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Hilltopfarmva
Jan. 2, 2010, 02:03 PM
Is there really any interest in this? I know the one in Lexington, Va has been pulling in decent entries, but how interested are people in this? I am asking because our farm trainer and I have been kicking around the idea of offering 3 shows this year just for off the track horses. 4 hunter divisions and 3 jumper divisions all in the same day. Pleasure, 2', 2'6" and 3' divisions. 2-2'3" jumper 2'6" jumper and 2'9-3'0" jumper. Mainly for the green ones that people just need to get out there for experience. These guys really need to be promoted more so less and less end up in kill pens. Thoughts or suggestions please.

lesson junkie
Jan. 2, 2010, 02:30 PM
I would try to go if it were anywhere inside a 2-hr drive. We're lucky to have a good number of well managed schooling shows in the Tryon area, but I'd love to support a show that promoted OTTBs.

I think the Jockey Club and/or the owners and breeders assoc. should underwrite a circuit like this on a national level. Wouldn't that create a natural market for the horse needing a job as he comes off the track? People go nuts when they have a year end prize to chase-instant demand to absorb that never ending supply.

Swale01
Jan. 2, 2010, 06:44 PM
I think the Jockey Club and/or the owners and breeders assoc. should underwrite a circuit like this on a national level. Wouldn't that create a natural market for the horse needing a job as he comes off the track?

:yes:

So true!

chunky munky
Jan. 2, 2010, 07:18 PM
Just a comment..We offered two separate divisions (2'6" and 3') for TB hunters at the Old Dominion Horse Show.(Manakin Sabot, Va.) The plan was to build it up and get some good sponsorship and prizes for the classes. One division was recognized by the MHSA for their year end award. We had no entries. Needless to say we feel that the interest may not be significant enough to offer it again or work very hard to get the division beefed up with prize money, awards and sponsors. We are currently working on prize list and class selection and are inclined to leave it out this year. Comment if you would like to participate in this offering or may wish to help in getting the word out about the divisions and perhaps help with procuring sponsorships. We ran it on Sunday. Our 2010 dates are July 20-25. We don't really want to drop it, but need to know that there is actual interest. If you have any interest in supporting this offering please email the show at odhs@comcast.net. Thanks.

Hilltopfarmva
Jan. 2, 2010, 09:35 PM
I did not get a prize list to Old Dominion and would have participated with two of mine. Most of my OTTB's are jumpers as that is what I look for in them. I think if someone could take it upon themselves to list shows that are either exclusively for ex racers or offer classes, it may help fill shows or divisions. Many people are unaware due to lack of advertising. VA Horse Journal, Horse Talk Magazine and Virginia Equestrian offer free listings in the show sections. I think we are going to try a fewthis year and see what kind of response we get as long as I can get the new schooling area excavated in time.

HobbyHorse101
Jan. 2, 2010, 09:55 PM
If there where any closer I would love to take my guy to them. I've always wondered why thoroughbreds don't have their own breed shows, I mean look at all the sucess of Quarter, Paint, Arab, Saddlebred, and Morgan World shows and Congress/Nationals. The breed shows are fun, exciting and have great prizes plus the presitige of winning a World title is great.

BybeeGirl
Jan. 3, 2010, 09:43 AM
We're blessed to be in an area that has a plethora of shows to choose from. Whether you need a local-yocal, a step-up, or rated show many are well-within an hour's driving distance.

That said, you may be hard-pressed to find an open suitable weekend that would bring in local folks that would likely be interested in supporting a TB show just because of the saturation.

Would you go the route of the VHC shows and make it only OTTBs or open to all registered TBs? Just curious. All four in my field are full TBs, but only 2 raced. My sister has four more in her field.

One positive about the VHC show (at least in this economy) was that the classes were EXTREMELY affordable. Almost ridiculously so. There were no association or nonmember fees to contend with, and the stabling was also reasonable.

Last year's dates just didn't work for me, but it's on the calendar for this year.

If you go this route, do you think you could connect with that series and see if you could host qualifying classes kind of like they did with the House Mtn shows? Keep us posted.

CosMonster
Jan. 3, 2010, 10:28 AM
I'm nowhere near you guys, bu if I was I would totally make a point of attending. I'd love to see more shows specifically for Thoroughbreds.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jan. 3, 2010, 11:17 AM
What about starting out with just offering some classes in the context of a larger show?

I'm now where near you but I would LOVE to be able to enter a TB class. Shoot, I'd even sponsor one locally.

mvp
Jan. 3, 2010, 11:48 AM
I'd like to go (back) to the track for my next one.

I'd be more excited to buy and OTTB if I could find a healthy "affirmative action" set of divisions for this kind of horse.

Apparently we need that right about now.

It would be great for the Jockey Club if these divisions were sponsored and grown. Perhaps those guys ought to be approached. They do have a problem with disposing of their "purpose bred" horses, even though OTTBs can fill many job requirements. The AQHA really grew its breed and sports by making sure their was a job and a division for every conceivable kind or horse and rider. The JC ought to take note.

It would be indirectly good for the H/J world, too. Yes, trainers now making $$ by going to Europe for their clients or buying $$$ WBs at home might resist. But many more people might be lured into the money pit of horse showing if they had a place to show the horse they could afford to buy.

Riders might even benefit. We'd make sure people got back to learning the tactful ride TBs require and if the OTTB division included some kind of green or futurity kind of classes, people could be encouraged to seek progress in the form of making up a horse rather than waiting and paying until the racer was completely rebuilt into a packer.

Void
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:38 PM
I would 100% attend with my guy if two requirements were filled.

A) 3'+ Hunter Division
B) I lived close to VA or there was a show in CA. :)

I love the idea of this show and having a H/J trainer that mainly does re-trains on OTTBs, its a show that my entire barn could basically attend and that my trainer would always have several horses to enter.

Summit Springs Farm
Jan. 3, 2010, 01:20 PM
The Classic Co offered TB classes, but rarely does it fill.:no:

chunky munky
Jan. 3, 2010, 02:19 PM
Thats just the issue. If management offers the division exhibitors need to put their money where their mouth is. There are many places to get TB sponsorship from, but putting all that work into a division that won't fill is a real waste of time for management. Sponsors don't really want to sponsor a division with 2 entries. Maybe making the TB division a year end award for the VHSA might help in this part of the world.

gallupgirl
Jan. 3, 2010, 03:05 PM
I think the Jockey Club and/or the owners and breeders assoc. should underwrite a circuit like this on a national level. Wouldn't that create a natural market for the horse needing a job as he comes off the track?

Yes.

Mali
Jan. 3, 2010, 03:25 PM
I'm in south-central PA and am planning to travel with my OTTB to the Lexington VA shows next season. I would be very much interested in attending shows geared towards the OTTB. My goal is to enter my 4yo in the "Back from the Track Hack" at Upperville. It might not be the most cost effective show, as I will be traveling for only 1 class - but I feel the need to support the class and have a little fun along the way!

yellowbritches
Jan. 3, 2010, 03:45 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't go out of my way to get these shows. When I first heard about the one at the VHC, I was really interested and it fell on a non-event weekend. But it was obviously geared toward really green horses or lower level horses and I didn't think it offered classes to showcase them past the baby green stage. I would go to one if it was close by, on a weekend I wasn't going to an event, and I had a pretty green OTTB that needed a field trip, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them.

Really, I think it is a far better showcase for the OTTBs to have them compete and do well against purpose bred sport horses. When my TB does well at an event I think it means far more that he does well against horses of all types and styles than it would if he did well against a bunch of OTTBs, superb quality ones or not. I would feel the same if we did the hunters, the jumpers, or pure dressage. Just my opinion, you can take it or leave it.

tarheelmd07
Jan. 3, 2010, 03:53 PM
I would love to see more classes for TBs - both in the hunters and jumpers! We've gone down to support the OTTB show at the VHC for both of the 2009 shows - and plan to put it on the schedule for 2010. I was very impressed at the quality of the OTTB shows at VHC - impressed enough that as an eventer, I'm willing to put it on my schedule over some much-more-local to us horse trials on the same weekend :D As someone who only dabbles in the H/J world to cross-train for eventing - and to support these TB classes - I really appreciated that the VHC show was so affordable (as mentioned above!)

I also took my big boy to the TB hunter division at the MHSA/USEF B show at McDonogh yesterday - just to support the fact that they're offering the division (it was my big boy's first rated hunter show, and 2nd hunter show ever...). In spite of the 20 degree temps and 25mph winds (and ice everywhere) I believe there were 8-ish horses in the division...

Personally, as an eventer, I'd prefer more TB jumper classes - but will do my best to support TB divisions at hunter shows to the extent that scheduling and finances allow (won't be doing many rated shows due to the cost though...gotta save money for our primary discipline!)

tarheelmd07
Jan. 3, 2010, 04:00 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't go out of my way to get these shows. When I first heard about the one at the VHC, I was really interested and it fell on a non-event weekend. But it was obviously geared toward really green horses or lower level horses and I didn't think it offered classes to showcase them past the baby green stage. I would go to one if it was close by, on a weekend I wasn't going to an event, and I had a pretty green OTTB that needed a field trip, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them.


I have to say I was impressed by the quality of horses that showed up at both of the VHC shows...but especially the 2nd one. I think that at the first show over the summer, there were many more greenies and youngsters...but the 2nd one seemed to attract a more experienced set of horses. I think the hunter divisions topped out at 3' but they did offer a 3'7" jumper division - I'd love to see them offer a 3'6" hunter division as well!

Personally, I tried to take my horses to these 2 shows, even if the classes were, in some cases, on the easy side for my boys - to show our support in the hopes that they would continue to host the shows and expand their class offerings :D

mvp
Jan. 3, 2010, 05:27 PM
[QUOTE=yellowbritches;4595577

Really, I think it is a far better showcase for the OTTBs to have them compete and do well against purpose bred sport horses. When my TB does well at an event I think it means far more that he does well against horses of all types and styles than it would if he did well against a bunch of OTTBs, superb quality ones or not. I would feel the same if we did the hunters, the jumpers, or pure dressage. Just my opinion, you can take it or leave it.[/QUOTE]

I agree that the best horse ought to win, even in the beauty contest that is the Hunters. In the 1980s, however, the winner was not the WB when all else was equal. People clamored for Non-TB hunter classes. Trainers figured out how to make up the WB (and not coincidentally) lots more TB blood got injected into most WB stud books, and the tide changed.

The point is that there is no ahistorical standard for the hunters and even dressage. So it would be great to have the best horse win at all times.... and he does.... and the winner looks really different every 30 years or so.

Hilltopfarmva
Jan. 3, 2010, 06:50 PM
I mainly want to offer them for the greenies. I have found that some of the OTTB's in the early stages of showing are just to nervous and high strung to pin really well against seasoned show horses on the local circuit. This would be a venue to get your fresh ones out, compete on a level palying field and set them up for some more serious showing. I've got some amazing ones that are fabulous at home, but once they ship to the first few shows they are tense because they think they are heading for a race. After about 3 or 4 trips to shows, they get into the routine and compete very well against unraced horses and other breeds.
Last I talked to Sally Lamb, she was going to talk to the VTA to see if they could drum up some sponsorship for divisions and make the show very affordable. Maybe offer a VAbred division. We had also talked about using it to gather points for a year end championship tied into the ottb show at VHC, but have not contacted the organizers of that show to see if it would even be a possibility. Sally said if my few shows brought in decent entries, she may offer one or two at her place.
These are all thoughts and ideas and may never come to fruition, my main thought for bringing this up was to see if there was interest.

yellowbritches
Jan. 4, 2010, 07:38 AM
I have found that some of the OTTB's in the early stages of showing are just to nervous and high strung to pin really well
Well, this probably explains the difference in my thought process compared against the majority. In the early stages on any of my young ones competition career (OT or otherwise) I could care less about ribbons and placements. All I care about is the mileage, that they try to do the job, and that they get a little better every time. So, it wouldn't matter to me if they didn't pin really well in normal competitions, just that they got out there and learned from the experience.

As for a level playing field, isn't that what baby green classes are for and the itty bitty jumpers?

Anyway, the idea is a worthwhile cause, just not one I would go out of my way to attend. I tend to think of my OTTBs a lot differently than a lot of people- once they are let down from the track and are starting their career they are just green to me, nothing more, nothing less- so I try not make such a big deal that they raced. Besides, I usually find that the time they spend on the track is an asset rather than a handicap. The OTTBs I've had in my life have usually been far more grown up about life than their purpose bred, raised on the farm peers.

mvp
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:15 AM
I mainly want to offer them for the greenies. I have found that some of the OTTB's in the early stages of showing are just to nervous and high strung to pin really well against seasoned show horses on the local circuit.

This is where I think you might go wrong. Green is green in any breed. Why create a class that "showcases" the OTTBs as green?

It may take some time for people in your area to put the milage on their OTTBs that make them more packer-like. But the packing capacity of a grown up TB is what I think the WB-centric hunter ring could use right now.

Made horses should go the same way and be held to the same high standards. But even the best TBs often move differently and are a little more expressive than the average seasoned WB. Given the interest in hunter derbies and the (constant?) call for a return to open, galloping courses, it might be good for competitors, spectators and even judges to see a more forward but beautiful hunter round. Perhaps an OTTB division can help with this broader issue?

But any effort to promote the OTTB as a useful, competitive hunter would be a step in the right direction. To my mind, it makes less sense to sort horses by breed in jumpers and eventing. In eventing, however, the modern preference is for the WB-moving horse who starts out ahead thanks to his dressage score. As cross country phase becomes less important in deciding final scores, the TB begins to lose out. You can read all kinds of laments about this state of affairs in eventing literatures.

TooManyChickens
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:19 AM
Hilltop, I'd definitely attend.. with 1 OTTB greenie and a second possibly on the way, any non-rated low key show (especially one that attracts the great OTTB folks that are out there!) I'd certainly attend. I went to the second VHC OTTB show in November, and had a wonderful time. It was all for the experience, and I was thrilled with my young guy's performance. I was excited to meet so many people there that not only were great horsemen/women, but had great insight into the TB mind.

I've been hearing about more and more adoption success stories lately, and getting the word out for this show is key.. I think getting some recognition from VHSA in the future would really propel these types of shows/divisions in the right direction. It's a shame that there were no entries at the OD show for the TB divisions mentioned, but I believe that as the popularity of the OTTB grows, it will fill..Just take the VHC show as an example.. the Nov show attracted many more horses than the initial show, and I found myself competing against 23+ horses in some of my classes.. and they were all very nice mounts. I live not 20 minutes from where the OD show is held, and once my guy is ready for 2 6", I'll be there. My feeling is that the people at those big shows that do have TBs and compete heavily are saving their horses for the divisions they are chasing points in.

I do believe we are just at the beginning of something great here with these shows.. being still in its infancy, there are things to work out, but getting the word out is first.. I think down the line adding organization recognition, prize $, etc will of course attract more riders. (Although I do have to say, 2 $1000 classes at the VHC shows was very impressive!)

MIKES MCS
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:47 PM
No one has mentioned the influence of the trainer in entering a horse in a division.. Many trainers will not ALLOW thier riders to enter a class that isn't recognized and or not eliageable for end of year awards .. they will also NOT allow entires if they feel the rider is better suited to getting ribbons in another division. If you want this type of division to get entries you must involve the trainers in it, and get prize money and award sponsors .. and or have single classes open to Pros only with money.. You have to remember divisions for amatuers are set up to allow riders to win based not so much on their riding ability but on what they are riding. You don't find many trainers who are going to burst thier students bubble by allowing to them to compete in an open division. and those are the divisions where management makes most of thier entires from .. ( the 2'6" and under ) If you were to have 2 hunter classics say one for TB's only and one open , both at 3ft-3'6 and with $1000.00 prize money in each .. the trainers are going to put their students in the open classic. it's just the way it is..

EquineRacers
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:04 PM
I'd love it! I really wish they had such shows like this in So. CA

Foxtrot's
Jan. 4, 2010, 06:05 PM
I hope the classes would include papered TB's even if they do not have tatoos.
This would include the ones that did not make it to the track for whatever reason.

Hilltopfarmva
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:19 PM
I don't care about me not pinning on my horses since I have been to enough shows, my walls are full. But... our students, while they are mature and accept when they don't pin, seem to put more effort in our ottb's if they "get" something at a show. The last 8 years here I have been teaching the kids how to successfully retrain an ottb, I've even let them gallop some of our babies on the training track to understand the mind set of a racehorse and how they are started. Most of our kids prefer the ex racers now, especially since they have learned the racehorse language. Gives me goosebumps when they do so well with these guys.
One of my kids who has been with me since she was 10 and she is now 16, took a freebie I got from a trainer friend and while I had no intention of showing her, she was just behaving so well at the show and the kid was so confident and quiet, I threw them in the pleasure division. She pinned a 4th, 5th and 6th. This filly had just raced 2 weeks prior. The girl has outgrown her pony and her folks can't buy her a horse until the pony sells, so I gave her the filly since they just clicked. Yeah, I could have sold her, but the match was too perfect to pull apart.
So anyhow, I suppose we can let the local horse community decide if they would like this kind of a show and what classes they would like to see.

CosMonster
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:58 AM
I just want to say that I would actually be less inclined to go out of my way to go to a show with divisions only for green OTTBs. Part of the reason I want to have TB-specific shows is that often IME the very good TBs are mistaken for other breeds. I know that is the case with the TBs I have in training and show. People are often surprised to find out that they are not warmbloods or appendix quarter horses, because there is this idea it seems that TBs are too crazy to be nice hunters.

For me, a large part of the appeal is helping the ex-racers find new careers. I think a lot more people might look at OTTBs if the sound, sane, nice horses gain more exposure in a venue where it is impossible to ignore their breed.

Swale01
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:19 AM
I agree with CosMonster and would explain it a different way using the logic I'd apply in my case with my OTTB. We went to the VHC show this past year and had a BLAST - but we definitely didn't go with the idea that we were going to be competitive because I knew that we were going to be in big, open divisions with professionals. We just wanted to be part of it, and it was worth it for the great atmosphere, the opportunity to show so affordably at such a great facility, and for the cause.

At a local rated show, I would struggle between a TB division and a regular Ammie division. I would want to support the existence of the TB division, but if I cared about how competitive we could be at a show, I'd probably opt to show with the Ammies, since I am still fairly new to Hunter world and make my share of mistakes. My OTTB isn't legitimately green at this point (two years of showing) but he's no 'schoolmaster' either and we have our days. At a less expensive, more laid-back schooling show, I would probably be more inclined to support the TB division.

It would be great if future TB-specific shows recognize that there is a big difference (as CosMonster and even some of the other posters are getting at on this thread) between a professional putting miles on an OTTB or a pro on a horse they are showcasing for resale vs. the OTTBs that are getting the hang of their new career enough to cart us Ammies around. Or for the great OTTB schoolmasters out there we enjoy watching go to realize what great hunters they turn into!

SunshineSummertime
Jan. 5, 2010, 01:22 PM
I have 4 OTTBs and they are all wonderful in their own right. That is why I went to Lex VA for the Celebration show. They had something for every horse I have. Hacks, lower level hunters, 3' hunters, hacks and handys. I believe the competition was stiff, as I hacked against an average of 35-40 others. What a fun thing and great people. If you could replicate what they do, you would have success. Get it out on facebook, advertise it thru their show, and if you build it- they will come!

I would come and bring a boat load of others with me. We took 6 down to Lex and it was a 4 hour drive! It was reasonable and totally fun! Ribbons and prizes were just a bonus!

AndiP
Jan. 9, 2010, 08:38 PM
I think the Jockey Club and/or the owners and breeders assoc. should underwrite a circuit like this on a national level. Wouldn't that create a natural market for the horse needing a job as he comes off the track?

Love this idea! Funny, I get the idea that quite a few Racing owners would be willing to do this....

AndiP
Jan. 9, 2010, 08:51 PM
As an adult rider, I make the decisions on which shows and classes I attend with my OTTB. If these classes, or shows, were in New York or surrounding states, I would go in a hearbeat. While my OTTB needs mileage, it is important for me that people know that she has a "past", and that we are working on a second career. I think highlighting this fact is a good thing.

RumoursFollow
Jan. 9, 2010, 11:59 PM
From a trainer's perspective, I wouldnt go mainly for one reason:

I have all types of horses in my barn, and its not cost effective for me to take the handful of customers and TB horses that I do have to a place that some of my other customers will not be allowed. For this reason, if I need a very local type show, I take all of my customers with a green horse or new rider type situation to an open local show. Same reason I dont attend breed specific shows of any kind - I do not have a breed specific business.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 10, 2010, 02:54 AM
There is a classic series at the Ontario A shows for Thoroughbreds. Dont have to be OTTB's, but must be full TB.

Papers or Tattoo required. The event is offered at 3 of the bigger A shows, the first two offer prize money of $1500, second one $3000. Sponsored by a Thoroughbred rescue/retirement/placement agency. Usually had about 20 entries (not bad since the circuit is filled with warmbloods).

You show the height of your division, but it is all judged together over 2 rounds. Ie. the adult ammies did 3' and the A/O's did 3'6 and the second years did 3'9. It was a great way to see some of the top hunters go and pretty much say "WOW, there Thoroughbreds!!". Several of them are top in their regular divisions as well.


I would suggest if you want to promote Thoroughbreds or OTTBs, to sponser a class at a bigger A or B show. You'll likely get the really nice TB's and more spectators.

M. O'Connor
Jan. 10, 2010, 05:18 AM
Just a comment..We offered two separate divisions (2'6" and 3') for TB hunters at the Old Dominion Horse Show.(Manakin Sabot, Va.) The plan was to build it up and get some good sponsorship and prizes for the classes. One division was recognized by the MHSA for their year end award. We had no entries. Needless to say we feel that the interest may not be significant enough to offer it again or work very hard to get the division beefed up with prize money, awards and sponsors. We are currently working on prize list and class selection and are inclined to leave it out this year. Comment if you would like to participate in this offering or may wish to help in getting the word out about the divisions and perhaps help with procuring sponsorships. We ran it on Sunday. Our 2010 dates are July 20-25. We don't really want to drop it, but need to know that there is actual interest. If you have any interest in supporting this offering please email the show at odhs@comcast.net. Thanks.

I'm not sure whether we got a prize list for ODHS...I didn't realize they had offered those classes. Maybe a 'get the word out' blurb wherever the show is marketed (advertisements prior to mailing/posting the prize list) would help increase awareness.

The TB hack classes at Upperville are practically standing-room only. We didn't have a horse for the shows at VHC; had we been up and running with one, we surely would have taken one (or more).

As far as shows dedicated to TB's, I would think that if they were geared to TB's and HALF TB's (not necessarily competing against each other) that this would encourage a strong turnout that would help in the bottom line department. Keep in mind as well that many TB's sell without papers; I would think that if shows/divisions like the ones under discussion catch on, that this would be less of a problem as time goes on (as there would be an incentive to keep the papers with the horse), but in the meantime, consider whether an alternate proof of TB could be offered (DNA cert, for instance).