If you’ve never been to a thoroughbred show, as a horse lover, I highly recommend the experience, and I’m happy to report there is an excellent one happening in just a few weeks. Conveniently scheduled on the calendar one day after the Kentucky Derby, and in Lexington, Kentucky, the Thoroughbred show will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on May 4.
The third annual show will be once again put on by the Thoroughbred Horse Show Association. The event offers a variety of jumping, dressage, and pleasure classes. The popular in-hand classes are once again on the schedule to give owners an opportunity to show off their Thoroughbreds while giving their horses experience away from the track.
One of the marquee names at this year’s edition is Rahy’s Attorney, Canada’s champion turf runner of 2008 and an earner of more than $2-million. The 10-year-old gelding is enjoying his second career as a Keeneland outrider mount.
Sounds like a great day after Derby event, doesn’t it? It’s held at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park, and best of all, proceeds from the show are earmarked for organizations near and dear to my heart; CANTER and ReRun.
I had the pleasure of discussing the event with the THSA executive director Jan Roehl, and I was impressed with what she had to say.
ZATT: Who is the Thoroughbred Horse Show Association?
Roehl: The Thoroughbred Horse Show Association was started by a group or race horse owners who became increasingly frustrated with trying to find homes for their horses. We kept hearing that no one wanted them because they had a reputation for being difficult in the show ring and they did not have any show experience.
ZATT: How did the show come about?
Roehl: We thought all the horses needed was a little re-training. We thought if we held beginner level shows at top level facilities with top judging, the horses would get some quality experience to help give them some value. The horses would prove they could do it.
ZATT: Tell me a little about what attendees can expect to see at the Thoroughbred show at Kentucky Horse Park.
Roehl: The Thoroughbred Show is held out at the Kentucky Horse Park in the Hunter Jumper complex. Both show rings and the warm up ring are right there together so people attending can watch all three rings at once. I love to look out and see a “sea” of Thoroughbreds all doing different things. The horses all wear hip tags, and we print a flyer with all the horses, their pedigree and their earnings listed, which make all the horses that much more interesting.
ZATT: Is anyone invited to show off their horses?
Roehl: We welcome everyone to bring their Thoroughbreds, for the very inexperienced ones they can start by being shown in Hand, or in the case of 28 year old Train Robbery, she can continue there for ever.
Entries close April 21. Forms can be obtained from THSA executive director Jan Roehl at (859) 559-1409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZATT: Wow, I was a fan of Train Robbery, way back when! The horses really enjoy an event like this, don't they?
Roehl: One year, some of the horses were afraid of the chains that surround the dressage ring that they have to enter to complete a dressage test. There was one brave one who had done it before, so in true race track style he ponied the 4 others around the ring to show them there was nothing to be afraid of. Not your typical sight on show grounds but it worked well for them!
ZATT: How did you decide to support ReRun and Canter with proceeds from the show?
Roehl: We felt that CANTER and ReRun are both very worthwhile organizations, that are very efficiently run. CANTER is a networking internet service that starts to find homes for the horses before they leave the race track, by connecting trainers directly with potential buyers. ReRun has always been focused on the retraining and rehoming of the horses, in a large variety of disciplines.