Retired Racehorse Project, USEA Team Up On Young Horse Education

Amber Levine and Otter Pop. Photo courtesy of Galway Downs.

Amber Levine’s off-track Thoroughbred Otter Pop won the 2014 USEA West Coast 4YO Young Event Horse Championships. Amber and Otter pop now compete at the one-star level. Photo courtesy of Galway Downs.

Thoroughbreds have long been the standout breed at all levels in eventing, and in the last several years we have seen a heavy increase in the popularity of the Thoroughbred ex-racehorse in the sport. According to a recent press release, the Thoroughbred is the most heavily represented breed in the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Program, and eventing is the largest sport in the Retired Racehorse Project’s (RRP) annual Thoroughbred Makeover competition. So it makes sense that the two groups would work together to benefit Thoroughbred and young horse enthusiasts.

“We have been watching the growth and development of the Retired Racehorse Project with great interest since its creation in 2010,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “Thoroughbreds are so integral to success in our sport that all other horses used for eventing are evaluated for how much of their ‘blood’ derives from this important breed.

“This relationship between the USEA and RRP marks a new step in our mutual efforts to find careers for these amazing retired racehorses and we are extremely excited for the future! We believe that the Young Event Horse program represents a fabulous way to introduce these horses to eventing and evaluate their individual potential in the sport in an educational environment.”

This winter the USEA introduced two new levels of certification through the Instructors’ Certification Program: ICP YEH Instructor, for individuals who teach students aboard young horses, and ICP YEH Professional Trainer, for individuals who develop the under-saddle abilities and performance of young event horses by riding them as a paid occupation. The USEA will present a seminar on these certifications during the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park this October. RRP will also promote the ICP program to its members and list individuals who receive these certifications in the RRP Directory.

“RRP was thrilled to learn that USEA is embarking on a program to educate and certify trainers of young event horses, as well as instructors of those trainers through its highly successful Instructor Certification Program,” said RRP President Steuart Pittman.

“Young professional trainers in the sport of eventing have always relied on off-track Thoroughbreds as an affordable entry into the business. We want to continue that tradition and strengthen it by driving Thoroughbred Makeover trainers into the new Young Event Horse Professional Trainer Certification.”

The USEA’s combined ICP and Training and Education of the Young Eventing Horse Symposium, begins tomorrow in Ocala, Florida. All attendees are invited to the Ocala Jockey Club Tuesday evening for dinner, drinks and a discussion about the new partnership. Purchase your tickets for the dinner here. On site registration for the USEA ICP/Young Horse Symposium is still available at the Ocala Jockey Club at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

[RRP and USEA Collaborate to Educate Trainers]