Thoroughbreds may be bred for speed, but increasing numbers of equestrians have recognized their potential beyond the racetrack. Initiatives like the Thoroughbred Makeover and organizations like the Retired Racehorse Project have helped prove how Thoroughbreds can find fulfilling second careers and competitive success. Thousands of young horses come off the track each year and face indeterminate futures. Retraining these three- to six-year-olds ensures that they receive appropriate care. In many cases, their athleticism and work ethic prove unstoppable in the show ring.
Rescuing any horse, Thoroughbred or otherwise, is a time-consuming endeavor requiring professional guidance and personal commitment. However, the end result can be extremely fulfilling.
Southern Grey (aka Rebel) has proven how patience and hard work can transform a neglected, nervous Thoroughbred into a confident, competent partner. Although he was bred for racing and registered with the Jockey Club, he never made it beyond the breeder’s pasture. Rebel likely experienced very limited human interaction prior to being rescued in a state of neglect as a four-year-old.
After finding a temporary home at a veterinarian’s barn, Rebel was adopted by eventer Clarissa Wilmerding in Califon, New Jersey. Clarissa made sure he was off to a solid start before passing the reins to her niece, Annah Otis, as a project. Rebel and Annah now train in Boyds, Maryland while she pursues a degree at Georgetown University.
Just four years after being rescued and three years after being saddled, Rebel has developed into a willing Second Level dressage horse with potential for more. He uses HorseScents to stay calm during clipping, whisker trimming, and mane pulling. The soothing lavender aroma is perfect for sensitive Thoroughbreds at any stage in their career. Scent Straps have been proven effective both on the race track and beyond.