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Mine That Bird - retired

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  • #21
    I rather hate to think of him living the rest of his life in a paddock in New Mexico. I wish they would find him a nice big pasture where he can baby sit young horses and tell them stories about his big year and what they can do if they really, really want to.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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    • #22
      One would hope they would give him a try. It will still cost them to have a pasture ornament for the next 20 years!!!--I know a few Colorado trainers that would love to give him a try!!!!--Also there are a couple of New Mexico guys just in the next town--Guy and John, who have the talent and resourses to give the guy a chance.

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      • #23
        He would not HAVE to be an international/olympic jumper to make an impact. As a children's or amatuer hunter, or a medal horse, if he has the talent to do some of the better quality horse shows, this in itself would be HUGE. He does not have to jump huge jumps to make an impact (though there is a chance that he CAN do this, even with his small size) Much of the thought that results in ignoring TBs from the track as potential show mounts is that they are "hot" or "difficult", and that they are "not suitable" for children or amatuers. If this gelding, with his substantial race record and recognition, could be seen packing a child around a 3' hunter course, it might go a ways to extinguishing this myth.

        Having a famous race gelding advertising his presence at the horse shows is like having Tiger Woods endorsing a product for you, except this one can keep his trousers zipped.

        My vote for a trainer for him would be Leslie Howard. Big name, internationally successful, likes TBs. Though she specializes in the big jumper divisions, she would be able to point him into the divisions where he might excel, whichever division that might be. And if he's not got what it takes to be the sort of show horse that he would need to be to do this job, she would know. Then he could go and be a trail horse, a lead pony or hang out in a pasture or at KHP.
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        • #24
          Originally posted by Mara View Post
          Kelso certainly seemed to enjoy his time in the hunt field.
          I was going to say the same thing! Mine That Bird doesn't need a show ring career. He needs to be out in the open and learn how to be a horse again.

          We old folks already know how good the TB is/was in the show ring. It doesn't need to be proved again. And I don't think the show ring riders of today have the seat or the hands for anything other than a WB. They don't spend enough time out of the ring. But that's a whole 'nother thread...

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          • #25
            It cracks me up when people say racehorses need to learn to be a horse again...most are pretty good at that, for a little bit...and then they get really, really bored. And then they start plotting...
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            • #26
              Originally posted by danceronice View Post
              It cracks me up when people say racehorses need to learn to be a horse again...most are pretty good at that, for a little bit...and then they get really, really bored. And then they start plotting...
              Essentially what I meant was they learn to adjust to turn out , and a different routine. Dispatcher is quite happy being a riding horse and having his freedom in the field. But he had to get used to it.

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              • #27
                Well, it also implies that being a racehorse isn't being a horse. Being a racehorse is the reason they exist--pretty much a more elite form of being a horse.

                It just seems dismissive to me.
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                • #28
                  I suppose.

                  But I'm fairly sure you knew what was meant by the phrase "...being a horse...". A race horse generally spends most of their day in a stall. The majority of horses do not.

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                  • #29
                    Unless they're show horses in show barns. Dressage horses get less time outside than racehorses. Never mind some of the odder gaited horse practices.

                    They're all speciality animals, not wild horses. There really is no 'natural' way to keep what we've created, as they're not suited to it.
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                    • #30
                      My OTTB (41 starts, 100K in earnings) loves being a backyard hunter/trail horse. He gets lots of turnout, but he would be bored to death just turned out-he walks the fence and whinnies when left to his own devices.

                      As much attention as Mine That Bird has had, I bet he would eat up being a show horse. And, it would be a way to keep up with him. It's been fun to be a fan. Whatever happens with him, good luck and lots of carrots to him!

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Dispatcher View Post
                        We old folks already know how good the TB is/was in the show ring. It doesn't need to be proved again. And I don't think the show ring riders of today have the seat or the hands for anything other than a WB. They don't spend enough time out of the ring. But that's a whole 'nother thread...
                        I'm with you. TBs are truly the best. I've always had TBs for my hunters. There isn't anything I'd rather ride or jump. There is a refined look and elegance to a TB that nothing in the show ring can match. And don't get me started on heart . . .
                        The truth is always in the middle.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Dispatcher View Post
                          I was going to say the same thing! Mine That Bird doesn't need a show ring career. He needs to be out in the open and learn how to be a horse again.

                          We old folks already know how good the TB is/was in the show ring. It doesn't need to be proved again. And I don't think the show ring riders of today have the seat or the hands for anything other than a WB. They don't spend enough time out of the ring. But that's a whole 'nother thread...
                          Evidently, it DOES need to be proven again. It needs to be proven constantly. OTTBs are in competition with sport purpose bred non TBs for owners, quality owners, for positions where they have value. They are currently being "rescued", and have little value. Owners and trainers can't sell them because the buyers are not there, looking for them. Top riders and trainers tend to get sold horses who are not TBs. Little children at the shows say, "Mommy, please buy me a warmblood so that I can win the class". Yes, we oldsters know that a TB can also win the class, and has more elegance, is faster in jump offs, more sensitive, and more heart. But this is not fed to the buying public as marketing. Thus, those of us who like TBs, both as racehorses and sport horses, have trouble selling them to the general equine owner populations, because they are not currently "popular". When a TB does have success in the show ring, his name is often changed, so his pedigree gets lost. Everyone watching automatically assumes he is not a TB. TB mares get scooped up and renamed and re registered in non TB registries, their offspring are not even called "half TBs", but get another name. Because the TB gets NO MARKETING in this area, he is easily outcompeted by those breeds who DO market and promote, HARD.

                          The jockey club doesn't do it, and isn't interested. And there isn't another organization that I know of that is going to do it. But horses like MTB, on a concerted effort to do just this, COULD do it. Could help do it, anyway. The purpose of my first post.


                          "Hmmmm, Mine That Bird who earned X million on the track, just won the junior hunter championship at the big horse show. Maybe we COULD go look at the racetrack and see if there is anything currently offered for sale that might make a show horse for our daughter, instead of buying a non-TB".
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                          • #33
                            And it really isn't the Jockey Club's job. Their job is to focus on TBs, who are, first and foremost, bred to race. Showing is supposed to be for washouts. The problem is the show ring is about style and the style is slow, dead Warmbloods. People don't want to put the time and trouble to learn to ride a smart, quick horse any more (not the GP riders, I realize the best of the best WBs there are often hot bordering on crazy). The JC is not there to breed slowpoke hunter types.

                            Plus, there's no money in the show trainers encouraging their students to buy cheap OTTBs when they can be making whopping comissions because 'only they' have the connections to find that show horse being sold by another trainer who's making a commission off the seller.

                            MTB isn't going to win divisions that people notice. He's short. He's an unmarked (or very tinly marked) bay. He is not built to jump 3'6" fences from a glacially slow, flexed canter. Now, if he could event, that would be something, as eventers seem to still want OTTBs and having a Kentucky Derby winner doing three-day would be publicity right there. But the problem is not on racing/the JC's end when it comes to the hunter/jumpers buying TBs. The horses are there. The prices are low. The buyers are scared off by myths about soundness, size, temperament and competitiveness, the trainers don't want to deal in horses they can't get a big percentage from. MTB isn't what's winning so he's not going to change that.
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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                              It cracks me up when people say racehorses need to learn to be a horse again...most are pretty good at that, for a little bit...and then they get really, really bored. And then they start plotting...


                              And plot they do...

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                              • #35
                                But the problem is not on racing/the JC's end when it comes to the hunter/jumpers buying TBs.
                                THIS. Again, it's not the JC's purpose!

                                Speculating that a KY Derby winner should go over to the hunter ring in order to promote the h/j industry seems a bit ... odd. As in "ain't never going to happen in this day and age so why bother to bring it up" odd.

                                And yes, I know Kelso apparently foxhunted back in the early 60s.

                                I wish the horse and his connections well. Personally I would have loved to see if they could figure out the MTB puzzle to keep him racing but it would simply seem he's had enough and that's that.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                                  Unless they're show horses in show barns. Dressage horses get less time outside than racehorses. Never mind some of the odder gaited horse practices.
                                  Eh, most dressage horses I know in the U.S. actually get a LOT of turnout (my dressage horse actually lives outside 24/7). The worst for turnout tends to be the "breed show" group. I grew up riding/training/showing saddle seat. Some get turned out in the off season, but they rarely get turnout during show season. Same goes for most high end arab, morgan, QH show horses, whether they are hunters, saddle seat, or western pleasure.

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                                  • #37
                                    How about....

                                    [QUOTE=NancyM;5211367] I always hope that a gelding with a race career like this gets a chance to try the horse show world, KEEPING his registered name. Less concussion, less physically demanding, but perhaps a place where he can show his athletic abilities, and promote his breed in it's secondary outstanding purpose, if he has that talent....

                                    ....Here is a GOOD one, who has no value to the TB breeding industry, who apparently may be sound enough in the long run to be able to show what a GOOD TB can do in it's secondary career. And by doing so, may help to promote the after racing career for many other OTTBs, who do not get the promotion and marketing that some other breeds get. If he has the talent, he could continue to be in the spotlight.
                                    QUOTE]

                                    YES! I agree completely. I felt the same way about Funny Cide.

                                    My solution would be to contact a talented rider and see if they wanted the horse. For the millions these horses have won for their owners, a few thousand for a year to put it in training with a top notch rider to turn it around is a drop in the bucket. A really top trainer may do it for free or at a reduced cost. It could be a publicity thing.

                                    Again, I am talking about famous geldings or infertile mares who have retired sound. These horses could be poster horses for the OTTB. It could also be a boost to the career of said trainer. A Win-Win situation.

                                    Want an example?

                                    Courageous Comet, named 2009 Rood & Riddle Thoroughbred Sport Horse of the Year. Competed at this years WEG. The only reason he did not finish is because he lost a shoe cross country.

                                    Just look at the forum board here for more examples.

                                    An informative link here:
                                    http://horsehealth.blogs.equisearch....racehorse.html
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                                    • #38
                                      You don't need to sell the idea of OTTBs to eventers (which is what Courageous Comet does.) They already know and are the market these days. You CANNOT sell the idea of OTTBs to high-level hunter riders because frankly, they want to win and a 15hh and change plain bay isn't going to light any fires. The dead-slow 17h WB who can jump 3'6" from a standstill is the gold standard. Mine That Bird isn't going to light the hunter ring on fire. Just be, at best, a curiosity piece. "Yeah, the pony hauling the adult ammy in the Long Stirrup? He won the Kentucky Derby! No, seriously."

                                      I'm surprised they don't make him a pony, though maybe it's the track atmosphere he's tired of. or he doesn't have the manners.
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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by NancyM View Post
                                        The jockey club doesn't do it, and isn't interested.
                                        Incorrect. When I was working for TJC, they were dumping boatloads of time and money into creating the PHR and working with AHSA to promote it. No one was interested, so they handed it over to the AHSA, who turned it into a mult-breed registry. Over the past few years, they have been batting around different ideas. I think one way that has been discussed is sponsorship of OTTB classes at established horse shows, or a program similar to NAERICS, where they pay awards to owners of OTTB's that ribbon in open shows.

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                                        • #40
                                          Yes, I remember the PHR. I had a couple who were registered with this registry, it didn't go anywhere. Yes, I know that the JC's job is in regard to racing, that was my point. And the view that because of his size and breed that he can't win at the shows is very similar to the thinking that got him his sale price as a yearling. There are many things that you can not tell just looking at the horse. The plain bay colour is called "understated elegance" in the hunters. The small size is a strike against him both as a hunter or jumper, but it has happened before that it has been overcome with talent. I never feel that isolating OTTBs or TBs not OT and giving them their own classes is not the answer, it is open competition that is the key. And yes, I think they do have the ability and the potential to win. If they are in the class and have the training and talent. If they are not entered in the class or not well trained and prepared, they have less or no potential to win.

                                          If you are OK with horses coming off the track with no value for a future career, then do nothing or try nothing to change the status quo as it currently stands. If you feel it is important that racing is only the FIRST part of a TB's usefulness, then TRY to change things from what they are right now. There are always a few renegade owners and riders who rebel against the law that states that they must purchase horses through their coach's contacts, and pay commissions. Entice them to the racetrack with some marketing.
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