Some thoughts before heading off to the 2016 RRP.
As someone in the racing industry as well as one who buys and resells, I always hope that programs for retirement are successful. I hope that Racetracks get involved in aftercare. I cross my fingers that trainers do the right thing by their horses and I get excited when more people who previously preferred a different breed, "cross over" and get themselved a thoroughbred. I love the breed. I love my job. I also love connecting people with a new horse. It takes years to develop a good relationship with trainers on the track. It also takes years to gain not only a following of buyers but trust from them as well. Last year was the first year that I attended the Retired Racehorse Project in Kentucky. I didn't really know what to expect but was excited to meet up with some friends and immerse myself in all things Thoroughbred. The amount of horses and excitement was almost too much to handle. What would I go watch? Would I miss out on something while watching something else? Most importantly. Would one of my most favorite exracehorses do well? It was all a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. I came away from last year's show feeling excited about the next year. I hoped I could have more of my previous racehorses and sale horses there to watch. I wanted to follow horses I saw in the show ring in their "after the big show" careers. I had new friends to keep in touch with and was on a mission to find the best sale horses possible to have available for potential RRP mounts the next year. All in all I headed back to Ohio feeling like the RRP delivered.
As I'm preparing to head back to Kentucky, I'm finding myself excited to be there for a few other reasons. I've been asked to be on the panel during a Round Table discussion for Private Resellers, Trainers and Agents. In addition to that I'll be speaking at one of the seminars called Selling or Placing your Thoroughbred. This was something I had never thought I'd be asked to do. I'm hpoing the words come out correctly and I can be helpful to others.
Of course there are also the horses. SO MANY HORSES! OKay Jen, don't geek out! I'm always anxious to see two very close friends riding some really special horses. Brit Vegas is traveling from Nebraska with two horses that came through my connections on the track. Mega Rush was her first and only RRP horse until she swung a leg over Scotchnwater and fell in love. Mega being a huge bodied, tall, jet black gorgeous gelding who is a war horse through and though and Scotch who is a leggy, tall drink of water with freakish skills over fences. Brit has brought these two along on her own, giving each horse many opportunies to shine. Something about her makes these horse want to give every last ounce of try in their bodies for her. I'm hoping both excede her expectations and look forward to seeing who she picks for RRP 2017 (because you know this is addicting folks!). Check out Mega's page (link below) and see why people love this black beauty!
Second is another horse I found through a Mountaineer trainer. Youmightbearedneck shipped up from LA to a trainer I have known for several years. I'd done a lot of listing for him when I volunteered for CANTER so even when I had to take a step back from volunteering, he still called for help in placing his horses. Now known as "Rory," I knew I needed to buy this tall chestnut gelding with the coolest puzzle type face marking I had ever seen. I told MIchelle over the phone that I had purchased a really cool horse and she HAD to see his pictures. I sent her a headshot. She said I had better send her a video asap....her birthday was coming up and she needed a good distraction from some tough things her family was going through. Needless to say, Rory made his move to Virginia very quickly. Most people have seen Rory and Michelle's Story. If you haven't read about it, I highly suggest you start searching through OTTB connect and read it. Or better yet, click the link below to see what makes this duo so special.
These two ladies are not only competing against each other for individual titles but also for the America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred Title. If you aren't a member of the RRP, hurry up and join. It is the only way to cast a vote. You only get ONE vote this year, please decide wisely!
I hope everyone who competes, goes to groom, goes to support friends, heads there to find themselves a new horse or just meanders around to watch....please support each other. Lets have a good show, let's put our best out there, have fun and make some memories.
Here is the link to the RRP page: http://www.retiredracehorseproject.org/index.php
Come visit Brit, Mega, Scotch, Michelle and Rory.