Voting is now open for the Best Trainer in the Retired Racehorse Trainer Challenge, which concludes this Saturday at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo. You can officially cast your ballot until 2:45 on that day. Don’t know who to vote for? Research your heart out: Each of the three trainers–Kerry Blackmer, Tiffany Catledge and Eric Dierks–kept up a page of blog entries and videos during the training process.
Saturday is a kind of “piano recital” for the horse/trainer combinations. They’ll appear at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in Harrisburg with the horses they met for the first time in January at the Maryland Horse Expo to show off their hard work.
After five weeks of training all of the horses have excelled in their new line of work and the trainers are eager to demonstrate their new skills. “We expect a fascinating demonstration of what a racehorse can learn in a short amount of time with good training,” said Steuart Pittman, founder of the nonprofit Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) and organizer of the Trainer Challenge, on the website.
The judges for the event are Olympian James Wofford, CANTER Mid-Atlantic Founder Allie Conrad, and Alex Brown, author of Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and his Legacy. The winner, however, will be determined primarily by the thousands of fans who have followed the process by video on the internet. Online voting for best trainer began on Wednesday morning and will continue through the live video stream of the performances on Saturday. Each judge will be given 100 additional votes to award to trainers as they see fit.
“The Retired Racehorse Trainer Challenge has already accomplished what we hoped for,” said Pittman. “The horses have shown just how talented and trainable the average Thoroughbred coming off the track really is. The trainers have set examples of outstanding riding and horsemanship for the rest of us to learn from. The equestrian public has shown that demand for this kind of education, and fascination with the Thoroughbred horse are huge.”
Additionally, if you’re interested in purchasing one of the four ex-racers, contact info is listed on the site.
Photo: Wikipedia Commons