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TCA Charity of the Month: TAKE2 Brings TBs Back to the Show Ring

TCA News: Launched in 2012, the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program sponsors Thoroughbred-only classes at horse shows across the country. The program was the brain child of Thoroughbred trainer and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) President Rick Violette, who worked with former New York Racing Association Director of Racing P.J. Campo to get it started. The New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB) was also instrumental in getting the program off the ground. “Rick wanted to find a way to expand opportunities for second careers and to motivate people to bring Thoroughbreds back into the show ring,” said Andy Belfiore, executive director of NYTHA and of the TAKE2 program. “By sponsoring Thoroughbred-only classes, we not only offer the chance to earn prize money, but also shine the spotlight on retired racehorses to demonstrate just how well they perform in the sport horse world.” Focused specifically on the Hunter/Jumper disciplines, the popularity of TAKE2 classes has grown exponentially. In its first year, TAKE2 divisions could be found at three horse shows but, today, the program partners with more than 350 horse shows in 23 states.


OTTB Makes Girl’s Dream Come True

TDN: Barefoot Mailman (Silver Train) didn’t accomplish much on the racetrack, but the now 8-year-old seems ready to do something far more important than winning a horse race–bringing joy and hope to a 15-year-old girl who has been battling bone cancer. Converted to a show horse and renamed Cos (Cosnochta is the Gaelic word for barefoot), he was given to Madison White as part of the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida program. White had been riding for years but wanted a horse of her own and picked Barefoot Mailman out of a small group of horses that Make-A-Wish said might be available to her. “He’s like a big puppy dog,” White said after her wish came true. “He likes to lick you on the head and ears. He’s really energetic and fun to ride and he really makes me happy.” The story begins where Barefoot Mailman’s career ended. In his second career start, he won a Mar. 8, 2012 maiden special weight race at Oaklawn Park for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, but ran dismally next out in an allowance race. Porter and trainer Steve Hobby concluded that the horse didn’t have much of a future on the racetrack and it is Porter’s policy not to drop his third stringers into claiming races. He would rather make sure they are guaranteed a good home.


New Vocations Opens New York Facility

Blood-Horse: New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced Jan. 10 the official opening of its New York satellite facility at October Hill Farm near Fort Edward. Owned by Dan and Danielle Dill, the brand-new equestrian facility has partnered with New Vocations to assist in expanding the program’s New York aftercare efforts. Trainer Leandra Cooper will spearhead the transitional training and adoption operations at the facility. “We are taking in over 80 retired racehorses a year just from New York racetracks and farms, so it was a logical step for us to open a facility there,” said Anna Ford, New Vocations’ program director. “It has taken us nearly two years to find the right facility and personnel who meet our program’s standards. October Hill Farm and Leandra Cooper are great additions to our team, and we are excited to be able to serve more horses in the state.” Andy Belfiore, executive director for the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association said her group is thrilled to have a New York option for some of the horses retired to New Vocations through NYTHA’s TAKE THE LEAD program.


TAKE2 Creates Award to Highlight Aftercare Organizations

TDN: The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program has unveiled a new year-end award designed to highlight the role of accredited aftercare organizations in creating second careers for retired racehorses, it was announced Monday. The TAKE2 Jet Run Award will honor the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League High-Point Hunter and Jumper that has graduated from an aftercare program accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance or affiliated with the Thoroughbred Charities of America. The award is named for the Show Jumping Hall of Fame inductee who captured three Gold Medals in the Pan American Games for two different countries. Maryland-bred Jet Run was unplaced in seven starts and earned just $96 on the racetrack, but turned into a superstar in his second career. “Jet Run epitomizes the potential of retired racehorses,” TAKE2 President Rick Violette Jr. said. “Those of us who have a lifelong love of Thoroughbreds know how amazing and versatile these athletes are. Accredited aftercare organizations play a vital role in bringing out their potential, giving them the retraining they need after they leave the track and ensuring they find they right homes when they are ready to be adopted. We want to applaud their contributions with this new award.” For more information about the Jet Run Award, TAKE2 at


TAKE2 Announces 2016 Year-End Standings

Floral Park, NY…The TAKE2 Thoroughbred League today announced the final standings for the 2016 season. TAKE2’s High-Score Jumper was Grace Allen’s Bowie. A 15-year-old sophomore at Moorestown High School in Moorestown, NJ, Grace has been riding all her life. Bowie raced without distinction under the name Prairie Style, failing to hit the board in four starts at Penn National. The two got together quite by accident. “I got Bowie from a friend of my family, Kelly Lupton,” Allen explained. “She gets a lot of young Thoroughbreds off the track.  ‘Bo’ actually came to my farm as a sale horse, but he was a bit too hot for the girl who intended to buy him. He hadn’t been many places besides the track, so he was a bit fresh due to his new environment.” But, she added, “I really thought he had a bright future. He was a fast learner and there was something about him I just couldn’t pass up. His personality was and is amazing. My dad and trainer, Bob Allen, wasn’t quite as convinced as I was that he was something special after the second ride, but by the third he really started to like him. I knew all along that we couldn’t let Bowie pass us by. “


Failed racehorse has big lead in OTTB hunters

OTTB Feather has a major point lead in the ongoing TAKE2 Thoroughbred shows. Ridden by owner Scotty Sherman, the pair will be hard to catch before the end of the competition season Oct. 2. Photo courtesy TAKE2Off Track Thoroughbreds: Scotty Sherman’s Feather has soared to a commanding lead in the TAKE2 Hunter Division with 4,648 points, more than double that of Cree Sauer’s Cooperstown now in second place. Feather, who raced under the name She’s From Money, was bred in Maryland and sold for $1,000 as a yearling. She was unsuccessful in four starts at the track, earning just $1,980, but has blossomed since changing careers. (Please see earlier story in Off-Track The 7-year-old mare was reserve champion hunter in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League last year, and she will be tough to catch this season. The Thoroughbred League’s second season concludes Oct. 2. “Feather came from a racing background, not a jumping back ground like so many of the horses today, but she had a very special ability that a lot of horses do not have,” said owner/trainer/rider Sherman. “Her biggest attribute is that she absolutely loves to jump; so teaching her how was very easy and fun. I think the most special thing about Feather is the way she glides across the ground, and the jump is just an extension of her canter.”


TAKE2 Thoroughbred League’s 2017 Dates Set

Floral Park, NY…The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program today announced the qualifying period for the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League’s 2017 season, which will run from Oct. 3, 2016 through Aug. 27, 2017, for both the Hunter and Jumper Divisions. Created in 2015 to highlight the accomplishments of retired racehorses in the show ring, the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League is a member-based initiative that offers participating hunters and jumpers the chance to win a total of $30,000 in year-end awards. With 315 host shows, the League boasted just shy of 200 members, representing 31 states, this season.  Click here for the complete payout schedule. Competitors: Enroll your Thoroughbred in the TAKE2 League now! TAKE2 Thoroughbred League members earn points in affiliated USEF Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper Divisions at horse shows nationwide. The annual membership fee is $50 per registered Thoroughbred. To join or renew your membership for 2017, go to or click here to download the registration form. The deadline for enrollment is one week following the final day of the competition at which points are earned.


Q&A With Hunter Star And OTTB Campaigner Ashley Williams

madeline bell flocks and little lion man screenshot via youtubeJumper Nation: You may have noticed that an off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) placed fourth at Junior Hunter Finals. That’s right . . . an OTTB. Because I found this story so exciting and full of hope for the breed, I followed up with the horse’s owner, Ashley Williams to learn a bit more about this ex-racehorse and his path to success in the hunter ring. I hope that you will find this interview as full of promise as I do. Remember, there are OTTBs out there looking for a home everyday. A lot of them may be a bit banged up, skinny, or hot… but knowing what is under the racehorse is the great secret. Cheers to Ashley for seeing through the racehorse to the winning show horse! And this special guy is for sale. (Check out his sale advertisement here). He deserves a special show home that will allow him to showcase what the American Thoroughbred is capable of achieving.

Q: What other accolades or accomplishments does Little Lion Man have under his belt?

A: He has a good amount of experience for his young age. Exactly a year ago from Junior Hunter Finals he made his Hunter debut up in Vermont in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter division where he was reserve champion. Since then I dabbled him in both the jumper and hunter ring and he proved to shine in the hunters where he has since stayed. He had the highest first round score in a USHJA National Hunter derby out of 31 where he jumped around with some of the best and ended up sixth. He was champion first time out with his catch rider Maddie Flocks (who rides for Lauren Newmeyer) at Saratoga Springs where she had literally only tried him one time prior (and it was her first time riding a horse as she is an excellent pony rider!). Junior Hunter finals was only her third show ever riding him! He is that easy!


Thoroughbreds Thrive At Vermont Summer Festival

Jump Media: East Dorset, VT – Patricia Hurter of Harvard, MA, was crowned champion of the $1,400 TAKE2 Thoroughbred Jumper Division during week five of the Vermont Summer Festival, continuing a season of success and popularity for the TAKE2 Thoroughbred divisions. The Vermont Summer Festival runs for six consecutive weeks, from July 5 through August 14, at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program is committed to promoting and developing second careers for racehorses once they have retired from the track. Launched in 2012 by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), in collaboration with the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB), TAKE2 funds prize money and awards in hunter and jumper classes restricted to Thoroughbreds that are eligible to be registered with The Jockey Club. Hurter and her own Nine Links, a seven-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, won two of their 1.0m classes at the Vermont Summer Festival and were second in another to take champion in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred jumper division. “He was super,” said Hurter of the mount she has owned for two years. “He marched around clean and fast, and was awesome. Everything comes up quickly with him because he is so fast, but he is also very careful.”


Fasig-Tipton Signs On As TAKE2 Supporter

The team at Fasig-Tipton is hard at work getting ready for their premier Saratoga Sale, which celebrates its 96th edition Aug. 8-9. But all of the focus is not on the superstars of tomorrow that will parade through the sales ring at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion next week. Fasig-Tipton also has underlined its advocacy for Thoroughbred aftercare with a generous donation to the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Inc. “Fasig-Tipton is not only one of the leading sales companies in the world, but also is one of the most dedicated and philanthropic members of the Thoroughbred community,” NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr. said. “They have a history of commitment to our industry’s charitable causes, and we are grateful that TAKE2 has been added to the long list of organizations they support.” TAKE2, launched in 2012, is sponsored by co-founders New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB). The program offers prize money and awards for Thoroughbred-only Hunter and Jumper classes at more than 300 horse shows nationwide, highlighting the success of Thoroughbreds as show horses and creating more opportunities for retiring racehorses in need of second careers.