TheRetired Racehorse Training Project is sponsoring a challenge for off-the-track thoroughbreds. The organization has  hand picked three trainers: Kerry Blackmer from Frederick, MD; Tiffany Catledge from Middleburg, VA; and Eric Dierks from Tryon, NC. They all run multi-disciplinary barns, and two of them have competed to Advanced level in Eventing. Each trainer will have five weeks to prepare for a demo ride at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in Harrisburg on February 25th, where one of the judges will be Jimmy Wofford..

The RRTP’s stated mission is “to facilitate the placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by educating the public about the history, distinctive characteristics, versatility of use, and appropriate care and training of the iconic American Thoroughbred.” One part of this is to create a bridge between the racetrack and qualified trainers who have students and clients looking for horses. Another part is to educate people transitioning ex-racers with a minimum of stress or drama.


So the three trainers don’t just get to whisk the horses away to their barn and then unwrap them five weeks later all polished up. They had to ride them for the first time at the Maryland Horse Expo where the challenge kicked off, in front of three judges (an eventer and two former jockeys) and the public.

Although this is styled as a competition, the mission is really education – by showcasing how racehorses can apply their energy and athleticism in a whole new way, each of the trainers is going to win. 

The RRTP has a Facebook pagewhere you can follow the process.

To read more from the Chronicle of the Horse, click here.

To track their progress on the Thoroughbred Daily News’ blog, click here