Applications are now being taken at Emerald Downs in Washington state for the "100-Day Trainer Challenge," in which five off-the-track Thoroughbreds will be prepared for second careers. The horses used in the program are ex-racehorses chosen by the Prodigious Fund selection committee.

Trainers must identify the equestrian disciplines in which they have achieved recognition, list experience working with racehorses and ex-racehorses, list references, describe the facilities where the training will take place, and share additional resources demonstrating their background and experience. Professionals, amateur adults, and juniors are all welcome to apply.

To request a trainer application, e-mail Sophia Mckee at sophiam@emeralddowns.com. McKee, director of marketing at Emerald Downs and developer of the 100-Day Trainer Challenge, says the event is a showcase for the diversity of Thoroughbreds.

"The racing industry is making great strides in the transition of Thoroughbreds into second careers," McKee said. "In addition to racing, it’s important people understand the many wonderful things Thoroughbreds are capable of doing."

The 100-Day Trainer Challenge culminates at the "Thoroughbred Only Horse Show" Oct. 5 at Emerald Downs. The winner will be decided by a combination of public voting on social media and the judges’ score in three categories: In-Hand, Flat Class, and Freestyle Class.

The end goal is placement of the five horses into permanent homes through a private sale.

In the process of following their journey through the 100 days, the Prodigious Fund hopes to educate the public on the athleticism and intelligence of the Thoroughbred and their suitability as a sport horse and useful riding horse.

In it’s first year, the goal is to showcase horses from a variety of backgrounds, i.e. straight off the track, turned out for a year, broodmare, etc. All horses will be evaluated by the Prodigious Fund for soundness and athleticism prior to being placed in the program.

Trainers will draw straws from a pool of five horses. One horse will be kept as a backup in case of injury.

The Prodigious Fund is an organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting positive efforts made within the Thoroughbred aftercare community for the re-homing, promotion, and care of retired racehorses.

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