Thoroughbred Incentive Program April Youth Ambassador

Meet Katie Kalfayan!

Photos courtesy of Denise and Katie Kalfayan

T.I.P. presents April’s featured Youth Ambassador: Katie Kalfayan. Katie, 15, is from New Jersey. Katie leases her Thoroughbred, Norm. Together they participate in hunters, jumpers, and dressage. Katie is having a great time representing T.I.P. and the Thoroughbred breed as a Youth Ambassador. In March, she competed in the New Jersey State 4H Equine Presentations, giving a speech on Thoroughbreds and T.I.P. She placed second in her division and shared with T.I.P. that this experience “was so rewarding to share a topic I love so much”.

Katie Kalfayan (15, NJ)


  • Registered Jockey Club Name: Cattail Creek
  • Show Name: Cattail Creek
  • Barn Name: Norm

How did you start riding?

I started riding around age five. My mom was beginning to ride horses after many years away from the sport and I started with her.

What is your favorite thing about riding/or your horse?

My favorite thing about horses is easily the bond you make with your horse. My horse has become my best friend.

What would you like to do when you are older?

I would love to be a Grand Prix rider, but if that doesn’t work out, I plan on being a surgeon for horses.

Tell us your favorite quote and why:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” – J.R.R. Tolkein; I believe in making the most of my time, which I feel this quote illustrates.

What do you think the most important aspects of horsemanship are?

Having fun: when riding to win, or do well, I find that riding is not enjoyable compared to when you just want to have fun. Patience: especially with young thoroughbreds, patience is important to succeed.

More Fun Facts

  • How many pets do you have (and what kind)?

In addition to Norm (lease) I own a retired racehorse, and a dog.

  • What is your favorite animal (apart from a horse)?


  • What is your favorite color?


  • What is your favorite food?

Mac and Cheese or my grandma’s lasagna

  • What is something unique about you?

I can play the bass and guitar.

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


What is one thing you would like to tell people about Thoroughbreds or the Thoroughbred Incentive Program?

I would like to tell people how versatile Thoroughbreds are – they can do, and excel in, nearly all forms of riding. Additionally, I would like to tell people about T.I.P. because I think that it is a great way to encourage more people to ride Thoroughbreds.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I am currently the president of my 4H club and have been the past few years. Through 4H I have competed in local 4H shows, as well as the state championship show with Norm in dressage. Additionally, I have done multiple drill teams including one with Norm while he was still up for adoption. As well as 4H, I have worked extensively with New Beginnings Thoroughbreds, riding many of their horses including Norm before his adoption. Since his adoption and the beginning of my lease, I have taken Norm from showing crossrails to showing 2’6″.

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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