine Ashker (Anthony Patch), Dana Widstrand (Relentless Pursuit) and Katie Ruppel (Houdini).New Vocations finished off the weekend with an open house that showcased some of their adoptable Thoroughbreds; guests were also able to speak with staff members and ask questions of the trainers. This event was hosted in conjunction with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) national Help A Horse Day, where New Vocations will compete for a chance to win up to $10,000 in grant prizes to assist with their efforts in rehabilitating, retraining and rehoming ex-racehorses.

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

Founded in 1992, New Vocations has become the largest racehorse adoption program in the country and has facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. The program’s mission is to rehab, retrain and rehome retired racehorses. In 2014, the program took in over 450 retired racehorses. Working directly with owners and trainers who need aftercare for horses leaving the track, the program currently receives horses from more than 30 racetracks. New Vocations has a sound adoption system that is proven to move a large number of horses in a relatively short period of time. The program focuses on adoption rather than retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose. www.newvocations.org