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.
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.
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program