The Horse

FEB 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Page 32 of 51

33 February 2018 THE HORSE overseas, leaving some horses with fewer post-racing options. In 1997 news broke that Exceller, the only racehorse to best two Triple Crown winners—Seattle Slew and Affirmed—in a single race, had died in a European slaughterhouse. In 2003 reporters re- vealed that 1986 Kentucky Derby and 1987 Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Ferdinand, had likely met the same fate in Japan the previous year. These tragic events renewed a conversa- tion about what to do with ex-racehorses. Horse industry organizations began examining options for racehorses after track and breeding shed retirement and how these animals should be cared for and managed. Interest expanded, and it wasn't long before the industry witnessed a resurgence in the Thoroughbred's popu- larity as a sport horse, aided by many or- ganizations' efforts to promote the breed. From the Thoroughbred sport horse's heyday and the so-called "Warmblood invasion" to the off-track Thoroughbred's (OTTB) subsequent rise to prominence, here's a look at the past, present, and future of Thoroughbreds as sport horses. The Good Ol' Days Indeed, the Thoroughbred was the sport horse of choice in the United States for decades. As the aforementioned legends, along with the likes of Miss Bud- weiser, Idle Dice, Jet Run, Sinjon, Good Mixture, Might Tango, and many more, rose to prominence in their respective disciplines, the OTTB's allure flourished. It wasn't just because of these stand- outs, however. Riders discovered how Thoroughbreds' innate characteristics that made them successful racehorses also worked in their favor for other endeavors. COURTESY ANNE LITZ Thoroughbred TERCARE

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