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  1. #21
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    I guess I disagree a bit with Emily on this one. I have no problem seeing the 4 horses with Steuart. To me, the focus of this program should be and is more geared to the racing industry and what they should do about their horses. This is showing that for probably LESS than what it costs for them to keep a horse in race training for a short while, they can make a small investment in these horses and get them into the show world.

    It shows that these horses are not "nothing" if they are not racehorses and will hopefully encourage racing owners to maybe stop a bit sooner with a horse and to maybe put a little money into them to find them a second life. Show that they have some worth...and that it isn't that hard to find the right hands to get them in to turn them around and get them restarted.

    I do not think this is geared for the average joe ammie to go buy an ex-race horse and here is what you do to restart them. Although I do think people can pick up some tips by watching how an experienced trainner deals with them and with 4 very different horses, can see the different progression rates.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


    10 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
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    Re: Kauto Star-they keep saying he's been sent to a major dressage trainer but he's actually at Laura Collett's barn I think and I would argue that Yogi Breisner would be more accurately identified as the coach/chef d'equipe of the GBR eventing squad and not as a "dressage trainer". He does have a history with national hunt horses so maybe that's why the owner sent the horse there and maybe he's there because that's who the owner knows and LC is a good dressage rider, but I think it's interesting that the press seems to be carefully avoiding the word eventing. If you're aiming for straight dressage, why not go to Carl Hester?



  3. #23
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    The Guardian says her yard is right down the road from the owner's house.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian



  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCRider View Post

    Edited to add, after seeing Emily's post, I'm not seeing the ego trip that you're hinting at. I think you and the elephant are alone in the room. I like most of your posts and I think you have a lot of offer but sometimes I think you look for the bad in people. I'm usually pretty pessimistic about human nature but I'm a little incredulous that you would accuse them of doing this for the training board. The repurposing of OTTBs into sport horses is SP's life's passion. He's a professional who is committed to the TB. I think this new challenge idea is a great one. I watched all four videos, and I've been reading the updates. The level of passion and committment he and his team seem to have already developed into each of these horses after such a short time is inspiring.
    Ok to be fair let me clarify what I am talking about.

    1.) MANY people wanted to be trainers in this second round of the challenge

    2.) Many people were up for sending their horses to the second round of this challenge

    3.) NONE of the folks in 1 or 2 were used.

    I have respect for anyone who retrains and gives an ottb a new purpose. Simple as that. But where last year's challenge thrived on the diversity this years challenge is locked into only half the storylines.

    Remember last year we had 4 horses and 4 trainers to root for. This year we have only the horses to "root" for. Now they are nice horses an I am excited to see Declan's Moon out and about. I am just hoping his soundness issues stay in the closet.

    I guess as a spectator and someone who spoke to him at the Harrisburg expo, I am wondering where his game plan changed? Last year he described the challenge this year as going to be "More open to more trainers and more diverse."

    Now I get that plans change.

    I am not looking for the bad in people. But I question the motives when one minute the plan is to include more folks, and the next minute the only person doing the work is the one who organized the program to begin with and is the only one taking in funds. Last year 4 underknown trainers were compensated for their work. This year, only one person is being compensated and will get the additional lessons, sales, marketing tie in for this.

    Like it or not there are other people who will also recognize this change and wonder about it. I at least am willing to wonder aloud.

    I have no beef with the Pittmans. I have no problem with retraining Tb's. But as someone else said... we could, without meaning to, be sending a message that to get a Tb you need to send it off for pro training to be successful. And that's just not true in every case.

    ~Emily
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    Emily--There is also already a big OTTB trainers challenge going on right now with I think 10 trainers and $10K in prize money.


    I don't have a problem doing something different this year and then maybe doing the other format next year.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


    5 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    I saw that. Can't find any specific details on it but I think that one could be very cool.

    Does anyone have a link to more info on that?

    Em
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xctrygirl View Post
    I saw that. Can't find any specific details on it but I think that one could be very cool.

    Does anyone have a link to more info on that?

    Em

    Called Battle of the X's

    http://mythoroughbredblog.blogspot.c...challenge.html

    Remember Me Rescue

    http://www.teamkeen.com/


    There is a Facebook page that is pretty active but I can't link to it (blocked at work).

    There is also this one going on that Boyd posted about---as another format.

    http://boydandsilvamartin.blogspot.c...ontest-in.html
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
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    As an aside, I wouldn't call Eric Dierks underknown.

    And the sole purpose of the retraining project is not about giving additional publicity to underknown OTTB restarters. It's also about gaining more publicity within the racing industry for what the horses can do afterwards. For that reason, the presence of Declan's Moon and Suave Jazz are key for this challenge. Were the connections of either horse going to drop it into a pool to be randomly assigned or selected by unknown trainers? If I'm the connections of those horses, I'd rather have the horses under management of one trainer so that the trainer is not a part of the competition.

    I also like the Maryland connection-the idea of MD racing/breeding connections competing to see whose OTTB is best is a great idea. And standardizing the training allows it to be about the horses. It sounds like you wanted a larger version of the last challenge. Maybe they'll do that at some point. This challenge is different. There doesn't have to be a nefarious purpose to it. And I say that as someone who also see ghosts where there aren't any sometimes (see my above questions about Kauto Star-thanks for the clarification).

    Where I think your posts rub me the wrong way sometimes is that you say things that imply insider knowledge that supports your negative opinions about people and circumstances but I have no way of knowing if you really know something I don't or if you're blowing up minor bits of info you know to make your positions seem more valid. What soundness problems did Declan's Moon have that would still impact his ability to do dressage after 4 years running around a field? Who were all these other top notch underknown professional OTTB restarters who wanted to be a part of a 100 day challenge. Who were all the other nice moving OTTBs whose owners wanted to place them in the Challenge?


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  9. #29
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    I actually think the change in format is interesting, and love the participation of the MD breeders

    Last year was VERY cool and I loved how the format got so many people excited about it. But on the flip side, it was sort of hard to compare the horses and their progress with the variables between the trainers and their different approaches. Now I think it will be equally cool to see how one trainer approaches different issues and histories.

    I love learning about this stuff, which is why I've enjoyed the whole canter blog process (mostly reading jess's, since I haven't been riding in some time, heh). And I'll be following along this year too because there's so much to learn from these things.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    My sister and I are sending our horses to Dodon Farm for training after the first of the year. We're very excited to have our horses there while the Retraining Program is going on!



  11. #31
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    Whether or not there's an elephant in the room, if it gives the OTTB the positive attention it deserves, then I'm all for it.
    "Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride."


    4 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
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    Why shouldn't he be compensated for something that he is basically taking the time and effort to organize? If you have such great ideas about the way things should be done then by all means get out there and make it happen. I figure it is his brain child and he can run it whatever way he thinks works best. There could be a million reasons why he found the other format difficult and since he is the one organizing than he should do whatever is easiest for him to put together. I am totally impressed that they have time to organize this on top of running their own business.

    Who cares if the horse had a lameness issue at the track? Isn't the point to show that ottb's can have useful careers after the track regardless of previous soundness issues, age, number of starts, etc? I LOVE the idea of promoting horses that other people may pass right by because they don't consider them useful. I think he will do a great job of showing that these horses do have value if you give them a chance.


    22 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
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    Of course the Pittman's are getting paid for retraining the horses, just as the trainers from the last group were paid. I don't see what's so nefarious about that. It is what they do, train/ride/show/sale horses for money. I really doubt that what they are being paid even comes close to covering what they have spent in terms of both their own money and their time to get this thing going, but no one ever cares to look at that for some reason.
    You also don't know the ins and outs of the contracts the Pittmans' have with these owners. Maybe they aren't charging the owners their normal rate, maybe the owners felt more comfortable having someone they are more familiar with or has a more public profile, like the Pittmans', retraining their horses, or maybe SP is looking to retire on that fat sack of loot he's scoring from the owners (kidding!).
    I love how when someone actually gets off their arse and does something productive, there are always scores of people waiting in line to tell them how they are doing it wrong or how it could have been done better or waiting for them to fall on their face. IMO, if you don't have the intiative to take on the project yourself, at least have the good graces to smile and say "that's nice" when someone else does. It doesn't matter if it's how you would handle things because you weren't the one who actually went into action and did something, so it's a moot point.

    I, personally, think this is a great format because you can see how different horses mature and develop their own styles under the same trainer. In the last challenge, someone from the outside could say "Well Brazillian Wedding was being ridden more like a hunter so she looked more huntery, but XXXX was being ridden more like a dressage horse". Here, the outsider can see more easily how Declan Moon is a dressage horse because that's what his way of going lends itself to, or Alluring Punch, or whichever. I think it will be a friendlier learning format for people who aren't necessarily in the english riding world of horses to see the development of how different horses might be suited to different disciplines naturally.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


    13 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
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    Question: Will these OTTBs be for sale?



  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    Question: Will these OTTBs be for sale?

    I believe the blog said that some of these OTTBs and a few others would be for sale at the final.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  16. #36
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    I'll take that Gunport mare any day, even with her spooky nature in the indoor the first time. She's nervous to the point of shaking but she doesn't put a single foot wrong and is trying so hard to please while being curious. She was really enjoying the petting. I think she might be a bit difficult at first, a mare like that wants someone to put her faith in and she'll jump the world for you once she has it, her neck and shoulder and the way she walks even nervous is just fantastic. Such a daisy cutter too and nice short back.
    Last edited by enjoytheride; Dec. 12, 2012 at 05:15 PM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
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    Let's keep some perspective here, people.

    I actually like this format better, but regardless of the format, the important thing is that there's another pretty gray girl to root for. That's what the people want, and what our sport needs. Pretty gray ponies with a sprinkling of estrogen to sweeten the deal. I know whereof I speak.

    I love that there's a 9-year-old campaigner in there. Hopefully people see that the ones with mileage and wisdom are more than worth a look.
    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
    Ms. Brazil


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  18. #38
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    I <heart> the Two Punch colt. And I've only got one redhead in the field and it'd be nice to add another.




    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fulrider View Post
    Let's keep some perspective here, people.

    I actually like this format better, but regardless of the format, the important thing is that there's another pretty gray girl to root for. That's what the people want, and what our sport needs. Pretty gray ponies with a sprinkling of estrogen to sweeten the deal. I know whereof I speak.

    I love that there's a 9-year-old campaigner in there. Hopefully people see that the ones with mileage and wisdom are more than worth a look.



  19. #39
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    Interesting comments. Our Board of Directors struggled with the format question. We have all thought it would be great to do a large Trainer Challenge where amateurs, professionals, celebrities, juniors could go out, find a horse, train it, and present it. We may someday, or maybe somebody else will. There is one being planned in Texas with seven horses, and I met last week with a racetrack PR manager who wants to do one at a racetrack.

    RRTP, however, needed to come up with something exciting for the MD and PA expos, which limits us to one hour sessions. We are lucky to squeeze four horses into those arenas and present them in an hour.

    Last year's Challenge was a huge success in terms of fulfilling our mission: to increase demand for Thoroughbreds off the track. It reached a lot of people, showed horses off well, and taught training methods. Tiffany, Eric, and Kerry set a standard for others to aspire to, I thought.

    The RRTP web site lists 218 professional trainers with rates, facilities, and experience, who specialize in horses off the track. It also includes 118 placement organizations and farms in Sources For Horses. Someday I'd like to get all these folks together for a national forum. We all think we're great at this but we all do it differently. We have a lot to learn from each other.

    We believe that a part of the key to increasing demand for OTTBs is to show the public the best side of horse racing. We want equestrians and racing people to communicate better, trust each other more, and basically celebrate the Thoroughbred horse together. The involvement of Sagamore, Country Life, Walnut Green, and Northview was key to pulling this format off. We got lucky with four very different, very magnificent horses. The idea of doing it all at one farm came from the fascination that I and others have had with the 100 Day Stallion Test done by warmblood registries. We think it's a fantastic way to evaluate a group of horses, and since our goal is to demonstrate how wonderful and desirable these horses are, we decided to go with a single site and single training staff.

    The RRTP board made a decision to accept a proposal from Dodon Farm Training Center in spite of the fact that it is owned and run by the board's president. To comply with our conflict of interest policy, I and my wife Erin recused ourselves and the board made the decision after comparing rates, staffing, and facilities at other farms. Dodon Farm is contracting directly with the owners of the horses for training at a reduced rate.

    Yes, Dodon Farm will benefit from the publicity, and yes I will be acting as head trainer. We will, however, have guest riders come in to evaluate the horses. I will do my best to ensure that this 100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge not only inspires more people to consider OTTBs for sport, but also offers insight to some on how to succeed with the horses they ride.

    Updates will always be announced on our Facebook Page. We won't be as funny as Kerry Blackmer, as professional as Eric Dierks, or as sweet as Tiffany Cattledge, and we may not do as good a job as any of them, but as Bruce Davidson once told me when I asked how he could stand putting inexperienced working students on his lovely horses, "the cream rises to the top." We'll do the best we know how, and I suspect that these horses are so special that they will make even me and my staff look like we know what we are doing.
    Steuart Pittman
    Dodon Farm
    Davidsonville, Maryland


    25 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xctrygirl View Post
    Ok to be fair let me clarify what I am talking about.

    1.) MANY people wanted to be trainers in this second round of the challenge

    2.) Many people were up for sending their horses to the second round of this challenge

    3.) NONE of the folks in 1 or 2 were used.
    Color me confused about why the people in 1&2 can't get together and do a challenge that better meets their needs/wants/requirements? Last I checked, there are an AWFUL lot of horses out there, and no shortage of opportunities to help publicize them to all kinds of target audiences - no monopoly on this!

    Steuart -thanks for taking the time to respond - clearly a well thought through plan, and will provide an interesting counterpoint to the other "challenge" approaches. The link to 100 day testing didn't occur to me - but now that you mention it, it's a great one!


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