During the month of July, New Vocations is hosting horse show events that spotlight Thoroughbreds competing off the track. The first event was held Sunday July 9th and 10th where nearly 40 Thoroughbreds gathered at the Kentucky Horse Park to compete in two Thoroughbred restricted Hunter/Jumper classes. This was the second consecutive year New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program partnered with the Robert Murphy Horse Show to put on a first class event that attracted Thoroughbreds from surrounding states.
Sharp Dressed Guy won the $2500 Thoroughbred Hunter Classic sponsored by Homewrecker Racing. Owned by Bridget McNeese the Devil Is Due gelding was bred by Dr. John Cummins and trained at Keeneland as a two and three year old, but never showed much speed. McNeese took him on as a show horse at age four. “I’d kept my eye on him since he was a baby and even told Cummins that he would make a great hunter,” explained McNeese. “As soon as the decision was made to retire him I got him as a show project. He has excelled ever since.”
Sweet William who raced as Bait n Switch won the $2500 New Vocations Thoroughbred Mini Prix sponsored by Castleton Lyons for the second year in a row. Now 17 years old, the Digression gelding raced 16 times primarily at Mountaineer and Pimlico. He retired and became a very successful Eventer. Currently owned and trained by Elaine Schott from River Mountain Farm and shown by Natassia Hovey, Sweet William has excelled as a Jumper. “He continues to amaze us by his huge heart. He has always been the barn favorite,” shared Schott. “There’s not a day he has acted his age. He’s a tough guy who loves his job and will keep doing it as long as he physically can.”
The event drew many spectators. A brief history was read by the announcer as each horse entered the arena to be judged over a course of fences. Their histories ranged from graded stakes winners with earnings over $100,000 to horses that only raced a couple times earning next to nothing. “Once again the event was a great success,” shared New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford. “It was quite touching to see so many quality retired racehorses come together and compete. This breed needs more recognition in the show ring. They are extremely versatile, hardworking, and athletic; all things you look for in a show horse.”
The next event featuring Thoroughbreds will be the New Vocations Charity Horse Show July 30th and 31st at Delaware, Ohio. The event draws over 150 horses with a large percentage being retired racehorses. The open hunter and dressage show features Thoroughbred specific classes and divisions. Last year’s show raised over $50,000, which went to fund New Vocations’ mission to rehab, retrain, and rehome retired racehorses. For more information go to www.horseadoption.com