Thoroughbred Incentive Program Youth Ambassador of the Month

Meet Caitlin Dinkel!

Photo by Sarah Craig

T.I.P. presents July’s featured Youth Ambassador: Caitlin Dinkel. Caitlin, 19, is from Utah and participates in hunters, jumpers, and western with her Thoroughbred Thai. Caitlin found Thai through a local ad service. Spending his time as a pasture pet, Caitlin adopted Thai to become her first training project. The pair have been participating in T.I.P. classes since 2014. Caitlin currently is enrolled in the equine program at Utah State University. She also finds time to run her own training business. Caitlin credits Thai for her passion of the Thoroughbred breed.

Caitlin Dinkel (19, Utah)

Registered Jockey Club Name: Monstruo
Show Name: Monstruo (or Bo-Thai)
Barn Name: Thai

How did you start riding?
When I was younger, I had tried a lot of different hobbies – piano, dance, sports, etc. but never really found one that I liked, until my mom signed me up for riding lessons when I was 8; I’ve been hooked ever since!

What is your favorite thing about riding/or your horse?
Riding is my escape from the craziness of college life. It’s my chance to have time to myself to unwind and relax. My favorite thing about Thai is his willingness to try new things. He does everything from hunter/jumper to western pleasure, and kids’ lessons to trail rides. He is so eager and willing to please, and takes good care of anyone who rides him.

What would you like to do when you are older?
I want to move out to Kentucky and work in the racing industry, preferably as a trainer. I would also love to rehome OTTBs on the side, while competing in the Retired Racehorse Project or something similar.

More Fun Facts

How many pets do you have (and what kind)?
I have a lot of pets! Thai is my only horse, but I also have an Axolotl, two goldfish, two dogs, and a cat.

What is your favorite animal (apart from a horse)?
I think Okapi are pretty cool!

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite food?
I love steak!

What is something unique about you?
I am only 18 years old, and a sophomore in college! I own and run my own horse training and riding lesson business – Crescendo Equestrian.

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

Photo by Sarah Craig

What is your favorite quote and why?
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you” – Walt Disney. While it is never pleasant to go through rough times in your life, often times when you look back years later, those hard time shave made you who you needed to become!

What do you think the most important aspects of horsemanship are?
The horse comes first, always. I don’t care if it’s a beautiful sunny day, or the coldest, nastiest winter storm – you take care of that horse. These animals rely on us for everything; we can’t just forget about them or ignore their needs if it is inconvenient to us. This absolutely includes injury care as well. Don’t push a horse too hard that is recovering from illness, or force a lame horse to work. I also think a lot of young riders are far too removed from the day to day care of their mounts. Many times this isn’t the rider’s fault; they show up to their weekly lesson, ride and then go home. I think it is important as a trainer to encourage riders to spend some time out of the saddle, learning more about their horses and how to keep them happy and healthy.

What is one thing you would like to tell people about Thoroughbreds or the Thoroughbred Incentive Program?
The Thoroughbred Incentive Program has helped me develop a pride in this breed, and meet amazing people that I never would have gotten to know without it.

What are your goals for your horse in 2017?
Thai and I will be showing almost exclusively at T.I.P. sponsored shows this year, with hopes of attending the T.I.P. Championships in September. We will be showing 3’ jumpers, which will be an exciting new challenge for both of us! I also hope to attend some cowboy dressage clinics with him, as well as improving our western pleasure and reining training.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I am so honored to have the opportunity to represent the Thoroughbred Incentive Program at my school, barn, and shows I attend. This program played a huge role in inspiring my love for Thoroughbreds, and I can’t wait to share my passion with everyone else!

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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