This year I donated a custom drawing to the Retired Racehorse Project silent auction fundraiser, since their annual makeover competition was postponed due to covid. This cause is special to me as my personal horses are OTTBs, or Off Track Thoroughbreds. I enjoyed the beginnings of this organization as a participating trainer in the first makeover event they had at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Now RRP is a huge organization that has largely achieved its purpose to create demand for OTTBs in the sporthorse world after the increase in popularity of warmbloods in the 90s. Prior to RRP, retired throughbred racehorses were often viewed as rescues and didn’t sell for much money and frequently ended up in the slaughter industry pipeline. Now, thanks to RRP marketing and making them popular as the successful sport horses they truly are after racing, it’s not uncommon to see sound sporthorse prospects selling for $5000 and up. This in turn has encouraged people in the racing industry to retire their horses while they are still sound, and gives these horses a much better chance at being successful in longer term careers.
The winner of the custom drawing at the silent auction sent me a photograph of his bay OTTB, Kai. Kai had passed away and the drawing was to commemorate a great athlete.