The Thoroughbred Celebration gamely closes its 2012 Season with the largest field to date. The final Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show of 2012 was held in the East Complex of the Virginia Horse Center on November 2-4, and, with 136 horses competing, was the largest one in its history. Off the Track Thoroughbreds, and those bred to race, arrived from Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, all points in Virginia and even Ontario, Canada to compete at the only three-day show of its kind.
In addition to the continuing partnerships that the Thoroughbred Celebration enjoys with After the Finish Line and Fasig-Tipton, sponsors of the $1,500 Hunter and Jumper Stakes, respectively, several new sponsors were recognized at the show such as Sallee Horse Vans, Daily Racing Form and Take2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program. The silent auction was another great success, raising more than $2,600 with 100% of the proceeds benefitting After the Finish Line. This organization supports Thoroughbreds across the United States after their racing careers are over.
It was an honor to host a retirement ceremony for Weather Permitting (Jockey Club registered name - Boot Camp), a 1995 son of Militron, out of Regal Run, by Regal and Royal, bred by That's Enough Stable, Inc. & Thomas Keating. “Shadow” and his longtime amateur owner/rider, Richlyn Morton, have been frequent competitors at the Thoroughbred Celebration since its inception.
The Soar to New Heights by Adopting a Thoroughbred Program attracted attention from those looking for Off the Track Thoroughbreds on the TCHS Facebook page and at each show. Two CANTER Mid Atlantic horses that were featured in this program made the trip up from North Carolina with Executive Director, Allie Conrad, to participate. Those in attendance were able to watch both CMA Bernard Terrace and CMA Rhythm On Air confidently perform in the show ring and were invited to dote on them back at their stalls. The hope is that both of these horses are adopted into wonderful new homes.
The Thoroughbred Celebration served as the perfect backdrop for another special event made possible by generous support from the Virginia Thoroughbred Association: Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of “First Lady of Racing” Penny Chenery, and Leeanne Ladin, co-authors of Secretariat’s Meadow: The Land, The Family, The Legend, were on site for a special book signing. Many exhibitors enjoyed collecting personalized copies of the book and exchanging their memories of America’s Superhorse. Ms. Tweedy and Ms. Ladin enjoyed meeting many of the horses as well as making ribbon presentations in the ring.
Representatives from the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) attended to witness the great turnout for The Jockey Club T.I.P. Handy Hunter and The Jockey Club T.I.P. English Pleasure Division that the organization sponsored throughout the series. Skillfully designed by course designer, Mr. Gordon Reistrup, the Handy Hunter course included several options for inside turns, a hand gallop, and a trot jump. Taking top honors in The Jockey Club T.I.P. Handy Hunter was Ptarmigan (JC registered name Passionate Groom), a 1998 Florida-bred son of Groomstick, out of Passionate Terri, who raced twenty-four times winning $24,537. He was piloted to the win by Robin Hannah for the owner, Marilyn Lee-Hannah of Ontario, Canada.
The Jockey Club T.I.P. English Pleasure Division had four blue ribbon winners who each took home $50 in prize money along with a beautiful embroidered saddle pad, generously donated by The Jockey Club T.I.P. Four on the Floor (JC registered name Western Call) with Tara Smith of Virginia won Section A of the Walk/Trot Class. The Real Deal (JC registered name Midniteperspration) with Brittany Watson of Pennsylvania won Section B of the Walk/Trot Class. Walk/Trot/Canter Section A was won by Ever So Clever (JC registered name Funny Phone) with Robin Hannah of Canada riding. Walk/Trot/Canter Section B was won by Tinsel Town (JC registered name Wes River) with Sue Simon of Virginia in the irons. After points from both sections were tallied, there was a tie for The Jockey Club T.I.P. High Point English Pleasure horse between Four on the Floor and The Real Deal. During a hack-off, the judge declared Four on the Floor the winner. This great-great grandson of Secretariat and Tara Smith was greeted in the ring by Kate Chenery Tweedy and Leeanne Ladin to receive his prize.
Unbridled Lad, a 2000 Kentucky-bred son of Unbridled, out of Sheba Little, earned two special honors at the show. Much to his owner/rider Emily Daignault’s delight, he was chosen to receive the Jumper Style Award, an honor bestowed by the judge to the horse that demonstrates the best jumper style at each show. This award is sponsored by North Shore Designs and the Ginaven Family. Unbridled Lad also took the High Point Steeplechase Horse of the Show award with him back to Pennsylvania, having won good ribbons in the Saratoga Jumper Classes throughout the show. This award was sponsored by Hounds Cry Farm in honor of all of the wonderful Chasers they have owned over the years. The High Point Steeplechase Horse of our 2012 Series, also sponsored by Hounds Cry Farm, was Curb Appeal (JC registered name Mornin’ Eddie) with owner/rider Stephanie Guerlain of Virginia.
Now a two-time Stakes winne, Precious Ten with owner/rider Elizabeth Kidd of Virginia, skillfully negotiated the course in the fastest time to win the $1,500 Fasig-Tipton Jumper Stake. Precious Ten, who raced 20 times with earnings of $16,605, was also the Champion of our Churchill Downs Jumper Division at this show. He is a 2002 Pennsylvania-bred son of Roanoke, out of Chalsant.
The Hunter Style Award, donated by Horse Cents, Inc. of Kentucky, traveled back to the Bluegrass state with Pickin N Singin, a 2004 Kentucky-bred son of Unbridled’s Song, out of Spontaneous. He and his owner, Christina Welker, are no strangers to the Virginia Horse Center. Pickin N Singin was last year’s Sandivore Memorial Year-End High Score Award Winner and this year’s W.A. “Jimmy” Croll, Jr. Memorial High Score Award Winner, as well as winning another Fasig-Tipton Model class.
The grand finale event of the show was the $1,500 After the Finish Line Hunter Stake with twenty-eight entries. The tall, dark, and handsome Rooster (JC registered name Tanzer), a 2000 Kentucky-bred son of Joyeux Danseur, out of Black Viking, won top honors in this very competitive class. He elegantly jumped around the course with Amy Kriwitsky of Connecticut in the irons for Top Field Farm, LLC and Pam Oslager of New York.
Make plans to join the TCHS series in 2013 on March 15-17, June 7-9 and November 1-3, 2013. Exciting announcements and updates to our 2013 series will be available at: https://www.facebook.com/thoroughbredcelebrationhorseshows. All photos courtesy of Official Horse Show Photographer Danny Young/Action Shots Photography.
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The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which owns and operates the Virginia Horse Center. The Foundation is proud to be a part of the Rockbridge community, an asset to the state’s equine economy, and a resource to the Mid-Atlantic competition circuit. Committed to serving the needs, well-being, and safety of both rider and horse, the VHCF supports a 600-acre competition facility that serves over 500,000 people and 100,000 animals of all breeds and disciplines. The VHCF manages 115 events annually, most free and open to the public. Host to the Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, the Foundation’s mission is to enrich lives with programs focused on recreation, education, and preservation.