Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Thoroughbred Celebration

Yesterday was the first day of a three-day show, only for off-the-track thoroughbreds (OTTB) at the Virginia Horse Center.  This show was the brainchild of two great local horse people who love thoroughbreds and wanted to create more "buzz" for these retooled race horses.  If known, the announcer gives the horse's registered name and new show name, if applicable.  Many of these horses have won hundreds of thousands of dollars on the track. Others were just too slow and never made it.  Instead of going to slaughter as many of these horses once did, there is a movement now to find new homes for these retired horses.  Many retire at age 3 or 4. 

But the show is vibrant and now there are many more shows in the East for OTTB including a new show this April near Washington, D.C.

The show is indoors. One end of the arena was decorated with racing saddle pads.

The horses were nicely turned out and many were braided even though this is a non-rated show:

Large racing photos were also used in decoration:

More horses near the in-gate:

There were memorial trophies in honor of special horses:

New Vocations, a racehorse adoption program I've blogged about many times, had a nice advertising area:

There were lots of silent auction items, here's a small sampling:

This was a cute touch sponsored by Otteridge Farm near Bedford, VA:

The show runs through the weekend and there are two others in the series, one in June and November.  It's great to watch these former racehorses in their new lives as hunters or jumpers.  Just shows that change is good, even for animals!


  1. Best Show Ever! Thank you for posting about it!

  2. So cool! I would love to take Simon to one of these.

  3. I love it!
    I also love that the Hunters are going back to the TB as well.

    Alas TBs and STBs are still heading to slaughter and otherwise not finding a just reward for their work on the track. The rescue I volunteer with was at a local-ish sale last winter, found a lovely TB with a knee... bought her, got her vetted and Xrays showed a shattered knee and bone below knee was fractured vertically. Little chance of recovery, so she was put down. Cost the rescue over $1200 not incl the Xrays which I payed for.
    Turns out trainer knew, and instead of spending the $100 it cost to put her down at the track, he gave or sold her to a guy he knew, who took her to this sale which killbuyers frequent and ship direct to Canada for slaughter for human consumption.
    Nevermind that this mare, one can assume, had to have had at least a bute or worse during her month layup after coming off a race or work with this injury... bute, even just one, being a banned substance by the EU for horses for slaughter for human consumption.

    Anyway, that's me on my sopabox...

    1. That is such a sad story but thank you for helping this poor horse. The new TB movement seems to be working at least giving some of these great horses a new lease on life. We should all support these organizations in any way that we can. Every bit helps!


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