The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is committed to promoting and developing second careers for racehorses when they have retired from the track. Launched in 2012, TAKE2 is sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and co-founder New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB), as well as supporters from the racing and breeding industries. The Program partners with USEF-rated horse shows that offer rated Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper divisions, which are restricted to Thoroughbreds eligible to be registered with The Jockey Club. TAKE2 offers $10,000 in year-end High-Score Awards and the $20,000 TAKE2 Hunter & Jumper Finals for TAKE2 Thoroughbred League members. League members earn points in the rated Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper classes – even if there are only 1 or 2 riders in the class!
The TAKE2 Program was created in conjunction with the USEF-rated Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper divisions. National Show Hunter Hall of Famer Bruce Duchossois held long discussions with TAKE2 founder Rick Violette Jr. as to what the specs should be for the TAKE2 divisions. The program was meant to be a stepping stone for Thoroughbreds, giving them a place in the spotlight as they move up from entry-level divisions at the lower heights, then hopefully helping them springboard into the higher divisions. Both Duchossois, a luminary in the sport horse world, and Violette, a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer who got his start as a hunter/jumper rider, staunchly agreed that the appropriate heights given the goal of the TAKE2 Program were 3’ for the Hunters and 1.0-1.05M for the Jumpers. Ultimately, those were the specs adopted for the USEF-rated Thoroughbred divisions, and the specs TAKE2 has followed ever since.
Partnered with USEF-rated horse shows in New York, New Jersey and Texas in its first year, TAKE2 has grown to include more than 600 horse shows in 10 of the 12 U.S. Equestrian Federation zones across 23 states. TAKE2 highlights the success of Thoroughbreds as show horses. The goal is to create a market for retired racehorses, ensuring secure futures beyond the track.
The 2024 TAKE2 season runs Aug. 28, 2023 through Aug. 25, 2024.
“It is of utmost importance to racing’s owners and trainers that our horses have happy and productive lives when they leave the track. In recent years, it has been harder to find homes for retired racehorses in the sport horse world, because the popularity of Thoroughbreds as hunters and jumpers has been on the decline. We believe TAKE2 is helping to reverse that trend. The program was met with remarkable enthusiasm, and horse shows have been eager to add the TAKE2 classes to their prize lists. It is also encouraging to discover how many riders, from the pony clubbers to Olympic-class horsemen, now look to the Thoroughbred when it’s time to shop for their next horse.” – TAKE2 Founder Rick Violette Jr.
TAKE2 ELIGIBILITY SPECS:
TAKE2 is open to all Thoroughbreds* verified by The Jockey Club registrations papers or lip tattoo number at time of entry, and to Thoroughbreds eligible to be registered with The Jockey Club. Raced and unraced Thoroughbreds are eligible for the program. There will be no co-branding or co-sponsorship allowed with any TAKE2 sponsored division or class.
The TAKE2 Hunter Division includes two-to-four classes over fences and an under-saddle class. Fences at 3’0″.
The TAKE2 Jumper Division includes one or more classes, fences at 3’3″/1.0-1.05 meter.
* For purposes of eligibility for all TAKE2 Thoroughbred classes and awards, a “Thoroughbred” is defined as any horse verified by The Jockey Club registrations papers or lip tattoo number, or eligible to be registered with The Jockey Club. Raced and unraced Thoroughbreds are eligible for the program. Verification methods include:
- The Jockey Club Certificate of Foal Registration or a copy thereof; OR
- The horse’s lip tattoo, the horse’s 5-cross pedigree and the successful tattoo lookup result from The Jockey Club’s Tattoo Identification Services, (located at registry.jockeyclub.com); OR
- If neither of the above is available, a letter from The Jockey Club or appropriate paperwork, such as the Jockey Club Mares Bred and Live Foal forms, verifying the horse’s identity.
About NYTHA: For over half a century, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has represented the interests of owners and trainers at the New York Racing Association racetracks. NYTHA serves as the New York State Gaming Commission’s recognized representative of NYRA’s 5,000-plus owners and trainers. The organization was founded with the objective of serving as a collective voice for the broad interests of Thoroughbred horsemen, increasing the effectiveness of its constituents in the day-to-day activities of racing and safeguarding their financial interests. NYTHA also provides benevolence to the backstretch community and supports equine aftercare and research. More information is available at www.nytha.com. You can also follow NYTHA on Facebook and Twitter.