A highlight of the Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbreds For All Saratoga on August 4th at Traylor Farm in Ballston Springs, New York was the presentation of the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center's Dream Team for the Thoroughbred Makeover.
Rosie Napravnik, the most successful female jockey in history and one part of the MMSC Dream Team, finally got to ride her mount for the Makeover for the very first time. Dare Me aka "Darren", a 2010 gelding by Johannesburg out of Oatsee, is being prepared for the $100,000 TCA Thoroughbred Makeover on the third weekend of October. He is owned by the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center (and will be available for adoption following the Makeover!) and was bred and raced by Louise and Leonard Riggio of My Meadowview Farm. As Rosie has been pregnant until very recently, Dare Me has been trained for the past several months by famed eventer Dorothy Crowell, the final member of the MMSC Dream Team, and Rosie couldn't wait to get in the saddle for the event yesterday.
“Talk about pressure,” says Napravnik. “I have until October to prepare for a dressage test and a cross country course on a racehorse I’ve never sat on. The good news is that he is perfectly suited for it.”
Rosie didn't need to worry about the Thoroughbreds For All Saratoga event - she and Dare Me were a wonderful match and "Darren" clearly loved strutting his stuff for the crowd. You can watch the whole performance here.
From the Retired Racehorse Project's Facebook page:
The Thoroughbred Makeover and the Thoroughbreds For All event in Saratoga are designed to show the talent and trainability of Thoroughbred racehorses when they pursue second careers. “Racing fans don’t often see just how kind and intelligent these animals are off the track,” said Suzanne Carreker-Voigt, one of a group of local horse owners behind Tuesday’s event. “It is a story that must be told.”
Also present at Thoroughbreds For All Saratoga were some of the biggest names in both racing and riding sports, including Olympian and Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Michael Matz, top owner Maggi Moss (seen in these video clips), United States Equestrian Team short-listed riders Jennie Brannigan and Laine Ashker, and local veterinarian Dr. Stowe Burke.
Stay tuned to the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center's Facebook page for more updates on the MMSC Dream Team, as they continue to prepare for the $100,000 TCA Thoroughbred Makeover!