Thursday, January 3, 2013

100 Day Challenge

I had a lovely time at the barn for the annual New Years Ride to the beach yesterday but I have several pictures I need to upload before I write about it.

But, in the meantime, I wanted to say how much I am enjoying the 100 Day Challenge that is being run by RRTP (Retired Racehorse Training Project).
The Retired Racehorse Training Project's "100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge" kicked off this week as four horses representing four Mid-Altantic Thoroughbred farms began a 100-day long training program on December 1.  The horses will be judged on conformation, movement, jumping ability and trainability by guest riders, judges, and online fans. They will appear at the Maryland Horse World Expo on the third weekend in January and the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo on the fourth weekend of February after which some will be offered for sale.  The horses will be trained together during the Challenge at Steuart Pittman's Dodon Farm Training Center in Davidsonville, MD.
You can read all about the project on the website linked here and above. Steuart Pittman has made two videos of each horse so far and I am completely awed by them. All four horses are completely different one from the other and Steuart does an excellent job of just figuring out what works for each horse.

My favorite so far is Suave Jazz. He's kind of the homeliest looking of the bunch but he just seems like such a sweet, hard working, smart guy. He raced around 70 times! (Of course it doesn't hurt that he is a plain bay much like some other pretty cool horses I know ;) )
Suave Jazz
The online favorite so far seems to be the little gray mare, Gunport. She has the least amount of previous training, having raced only once, and she seems to be more nervous than the other horses but Steuart and the girl riding Gunport are doing such a nice job. I can see why so many people are cheering for her.
I wish I could go to the Expos and see these horses worked in person. I hope that they all find very good homes after all this. They are ambassadors for the Thoroughbred breed and so far I'm pretty impressed!

Of course all of this has just made me very hungry; hungry to get home to my own OTTB and get to work. I watch these videos and think to myself "did I do that?" "Did I push too hard for this?" etc. I just can't wait to ride my boy again.

The other thing it makes me think is how much I would love to just do something like this for a living. I'm too old to really dream about being a top rider or anything but I would love to work with retraining TBs from the track. The more I read and here about this breed the more I love them!


  1. My favorite has to be Gunport, since I am a fan of mares and specifically grey mares. I have two. Grey mares rule!!

    1. I'm not at all surprised that Gunport is your favorite! She is a cutey I will definitely admit.

  2. I've enjoyed watching these too! It makes me put training my own baby into perspective. Granted, he's not an OTTB, but a lot of the principles are still the same.