04/25/2012 2:19PM

Retired Thoroughbreds still able to compete for prize money


The New York Racing Association and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association are jointly sponsoring an awards program for Thoroughbreds competing in the Empire State’s 10-horse trials and three-day events this year.

The two organizations have pledged more than $30,000 for prize money and to promote the initiative, called Career2. The highest-scoring Thoroughbred at each of the season’s events will receive $300 (including $100 from the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program)

and a saddle pad; the second highest-scoring Thoroughbred will receive a $100 award.

New York’s eventing season opens June 10 with the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club Horse Trials on June 10 in Geneseo and ends with the Millbrook Horse Trials, the state’s largest, Aug. 2-5 in Millbrook. NYRA and the NYTHA also will fund $6,000 in prize money for the New York Circuit Thoroughbred Championship at the Millbrook Horse Trials. The circuit’s highest-scoring Thoroughbred at each eventing level will receive a $700 award, and the runner-up at each level will receive $300.

According to the United States Eventing Association, it has registered more than 15,000 Thoroughbreds since 2000, and nearly a third of the organization’s 11,500 members compete on Thoroughbreds.

The Career2 initiative follows a similar one unveiled earlier this month for racehorses retired from the track. That program, Take2, funds prize money in hunter and jumper classes restricted to Thoroughbreds. Its sponsors are NYRA, NYTHA, and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. This week, the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s The Paddock Foundation announced it will help fund Take2 classes for five Texas shows this year. Those shows will feature a $750 Thoroughbred hunter division, including one under-saddle and two over-fences classes, and a $500 Thoroughbred jumper division consisting of two classes. The Texas Take2 events also will offer high-point awards of $1,500 for the highest-scoring Texas-bred Thoroughbred ex-racehorse; $1,000 for the highest-scoring unraced Texas-bred Thoroughbred; and $500 for the highest-scoring ex-racehorse bred outside Texas.

In related news, on Saturday the Retired Racehorse Training Project and the New Vocations retraining and adoption group will co-host a seminar in Kentucky on selecting and retraining ex-racehorses for new careers. Tickets are $35 for the event, which takes place at West Wind Farm in Lexington, and will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Dinner is included. The seminar, called Thoroughbreds for All, also will feature an online and printed catalog of ex-racehorses available for sale or adoption in central Kentucky.