Friend of EN Paulick Report has a great weekly series called OTTB Showcase Presented by Cosequin. The most recent post featured a great Q&A session with Phillip Dutton on training off-track Thoroughbreds for second careers as eventers. Check out some of Paulick Report’s questions and Phillip’s answers below, and click here to read the full interview with Phillip. Go OTTBs!
From Paulick Report:
Q: What have been your impressions over the years – both positive and negative – of off-track Thoroughbreds as eventers (both at the lower levels and the higher levels)?
A: Thoroughbreds were the main horses used in eventing for many years. In the past 5-10 years, purpose-bred horses have become more popular. If you had to generalize (which is not always good to do), the Thoroughbreds are usually great cross country horses, but not as strong in the other two phases.
Q: When you or a client is considering purchasing an off-track Thoroughbred, what are some unique concerns you consider that might not be applicable with other breeds?
A: It’s quite hard to judge how a horse will settle once in a different job. Some horses that are pretty nervous in training can settle nicely as event horses. However, some won’t settle down.
Q: You’ve competed on several Thoroughbreds at the higher levels over the years including TruLuck (who raced as C L’s Luck). How did he and others compare to some of your other top horses who were not Thoroughbreds?
A: It’s always comforting to have a Thoroughbred at a four star on cross country day because you can be fairly confident that he will handle the endurance aspect of the cross country course.
Q: ￼At the Thoroughbreds for All event this past year during the Rolex Three-Day Event, you mentioned briefly the fact that many off-track Thoroughbreds are not suitable for the upper levels. Why is that and what can the Thoroughbred industry do to better prepare or protect their racehorses to they are viable sport horse prospects after racing?
A: Regardless of breed, there just are not a lot of horses that are suitable for the four star level. It takes a pretty special horse to get to the highest level of eventing.