Barrel racing champs a first for second-career thoroughbreds

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A Barrel Racing Championships will be held at the Thoroughbred Makeover for the first time. Pictured is Megan Overy and Just in Flash.
A Barrel Racing Championships will be held at the Thoroughbred Makeover for the first time. Pictured is Megan Overy and Just in Flash. © CanterClix/RRP

The first barrel racing championship event for retrained thoroughbreds is to be held at this October’s Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Run by the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) and the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), the T.I.P. Barrel Racing Championships is the first time a championship event has been offered in the discipline. It will be the biggest all-Thoroughbred barrel racing competition in the US with thousands of dollars in prize money and additional prizes.

It is being sponsored by The Western Thoroughbred, a grassroots organization that recognizes the contributions of the Thoroughbred to the Western horse industry and celebrates the achievements of Thoroughbreds in Western sports. The Western Thoroughbred’s founder, Katelin Bradley, is serving as organizer and steward of the event, and The Western Thoroughbred will be sponsoring buckles for average round winners.

Entries for the T.I.P. Barrel Racing Championships will be open to qualified and declared Thoroughbreds in August. Thoroughbred Makeover Barrel Racing entrants for 2020 and 2021 will have the option to cross-enter at the time that they make their Final Entry to the Makeover. Outside non-Makeover participants for this inaugural event will be invited to enter, with preference given to horses that were declared for the barrel championships by the early declaration deadline of June 30, 2021. All participants will need a T.I.P. number to enter.

Managing director Kristen Green said the RRP was pleased to join with the two other closely aligned organisations, to “offer more recognition to those who are blazing a path for OTTBs to become more of a staple in Western show pens”.

T.I.P. was created to encourage the retraining of Thoroughbreds into other disciplines upon completion of careers in racing or breeding. The annual T.I.P. Championships features competition in a variety of disciplines, including hunters, jumpers, English pleasure, Western pleasure, and classical and Western dressage. T.I.P. champions in eventing are determined at the annual US eventing championships.

Featuring competition in 10 different disciplines for recently retired racehorses and more than $135,000 in prize money each year, the Thoroughbred Makeover (Makeover) and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, is the largest and most lucrative retraining competition in the world. This year, the event will feature two competition years, including horses from the postponed 2020 event as well as 2021-eligible horses.

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