Monday, October 14, 2013

Promoting the Thoroughbred

I grew up in Maryland in an area that is horse country.  Lots and lots of thoroughbred farms.  Between that and growing up in a time where the Americans rode Thoroughbreds in the Olympics it was never a question of owning anything but a thoroughbred.

Sometimes you bought them straight from the track and we had several in our area and sometimes you bought them straight off the farm.  Not all showed enough promise to even be sent for race training and these were great to pick up.  

Somewhere through the years things have shifted and you see mainly Warmbloods filling the rated circuits.  And we read about the tens of thousands of thoroughbreds that ship to slaughter.  Forgotten and unwanted.  About a year ago George Morris was quoted in The Chronicle about bringing the Thoroughbreds back and recently I've seen the quote circulating around again.  With statements like this, the TIP classes, Stuart Pittman's challenges, big names like Jennifer Alfano buying TBs, etc more attention is being drawn to them which is a wonderful thing.  

But what about you?  Are you advocating?  Or are you hurting this movement?  What upsets me and drew me to write this post is the people who think they are advocating for the TB or the OTTB and are actually doing the opposite.  Promotion means being positive.  Yes you should talk about why you love your OTTB and how great they are but the moment you write or say something negative about other breeds (WBs in this case) you are no longer an advocate for the TB.  You see by putting down my WB you are challenging me.  And to prove a point I'm going to take my WB into the show ring with our A game and show you how great WBs can be too.  Once you say something negative people stop listening.

It's no different than when I got sick of hearing people says OTTBs have no use.  I needed another horse like I needed a hole in the head but I went out and bought a TB so I could do my small part of bringing one along and into the show ring to help change people's minds.  As advocates for the TBs that's what we need to be doing.  Being positive, not putting WBs down.  Instead let's try to open people's eyes to a great breed with a huge heart to give.


  1. I love Thoroughbreds! They have so much heart and are just an amazing breed. Not that I have anything against warmbloods or other breeds. My mom loves warmbloods, but I'm a Thoroughbred gal. ;)

    1. See this is something I struggle to understand. I am all for being a fan however when I purchase a horse I look for certain qualities and whether we are a good fit. Breed is not a factor.

  2. I try not to decide based on breed, but on the individual.

  3. Agree breed should not be a factor (nor should color) for me its getting the best horse I can for the price I can afford.