Your Turn: In Praise of the Thoroughbred

By TIP Youth Ambassador Chloe Bellerive.

Chloe Bellerive and her own Thoroughbred, Dream Weaver, on the final day of the Emerging Athletes Program Clinic at the Virginia Horse Center. PC: Tricia Booker

With the growing Thoroughbred retraining programs, more and more Thoroughbreds are being introduced back into the hunter and jumper show ring. After attending a few horse shows this past summer while home from college, including my local County Fair as well as the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, I saw just how greatly the numbers of Thoroughbreds participating and competing have grown. Not only have the local horse shows grown in numbers over the past few years, but the number of Thoroughbreds competing on the A circuit have also skyrocketed.

During the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program at the Virginia Horse Center, I was able to ride my talented Thoroughbred who exceeded all expectations. When I first participated in the EAP Clinic in 2014, I was one of the only riders on a Thoroughbred. Over the years, I’ve watched the numbers grow and this past year, almost half of the horses participating were Thoroughbreds. Each and every one of them held their own against the warmbloods. It was truly amazing to see just how talented and willing the breed is, even though they are bred for a totally different sport.

Chloe Bellerive and Dreamweaver with their winnings at the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair. PC: Lori Bellerive

Even at my local County Fair, every horse in my division was a Thoroughbred. It’s refreshing to see 4H riders using off the track Thoroughbreds as 4H projects. When I got my first Thoroughbred way back in 2012, I was the only 4Her with a Thoroughbred in my county and one of the only ones at our State Fair. I was able to show him in both western classes as well the English classes, which I think helped show how versatile the Thoroughbreds can be in my county. Over the years, I’ve watched more and more 4Hers buy a Thoroughbred as a 4H horse which has been amazing to see. I truly hope to see the numbers continually grow in my area.

I hope the number of Thoroughbreds competing both on the local circuit as well as the rated circuit continue to increase. It’s always nice to see the Upperville Back to Track Hack filled with Thoroughbreds, and the Thoroughbreds Hunter and Jumper divisions filling with more and more entries. The Thoroughbred Incentive Program has had a huge impact on the retraining of the OTTBs, and I am proud to be able to represent such a wonderful organization.

The senior showmanship class which included only Thoroughbreds! PC: Lori Bellerive

From the track, to let down, into the hearts of 4Hers and anyone willing to give them a chance, they will take you to local shows, county and state fairs, clinics and AA Circuit shows. The Thoroughbred horse continues to prove their heart is “ unbeatable”!

Born and raised in Keedysville, MD, Chloe Bellerive studies at University of Kentucky majoring in Equine Science and Management on the Pre-Vet track with the plan of becoming an Equine Surgeon. Bellerive rides on the UK IHSA Equestrian Team as well as serving as a TIP Youth Ambassador.

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