by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Outreach & Membership Enrichment Coordinator
Columbus, OH — Standardbreds are so truly versatile that they can race and show in the same year, and sometimes even week by week.
The USTA sponsors divisions that promote such horses at the National and World Standardbred shows which concluded this past weekend. In the Fresh from/off the Track divisions at both shows, a horse must have raced in the current calendar year and compete in at least two of the three classes — halter, under saddle and in harness.
Four Trumps A last raced on August 2 at Yonkers for co-owner and trainer Larry Stalbaum, arrived at New Vocations Racehorse Adoptions’ Laurelville, Ohio, facility on August 18, was promptly gelded and then trained for the World show that was presented by the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of Ohio this past weekend, Oct. 5-6. He didn’t disappoint as he walked away with many ribbons and championships, including the USTA sponsored Fresh from the Track.
New Vocations trainer Jennifer Daniels was thrilled with how the horse transitioned from the racetrack to the show ring.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him, he’s been game for anything we’ve thrown at him over the last month,” said Daniels. “A nicer, sweeter horse is hard to come by — even more amazing because he was a stallion until four weeks ago but you wouldn’t know it now.”
Four Trumps A earned $699,594 in eight years of racing. His lifetime best of 1:50.1 was taken at the veteran age of nine but the now 11-year-old is enjoying his “retirement” years.
“With less than a month of saddle training, this horse is now a marketable show horse with so many options possible,” explained Daniels. “Standardbreds are valuable and useful long after their racing days are finished. People that may have never crossed paths with a Standardbred before suddenly are curious about harness racing and the careers these horses had at the track.”
At the National show put on by the SPHO of New Jersey Sept. 7-8, Julie Allison and her 10-year-old Angus Hall gelding Investor took top honors in the Fresh off the Track division. Investor was in fact so “fresh off the track” that he had raced just five days before the classes and then raced again 10 days after at The Meadows. Investor was also reserve champion Fresh from the Track at the World show this past weekend.
Investor has earned more than $327,000 in his racing career, taking a lifetime best 1:56 as a 3-year-old. In 2013, he has earned more than $15,000 in 23 seasonal starts. Allison not only owns and trains Investor the racehorse, but also rides and drives Investor the show horse.
Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program has worked with off-the-track Standardbreds and their owners to educate the general public about the many disciplines at which Standardbreds excel once they are retired from racing.