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Thoroughbred Incentive Program Youth Ambassador of the Month: Teri Simone

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program proudly celebrates its young horse owners who are dedicated to the off-track Thoroughbred. Meet August’s selected T.I.P. Youth Ambassador!

Photo by Rachel Sulman Photography

Photo by Rachel Sulman Photography

Teri Simone (17, Ontario) fell in love with horseback at the age of 5 when her class went riding at a local stable. She quickly became interested in “ponies”, so she began riding in summer camps and lessons. Teri explained, “I think a lot of kids go through the ‘horse phase’ but for me it quickly turned into a deep passion. I started taking lessons at age 7 and have been riding ever since!”

Teri participates in hunter/jumpers with her Thoroughbred Indy. Indy is short for registered name Indy League and show name Rapscallion. He is a nine year old Thoroughbred who raced only a few times before finding his way to Teri. Indy came to her local stable from the Ontario Livestock Exchange (OLEX) as a three year old.

Teri explained in her Young Rider Application essay that Indy had a promising start, even being named one of the “Rookies to Watch” by the TDN. She told us he was “born to run, but just didn’t have the desire to win”. Teri’s coach spotted Indy’s potential as a hunter/jumper and helped them adjust from basic flatwork on to jumping. Teri described in her essay, “He was quite a character and would sometimes leap dramatically, or dressage-flick his legs, or buck if he knocked a rail. He needed a lot of patience, understanding,  and humor. Indy quickly became well-loved.

“From my first ride, he was a very special horse. It wasn’t always easy; in fact it was never easy. I grew and learned along with him. He forced me to improve. If I didn’t, I’d learn a lesson the hard way!”

Teri told us her favorite thing about riding is the peaceful feeling it gives [her]. “I love the challenge of using the teeniest muscles in my body to tell a 1500 pound animal what to do, and the incredible feeling of seeing my hard work and training pay off!”

Also within Teri’s Young Rider Application essay, she describes her passion for not only the horse but the Thoroughbred breed and their need for a second chance in careers after racing. She explained that she wrote a speech to present during the school year about the idea of “second chances” and what’s possible.

“Indy’s story inspires in each of us that when we are down, with a little help, we can get back up. We can go on to achieve great things. To touch many lives. Because ultimately, success is about our inner spirit and not the expectations that others have. I believe that Indy was meant to be a hunter-jumper and not a race horse. That he was destined to have a new relationship and a new career. That prize money was never what Indy was truly going to chase. His quest is a much longer journey … one that won’t be measured in furlongs or 1/4 miles or judged by a stopwatch, but by the impact of his life. And isn’t that something that each of us can aspire to achieve?”

Photo by Rachel Sulman Photography

Photo by Rachel Sulman Photography

Q: As one of our first youth ambassadors, with the mission to represent our program and the Thoroughbred breed, what is one thing you would like to tell people about Thoroughbreds or the Thoroughbred Incentive Program?

A: The average person will have around 12 career changes in their lifetime, so why should a Thoroughbred only get 1 career? These horses are some of the most talented, versatile, and trusting animals. Time and again, I have seen that every Thoroughbred deserves a second chance, a fresh start, a new career. They deserve to be rehomed and retrained. Some just need a field to live out their days pain free and happy, while others need to tackle a second, third, fourth, even fifth career; learning to be hunters, jumpers, barrel racers, dressage or cross country horses. The opportunities are endless! I believe that every horse has a story, and that each horse should get a chance to continue their story with a new partner.

Fun Facts about Teri:

Favorite color:
Turquoise

Favorite Food:
Fajitas and sushi!

What is something unique about you?
I love adventure and photography – I want to travel the world one day – definitely to somewhere near the ocean!

What is one word that your friends would describe you as?
LOUD

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Work in business, ideally something that would lead me to a job in the equine industry!

Do you have any other hobbies, activities, or sports that you participate in?
Singing, acting, Student Council, working at a farm & feed store

How many pets do you have and what kind?
Just one, a dog (Indy isn’t a pet – he’s my partner!)

Are you or someone you know a perfect candidate to be a Thoroughbred Incentive Program Youth Ambassador? Applications for 2017 ambassador program open on September 1 and close October 1 — click HERE for more information!

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program was created by The Jockey Club to encourage second careers for Thoroughbreds when their racing days are over. The T.I.P. sponsors Thoroughbred-only classes and high point awards as well as Performance Awards, special year-end awards specifically for Thoroughbreds. The T.I.P. also recognizes non-competing Thoroughbreds through its Young Rider program as well as a special award for Thoroughbreds in careers such as therapy horses or other non-profit outlets.

To learn more about the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, please visit the organization’s website.

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