04/18/2013 10:14PM

Thoroughbred Classic series set to kick off in California

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The first show in the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show Series will be held April 20-21 at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

The event is the first of three shows designed to promote the Thoroughbred breed and the aftercare organizations instrumental in transitioning horses from the track and into new careers. The event also aims to educate the community as to the versatility and suitability of the Thoroughbred as both a pleasure riding companion and sport horse. Additional shows will be held in July and October, with a championship event scheduled for November; dates are to be determined.

Disciplines featured at the shows will include hunters, jumpers, equitation, dressage, combined training, and Western pleasure, as well as in-hand and conformation classes, with separate divisions for amateurs and professionals. There will be a point system in place with year-end high-point awards to the champions in each division. Prize money will be awarded in a $1,500 Hunter Derby, $1,500 Jumper Stakes and $1,500 Dressage Challenge.

The shows are open to tattooed or papered Thoroughbreds, and tattoos will be checked to confirm eligibility and identity.

The series is sponsored by the Siegel CARMA Foundation. CARMA is a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization formed to assist Thoroughbred retirement organizations that care for and re-train horses who raced in California. Since its inception in 2008, CARMA has granted more than $1.08 million, and more than 80 percent of the funds raised are used in the day-to-day care of horses at various retirement organizations. The Siegel CARMA Foundation was created in 2009 thanks to a major gift to the organization by owner and breeder Mace Siegel; his daughter Samantha Siegel is a member of the CARMA Board of Directors and is the secretary of the organization.

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