Retired Racehorse Trainer Challenge at MD and PA Horse World Expos
The Challenge will begin at the Maryland Horse World Expo in Timonium, MD on January 20 and 21, 2012 (note: the earlier press release had incorrect dates of 21 and 22nd). It will end at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, PA on February 25, 2012.
Three trainers and three horses will participate. A fourth horse will be the alternate. Steuart Pittman will oversee the competition on behalf of RRTP and moderate the proceedings at the Expos. A panel of judges will evaluate performance at each show and select a winner at the PA show.
The trainers will evaluate four horses during a one hour session on Friday, January 20 at the Maryland Expo, and each trainer will select a horse based on whatever criteria they choose. The privilege to choose first will be awarded based on correct answers to horse racing trivia questions. The horse who is not chosen by any of the three trainers will be trained by the staff at Dodon Farm and be available to fill in for an injured horse at any time during the Challenge.
The three selected horses will appear on Saturday, January 21 at 1:30 pm in the Main Arena at the Maryland Expo for a one hour session during which each trainer will ride his or her chosen horse for the first time. Each trainer is allowed to have an assistant in the arena with them to help handle the horse from the ground. The trainers will use this time to become familiar with their horse and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses as a potential riding horse. They will be expected to demonstrate how to handle and ride a horse whose experience is limited to racing, and to describe their plan for the coming month's training.
The moderator will direct traffic in a way that allows each trainer space in the ring to work with each horse while seeking to make all three horses as comfortable as possible in a challenging environment. The judges will comment on the horses and on the way that the trainers are handling them. No winner will be selected at the end of the session, but all three trainers will receive products from sponsors to facilitate their work and reward them for their efforts.
The trainers will transport their horses from Timonium to the farms where they operate. During the month leading to the PA Expo the trainers will post written updates to the RRTP web site and videos of their work with the horses.
If during this month a horse becomes lame or injured and is unable to continue training, it may be returned to its owner and be replaced with the alternate horse who will be in training at Dodon Farm.
The trainers will transport their horses to the PA Expo and appear there before another panel of judges led by Olympian James Wofford. Each trainer will present their horse in hand and under saddle and be allowed to demonstrate whatever skills they choose. The moderator will interview each trainer about their work with the horse and the judges will make comments. One trainer will be recognized for outstanding performance and receive the Grand Prize of (to be announced).
• Trainers will be paid $1000 for their month of board and training either by the owner of the horse or by an RRTP sponsor.
• The horse's owners will pay for farrier, veterinary, and other incidental costs during the Challenge.
• Owners can choose to have the horses available for sale throughout and after the challenge, but will agree to allow the horse to complete the challenge before any transfer of ownership takes place. During the challenge and for the four weeks after it, the participating trainers will receive a commission of 10% of the sale price upon sale of the horse. Owners will also be asked to make a tax-deductible donation to RRTP of at least 10% of the sale price for horses sold during or within four weeks of the end of the Challenge.
• RRTP will select horses in advance of the Challenge, with the goal being to find prospects that might be typical candidates for investment in training as sport or recreational riding horses. If RRTP finds horses suitable for the Challenge whose owners do not choose to participate, RRTP will attempt to enlist investors who will acquire the horses and enter them in the Challenge.
The RRTP is a charitable organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax deductible pursuant to applicable laws. Our mission is to facilitate the placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by educating the public about the history, distinctive characteristics, versatility of use, and appropriate care and training of the iconic American Thoroughbred.
Funding is needed to maintain and expand our internet services, conduct our Throughbreds For All events, produce educational videos, and finance our presentations at horse expos and other high visibility public events. We do not use donated funds to care for individual horses. That work is done by the farms and organizations that we serve.