Four-time local riding champion on hand to raise awareness for Thoroughbred Aftercare
New Orleans (February 4, 2022) – On Saturday, February 12, retired jockey and horse advocate Rosie Napravnik will be on site at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to spearhead the “New Vocations Day at the Races.” A four-time local riding champion who was instrumental in the opening of the New Vocations facility in Covington, Louisiana, Napravnik will join host Joe Kristufek on the live feed during the racing day to help build awareness, promote success stories and inspire donations for Thoroughbred aftercare.
“Before and after my riding career, I’ve been exposed to a lot of the other things that horses can do, and that’s a big part of the reason why I’m so passionate about it and why it’s so important to me,” Napravnik said in regards to Thoroughbred aftercare. “I have a lot of experience in the other disciplines and I’ve seen retired racehorses really excel. I got my first off-the-track Thoroughbred back in 2008 and watching him transform, his potential, his trainability, his eagerness to do something else and to learn new things and please really inspired me. After riding so many of those horses and seeing how much they put out for us on the racetrack, it’s just something I can’t avoid making a part of my life.”
Held for the first time at Fair Grounds one year ago, the “New Vocations Day at the Races” raised $8,198 in unique donations from fans and people within the industry, including horsemen, horse owners and jockeys.
“We are very excited about the success we had with our first New Vocations Day last year and have been looking forward to another addition,” Napravnik said. “Last year everybody jumped into action, making donations and encouraging others on social media to do so as well. We are very grateful for the HBPA and the horseman in Louisiana for supporting our efforts. Our program continues to expand, and we are excited to share our growth from the past year.”
Napravnik, who won 1,878 races in her ten-year career, retired in 2014 following her Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) win with Untapable. In 2012 she became the first female rider to capture the Kentucky Oaks (G1), guiding Believe You Can to victory, and she won the race again just two years later with Untapable. She is now married to trainer Joe Sharp and together they have two sons, Carson and Tucker.
“Rosie is one of our favorites,” said Fair Grounds senior director of racing Jason Boulet. “It’s great to have her back at the Fair Grounds to help shed light on such an important cause and to share her valuable insight with the fans. We look forward to building on last year’s success.”
Recognizing the need for expanded Thoroughbred aftercare in Louisiana, Napravnik reached out to New Vocations, the largest racehorse adoption program in the country, in the fall of 2019. With Napravnik taking on a leadership role under the umbrella of New Vocations, they received a start-up grant from the Right Horse and were off and running.
“That grant basically funded almost half of running the program for the first two years,” said New Vocations Thoroughbred program director Anna Ford. “That really helped us get on our feet. Then the Louisiana HBPA stepped in and they have really supported our efforts.”
Since opening their doors in 2019, the Louisiana division of New Vocations has served 140 horses, including 55 last year. There are currently 15 horses in the program.
“Moving into our third year, our Louisiana facility continues to thrive and our team has done a wonderful job with each horse that has entered the program,” Ford said. The continued support from Louisianan HBPA has played a huge role in the facility’s success. We are also seeing more and more local owners, breeders and trainers reach out to utilize our services as well as support our efforts. We are grateful to have the Fair Grounds hosting another New Vocations Day at the Races. We hope the event will continue to raise awareness about our Louisiana facility and the services we provide to the racing community.”
On Saturday, February 12, Napravnik will join track announcer John G. Dooley on the pre-race “Fair Grounds Today” show and partner with simulcast host Joe Kristufek during the racing card to provide information on how to donate a horse, how to adopt a horse, and how fans can contribute to the cause. She will also share adoption success stories, which will be supported by video of retired racehorses thriving in their second careers.
“I want to help make sure that horses have the opportunity to do something after racing because they really deserve it,” Napravnik said. “They have so much life ahead of them when their racing career is over. I can’t ignore that, especially in a place like Louisiana that has such a high demand for organizations to help bridge that gap.”
In addition to promoting Thoroughbred aftercare awareness, Napravnik will also offer her race-by-race selections via the “expert picks” videos on twinspires.com and the Twin Spires app, and on the simulcast feed.
“During my riding career, I never handicapped to pick the winner, I handicapped to make my horse the winner,” Napravnik said. “But there’s a lot of insight I can give on how each of the riders could see the race unfolding and how it might play out from a pace and trip perspective. I truly enjoy being on the show and handicapping the races with Joe so it will be another fun and exciting day as we raise awareness and funds for aftercare in Louisiana!”
For those who would like to contribute a financial donation to the Louisiana chapter of New Vocations and support the Fair Grounds Day at the Races with Rosie Napravnik, visit https://horseadoption.org/donateand click the button with Rosie’s picture on it in the top row.