04/10/2013 3:50PM

Riders of Thoroughbreds at prestigious Rolex event to be recognized


The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program has announced that it will recognize and honor the 17 riders set to compete with registered Thoroughbreds at the prestigious Rolex Kentucky three-day event, to be held April 25-28 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

The riders will be recognized in a presentation at the Retired Racehorse Training Project and New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program’s annual "Thoroughbreds For All" event to promote the adoption of ex-racehorses on Friday, April 26 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Eastern. The event is held at the New Vocations facility in Lexington, Ky.

“It is always a thrill to watch so many beautifully trained ex-racehorses competing at the Rolex Kentucky three-day event,” Steuart Pittman, president of the Retired Racehorse Training Project, said. “This opportunity to learn from the riders how they select and train these animals is exactly what the equestrian public needs to remind us of the quality these horses offer. It is also very gratifying to have The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program and leaders of the racing industry on hand to honor the riders for what they have done with their Thoroughbreds.”

Last year, 24 race-bred Thoroughbreds were entered in the Rolex Kentucky, among the most prestigious three-day events in the world. The winner after the multi-phase competition, consisting of dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping, was New Zealand-bred Parklane Hawk with William Fox-Pitt aboard. The horse raced under the name Park Lane until age 7 before transitioning into his new career.

The Thoroughbreds For All event includes a southern-style dinner and cash bar followed by educational sessions that include selecting the right horse for a particular job and how to work with off-the-track Thoroughbreds.

The event's speakers include Olympic gold medal-winning eventer Phillip Dutton, whose high-profile mounts have included Thoroughbreds True Blue Girdwood and House Doctor; and Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron. Other well-known event riders will also be on hand to evaluate incoming horses to the New Vocations program. Sessions will be moderated by Pittman and Anna Ford of New Vocations.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Retired Racehorse Training Project and New Vocations. The ticket price includes a tour of Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., on the morning of Sunday, April 28, prior to the Rolex Kentucky show jumping phase.

Last year’s Thoroughbreds For All event drew more than 300 people from 15 states. To date, more than 150 tickets have been purchased for this year’s event. To purchase a ticket, click here.

“New Vocations is thrilled to once again host this wonderful event that not only showcases the Thoroughbreds in our program but also promotes the retraining of these athletes into a variety of new careers,” Ford said. “Putting highly respected equestrians like Chris McCarron and Phillip Dutton under the same roof to talk about retraining efforts and techniques creates a dynamic educational opportunity.”

A printed and online catalog of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses available for purchase or adoption in central Kentucky will also be made available at the event and online. The online catalog will appear at retiredracehorsetraining.org and will be sorted by sponsoring organizations or farms with mapping to the locations of the horses. The print catalog will be distributed through sponsoring vendors and organizations at the Kentucky Horse Park during Rolex.