Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Supports Retired Racehorse Project, Thoroughbred Makeover and Future Farmers of America
(New Orleans, La.) – The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announced recently that a new special award will be offered at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America and taking place October 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) is sponsoring a $2,500 cash prize for the top-placing Louisiana-breds at the competition. Ten Louisiana-breds took part in the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover, competing in eventing, dressage, show jumpers, show hunters, and polo. Louisiana was ranked eighth among states and Canadian provinces for the most horses entered.
“The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association continues to make an investment in the future of our Thoroughbreds by helping our former runners secure a beautiful life after their time on the racetrack is done,” said Roger Heitzmann III, secretary-treasurer of LTBA. “We believe that by assisting the Retired Racehorse Project, former racers are able to show others the true beauty of the Thoroughbred, as well as their continued usefulness.”
The LTBA award will be presented to the Louisiana-bred that earns the highest percentage of the total possible score in any of the ten disciplines offered. Almost 800 trainers have been accepted to compete in the 2018 event. Many trainers have not yet purchased the horse they intend to compete, and the cash award will offer an extra incentive to shop for an eligible mount bred in the Pelican State.
Any Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2016, is eligible to compete in the Makeover, as long as the horse did not start retraining for a second career prior to Dec. 1, 2017.
“More and more we are hearing about off the track thoroughbreds in Louisiana are being purchased as sport and pleasure horses,” said Heitzmann. “There are many now competing at national and international levels in many disciplines and winning. Horse purchases are trending toward these athletes that are known for their competitive prowess and talent.”
The Thoroughbred Makeover is the flagship event for RRP, a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to increasing the demand for and value of Thoroughbreds in their careers after racing. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover.
LTBA is also working with the Louisiana Future Farmers of America (FFA) as a sponsor for a Career Development Event and Proficiency Awards. Career opportunities abound within today’s agriculture industry. Career Development Events (CDEs) help develop the ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market. There are 27 CDEs encompassing a broad range of career opportunities from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams.
Today, the Louisiana FFA Association remains committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. “That commitment matches with ours as we work to support future horsemen/horsewomen, veterinarians, farriers and others in the horse business,” said Heitzmann.
FFA continues to help the next generation rise to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of agricultural career pathways.
“Louisiana’s racing and breeding industry plays an important role in the state’s economic well-being and contributes a significant source of state revenue,” said Heitzmann. “The combined impacts of both racing and breeding and their related industries generates over $1 billion annually and employs nearly 13,000 people.”
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