December 5, 2012
The Retired Racehorse Training Project's "100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge" kicked off this week as four horses representing four Mid-Altantic Thoroughbred farms began a 100-day long training program on December 1. The horses will be judged on conformation, movement, jumping ability and trainability by guest riders, judges, and online fans. They will appear at the Maryland Horse World Expo on the third weekend in January and the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo on the fourth weekend of February after which some will be offered for sale. The horses will be trained together during the Challenge at Steuart Pittman's Dodon Farm Training Center in Davidsonville, MD.
The purpose of the Challenge is to demonstrate to the versatility, trainability, and quality of the Thoroughbreds being produced by America's horse racing industry. The Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) is a charitable organization whose mission is to increase demand for Thoroughbreds off the track.
Declan's Moon (Malibu Moon - Vee Vee Star, by Norquestor) enters the challenge already a champion, having won the Eclipse Award as an undefeated two year old. He went on to win his first race as a three year old before an injury took him off the Triple Crown trail. After a full recuperation and another thirteen races his longtime owner Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable retired him to the Pons family's Country Life Farm in Maryland where he has been turned out with two other Malibu Moon champions. Josh Pons approached Ms. Siegel about entering "Declan" in this Challenge because, "he is such a beautiful mover and a great example of the quality horse that our industry produces.
""Declan wouldn't let us catch him when Josh and I went out to his field for a visit," said Pittman, "but he trotted circles around us like a dancer and then galloped to the top of the hill and struck a pose. I could hardly sleep until Josh got word back that Ms. Siegel was enthusiastically on board."
Declan made a farewell appearance at the Country Life / Merryland stallion show to fifty admiring Thoroughbred breeders on Saturday before making the trip to Davidsonville.
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.