Eric Dierks Equestrian
Eric chose Brazilian Wedding, a mare owned by Pat Dale of Three Plain Bays Farm in Maryland.
It was 2:30pm at the Pa. Horse Expo and I was sitting on Brazilian Wedding along with the other two trainers on their mounts about to enter the indoor arena to demonstrate what she was capable of after one month of training. You could hear the crowds gathering in the stadium as we waited in a narrow aisle of committed fans and concrete. I felt like a gladiator about to enter the coliseum for the first time, unaware of what we may see or how our horses may react. All we heard were the crowds gathering and the Fresians exiting the premises. It was our turn......
Upon arrival Brazilian appeared a little nervous. There was so much energy in the air from multiple disciplines, the multiple breeds, to multiple personalities. When it came time to perform, she was more comfortable under the saddle than in the stall. With all the seats filled and people jammed in standing, everyone was respectable to the fact that we were on horses that retired from racing and had one month of training underneath them. Steuart Pittman acted as the ring master as we warmed up, describing the mission behind the Retired Racehorse Training Project, and Brazilian was digging into work the moment I took up the reins. The clapping from the crowd would distract her and kept her on edge, however the intention was to be on best behavior. When it was our turn to showcase our strengths, Brazil was all business. When demonstrating in front of a large crowd, I like to educate, so my nerves were calm. I like to talk to the crowd while riding so I may keep them entertained while I converse with the horse into balance, so nobody makes a judgement based on a snapshot in time. Brazilian peaked in performance while demonstrating balance over every one of her jumps in good form. We had five minutes to show what we can do, and I believe Brazilian and I demonstrated just that with structure and tact. And when we ended with a halt after the last fence jumped, and she took a big sighing breath, I felt it was then, she realized the race was over.
Receiving all the generous compliments from the judges and fans was winning alone for me. Seeing the masses of people in the arena intently listening and watching what these horses are, and always were, capable of on the final day of the Trainer Challenge was the finish line for the launch of the Retired Racehorse Training Project. It was a successful maiden race if you ask me.
I want to cast out a special thanks to my horse community, local fans, not so local fans, Little Mountain Feed Supply, Farm House Tack Store, Flair Nasal Strips, Drapier Equine Therapy, Cosequin, and Spursuaders. I big thank you goes out to both Steuart and Erin Pittman for their vision and driving force behind the Retired Racehorse Training Project. Last but not least, I owe a big thank you to my fiancee, Trayce, who taught me what unconditional support means. Thank You!
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.