I've just run into this - but with my standardbed! Lucky for us, I found some folks who run standardbred performance horse organizations/societies...and by joining these I can submit my horse's scores and placements for points that will put us in the running for national-level awards (some of these organizations also do local-based awards for their show series)...so we don't need to be local (which is good because there isn't anything local for the STB here...but a couple of us are looking to set up something for the PNW)
These aren't anything super official, but i think they are a starting point. They are kind of neat - not sure if there is anything like that out there for Tb's, because I've not ever looked. But still, no substitute for rated shows, All-Breed awards, etc.
But for us its not about the ribbons and glory, its about a celebration of the breed and getting the word out that these horses make excellent pleasure and performance horses once they are off the track. Plus its fun to make friends with like-minded folk
myhorsefaith, I hope you find a quorum of STB peeps. I don't know these horses well, but a few I have met had outstanding work ethics. I met a few on the backside of a track and they accepted all kinds of things I wouldn't think a race horse would tolerate. They made OTTBs look like hot house flowers.