Boyd Martin knows a thing or two about Thoroughbreds. He does have a bit of experience after all, having ridden a few around some of the biggest venues in the world like Kentucky, WEG and the Olympics. Now, his advocacy for the breed has taken him to new horizons as he find himself this week teaching a clinic in Japan that aims to promote the retraining of racehorses for second careers.
Back in May, Boyd gave a keynote address at the newly founded International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses’ inaugural conference in Washington DC. Impressed by Boyd’s presentation, delegates from the Japan Racing Association in attendance at the conference were motivated to host him overseas for a clinic in conjunction with the National Riding Club Association of Japan and Godolphin. Thoroughbred racing is popular in Japan and recognition of the OTTB’s usefulness as a sport or leisure mount beyond the track is increasing.
Earlier this week, Boyd got a glimpse of the Japanese Thoroughbred racing scene in person at the Hanshin Racecourse and was impressed by what he saw. “There are many more longer distance races in Japan than in America, which suits a much more impressive, bigger-boned, rangier horse, that is also perfect for eventing, dressage or show jumping,” he notes in a recent blog post.
Are you looking for your own Thoroughbred athlete? Here are three stateside OTTBS waiting to start their second careers with you:
Calling all Game of Thrones fans — get in line! Yes, that’s his Jockey Club registered name. Fortunately, his face is much better-looking than that of his namesake and not only is he handsome, but he’s also a stakes-placed athlete. Sandor has been in training for two years straight and is still running well, but his owner doesn’t want him to get stuck running claiming racers forever and would rather that he finds a second career now. This big bay has a solid build with good legs and feet — we think he’ll really be a looker as he muscles-up!
Generally speaking, OTTBs aren’t the most suitable mounts for kids, but this sweet mare could be the exception. Those working with her at Friends of Ferdinand report that Ice is affectionate, easy-going, and would thrive with a little girl or boy of her own to dote on her. Since getting a year of let down after her short racing career, Ice has already been restarted under saddle and reliably walks, trots, and canters on the buckle.
Poor “Slew” just really didn’t jive with lief at the track, and was very nervous as a racehorse. Fortunately for this sweet lady, her connections didn’t want to push her and want to find her a new home and career instead. After leaving the track for some rest and relaxation at a nearby farm, Slew is much happier and is ready to take on the world again!