The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) again will partner with the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club (GVRDC), the Genesee Valley Breeders Association and individuals from the local eventing community to sponsor the Genesee Valley Off-Track Thoroughbred Series.
The series, which offers prize money and year-end awards to the high-point Thoroughbreds in three area competitions, kicked off with the June 1 GVRDC Horse Trials, and continues with the Genesee Valley Hunt Horse Trials June 28-29. The finale is the GVRDC Horse Trials Aug. 16-17.
Prize money will be awarded to the high-point OTTB riders and junior riders in all five divisions, with ribbons for the fourth- through sixth-place finishers. At the end of the season, the high-point rider for the Genesee Valley OTTB Series will be awarded a cooler, and the high-point junior rider will receive a cooler and $200.
"Our program has been very well received by the OTTB owners, and it is certainly turning the heads of the non-OTTB owners," horse trainer, coach, and eventer Jean Donnan, who created the series, said in a release. "Some very nice event horses are from off the track, and they are getting attention from everyone now, not just their owners. More than half of the horses entered in the first event this year were Thoroughbreds. Their exposure to so many experiences at the racetrack and their forwardness are great attributes for eventing.
"It is encouraging that NYTHA supports Thoroughbreds after the track, and understands that they still have a lot of life to live after they retire from racing. It makes the work of the individuals involved much more effective when you have that support."
"This program is a model for the grass roots effort to promote second careers for retired racehorses," NYTHA president Rick Violette Jr. said in a statement. "The horse people of the Genesee Valley have been quick to give their time and their money to make it a success, and we are pleased to be able to lend a hand. We all have the same goal: to provide secure futures for our horses when they leave the track."