Show season is near! Do you know which horse shows you want to compete in during 2017? If you own or ride a Thoroughbred and there is an all-Thoroughbred horse show in your area, I highly recommend attending! My OTTB Knight and I went to our first all-Thoroughbred show last year and had a blast. We even came home with some pretty ribbons! In case you need some convincing that a Thoroughbred show is worth your while (or you need to win over your parents or significant other to let you go to yet another show) here is a helpful list of reasons to attend.
10 Reasons to Go to an All-Thoroughbred Horse Show
1. Various disciplines in one spot=something for everyone!
The Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show we went to last year at beautiful Galway Downs in Temecula, California had a diverse lineup of classes. My trainer rode Knight in Training level dressage classes (he scored 75.45–not bad for a newbie!) and I rode in hunter classes. But they offered hunter derby classes, cross country, and Western. Variety is the spice of life–and horse shows!
2. Meet your TB tribe.
There’s just something really cool about sharing the OTTB journey with fellow competitors who are also Thoroughbred enthusiasts. The show I attended had a high camaraderie vibe. I was a little nervous because my horse was still new to showing. I ended up having conversations with a woman whose horse was in the stall across from Knight and she openly shared her horse’s lack of experience in the jumper ring. I really liked her “go get ‘em” spirit and felt like–in the words of High School Musical–“we’re all in this together.” She really encouraged me!
3. A forgiving environment for green horses.
This point kind of goes along with meeting other Thoroughbred fans in number 2. If your horse acts a little crazy like prances around the mounting block while you try to get on or begins flipping his head in the air at the sound of the announcer’s voice over the public address system (not that I would know from personal experience–or would I?), no one will laugh at you or make snide remarks, because chances are, they’ve also been there, done that. TB people “get” each other.
4. Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) awards.
If your OTTB has a TIP number, you become eligible for possible high point and year end awards. Here’s where you can find more information about the Thoroughbred Incentive Program. That’s definitely worth exploring.
5. No ponies!
I have nothing against ponies–they’re adorable and I wish I’d had one when I was younger, however. . . there are some horses that aren’t used to ponies and they don’t like them. Maybe a better way to say it is they don’t trust ponies. For example, my previous Thoroughbred would see a pony and act like he’d seen a little green man emerging from a spaceship! If you go to an all-Thoroughbred show, there will be no ponies lurking around the corners waiting to distract/rattle/abduct your horse.
6. Unbiased judging.
Let’s be honest, some horse show judges prefer non-Thoroughbred horses. All-Thoroughbred horse shows level the playing field for our off-track friends.
7. Support the Thoroughbred aftercare organizations.
When you go to an all-Thoroughbred horse show you will learn more about the aftercare organizations near you and discover how you can get involved in supporting them. There’s also the possibility you will meet an off-track Thoroughbred who might be destined to go home with you! Or if not you because you are maxed out on the horse front, maybe your friend. And if not your friend, maybe your grandma (and you can ride it and take care of it for her)!
8. Possible jockey and trainer sightings.
At the Thoroughbred show near me (Thoroughbred Classic) they hold a trainer and jockey Calcutta class at their December show. Think highly athletic jockeys with little to no jumping experience hopping on the backs of ex-racehorses and jumping around a little course. The spectators can place bets on their favorite. This is an exciting and hilarious class. And if your local Thoroughbred show doesn’t have such a class you might be surprised to find that one of your fellow competitors used to be a jockey (true story from my show last year).
9. Horse family reunion.
It’s possible when you attend a Thoroughbred show that you will locate your horse’s long lost cousin. When I was in the warm up ring, another rider I didn’t know asked me about Knight’s family tree. I said Tiznow is his sire and we struck up a conversation because she’d worked with other Tiznow “babies.” That was fun. I don’t think that would have happened at a local hunter/jumper or dressage show.
10. Because . . . it’s a horse show.
Do you really need to have another reason?
A special thank you to Emma Knight and other Thoroughbred lovers in the Facebook Group OTTB connect who shared insights with me about TB shows. Also, I would like to thank Natalie Rietkerk, Candie Coder-Chew, CARMA, and Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show for providing wonderful pictures and putting on such a great event to honor our beloved Thoroughbreds. The next Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show is March 25-26, 2017 at beautiful Galway Downs in Temecula, California. If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out!
If you’re reading this until the end you must be a big Thoroughbred fan! Thanks for reading. And if you’re active on social media, I’d love to have you follow us (my horse Tiz A Knight, sometimes the dogs, and me). We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! You’re also invited to subscribe to our email list too and stay updated on horsey happenings!
Comments: Have you participated in an all-Thorougbred show before? If so, what was your experience?
P.S. If you have a friend who is equally Thoroughbred-obsessed, feel free to pass along this post and spread the TB love! 🙂