New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program fielded a team of 31 horse-and-rider pairs at the United States Pony Clubs Championships East at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on July 27-29. Adopted Thoroughbreds and their Pony Club counterparts competed in the Pony Club Challenge competition in four disciplines: Dressage, Western Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping.

The Pony Club Challenge was created to showcase the versatility of retired Thoroughbred racehorses as well as provide an educational experience to each Pony Club member. The program focused on adoption of horses that are often overlooked due to a past injury, stable vice or conformation, thus combating the many myths that surround each one.

New Vocations Pony Club Challenge competitors received a free Thoroughbred, an $1,800 stipend and the chance to vie for $10,000 in cash and prizes during the Championships. Sponsorship of this unique event was graciously provided by AniMed, Breyer Fest, Copper Fox Farm, County Saddlery, Horseware Ireland, Point Two Air Vests, The Retired Racehorse Project, The Right Horse Initiative, RockTape, SmartPak and Transitions Sport Horses.

Winners of the 2018 event included:

  • Showjumping: Keely Bechtol and Why Not Whiskey
  • Eventing: Kaitlyn Vorbroker and Military Legend
  • Dressage: Savannah Ranes and Jackson Square
  • Western Dressage: Rhian Cline and Conquest Neighpalm

“All of our small achievements, like learning about balance, gaits and framing, has worked out—I am beyond happy!” said Rhian Cline, winner of the 2018 Champs East Western Dressage Challenge Division. “I definitely couldn’t have done it without New Vocations’ trust in me with Quest!”

“The Pony Club Challenge did exactly what it was designed to do: Showcase how much racehorses have left to give once they retire from the track,” said Sarah Coleman, Director of Community and Public Relations for New Vocations. “Some Pony Club members and their parents went into this program with a bit of reluctance on the quality of horses available. We had person after person come up and tell us just how wonderful their OTTB is and how much they were loved. We could not be prouder of our horses and their riders, and we can’t wait for the 2019 event to be even bigger and better!”

In an effort to rehome even more retiring racehorses, New Vocations has expanded the Challenge program for 2019, opening the competition to all approved adopters; the incentive-based program has been rebranded as the Retrained and Remarkable Challenge. This program will be open to 100 eligible Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds; all Retrained and Remarkable horses must be adopted by Dec. 31, 2018.

New Vocations is offering free shipping of up to $500 to adopters of Challenge horses and hosting Challenge-specific classes at both Ohio and Kentucky horse shows. Competitors will receive a free stall, free entry into Challenge classes and the chance to compete for $5,000 in cash and prizes.

Interested in participating in the Retrained and Remarkable Challenge? Email Lindsay at Lindsay@horseadoption.com

Full results from Champs East can be found here: www.ponyclub.org/Events/Championships/ProgramResultsEast.aspx

Funding for the Retrained and Remarkable Challenge is generously provided by the WaterShed Animal Fund, which invests in innovative programs with exemplary institutions and individuals to better the lives of companion animals. More information can be found at arnallfamilyfoundation.org


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