In this series, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) is partnering with Athletux to critique your off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) eventing prospects. Professional riders and trainers will share their insights into each OTTB's pedigree, racing history, and conformation. Would you like to have your off-the-track Thoroughbred featured in the next edition of OTTB Critique presented by Athletux? We are looking for our next horse! Email your tips to [email protected].
If there is one type of horse that has stood the test of time in the eventing community, it is the off-the-track Thoroughbred. While breeds such as the Irish Sport Horse and Warmblood types have grown in prominence, OTTBs still seem to outnumber them, and many riders at the upper echelons of the sport agree there is no horse better than a promising OTTB. They try their hearts out, have the will to go the distance, and they have the talent to match. We are excited to feature another promising talent this month, critiqued by a professional who has both ridden and picked out her fair share of successful prospects.
Morgan Boyer knows a thing or two about thoroughbreds. Every single event horse she has ridden has been an OTTB, including one very special OTTB who she took up through the Intermediate level and is now living out his days as a one-eyed wonder showing young riders the ropes at the lower levels. Just last year, Boyer won the show jumping portion of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover on a horse she sourced herself, Interactif Spy, who we featured last year. Her knack for picking out diamonds in the rough is unparalleled and we are so excited to have Boyer critique this month’s OTTB, Anderboch Flier.
Anderbock Flier (Stephen Got Even x Act Quickly) is a 7-year-old OTTB who had a total of six starts in 2014 and 2015 as 2- and 3-year-old and won a whopping $893. After he retired from racing, Jessica Kiener began his new career in eventing before he made his way into Buck Davidson’s barn. It was there that Heather Jane Morris, a working student for Allie Knowles, found him and scooped him up. Last year marked their first year together and, as a 6-year-old, he rarely finished outside the ribbons and made the successful move up to the Preliminary. Morris has nothing but positive things to say about this horse’s work ethic and she is excited to have him featured in this month’s column.
When Boyer first looked at his photos, “I was immediately struck by his lovely classic head and super cute face,” she explained. After moving on from her first impressions, Boyer evaluated his very positive conformation. “He has a very nice open hip and a nice shoulder,” she added. Boyer also noticed, “His neck ties in nicely and while maybe a touch low and not perfect, it is still nice and correct.” While Boyer would “maybe prefer to see a bit more angle in his hock, which with his angle may limit his ability to step under himself and rock back to jump,” Boyer knows conformation isn’t everything and not every horse will 100 percent have all the pieces.
If his under saddle and jumping photos are any indication, Boyer feels the horse has a very promising career ahead of him. Boyer pointed out, “He looks to have a nice, uphill canter and gets those front legs out of the way, the hallmark of a great jump.” She noted that, although his topline may not be the best right now, it will build over time as his muscle development increases, and overall he seems to have many of the characteristics she looks for in prospects.
Overall, Boyer feels the horse presents a lovely picture and she is excited to see another young OTTB taking to his new career like a fish to water. She believes there is no better horse than a classic OTTB, and while you can only tell so much by photos, her initial impressions of this horse are all positive. Boyer would like to wish Morris all the best with her very capable horse and she is excited to follow them over the upcoming year and beyond!
Together, Morgan Boyer and her mother, Jammie Hand, make up Blue Line Sport Horses, based in Reidsville, North Carolina. With over 25 years combined experience riding, training, teaching, and showing, Boyer and Hand share a passion for off-track thoroughbreds and specialize in restarting them off the track and finding the best fit for their physical abilities and personalities. Learn more at bluelinesporthorses.com.
While every story submitted to the USEA for the June Horse of the Month was unique and special, it was Teddy’s story that stood out. Therefore, the USEA June Horse of the Month is Talon Ted aka "Teddy", a 14.1 hand, 17-year-old Paint Pinto Gelding owned by Eran Murray and ridden by Eran’s daughter, Brooke Murray.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The spring eventing season in the Midwest is always a toss-up due to unpredictable weather. Will it rain, will it be sunny, or will it be a snowstorm? No one knows! Mid-America Combined Training Association’s (MACTA) first cross-country schooling of the season was cancelled in March due to extremely muddy footing conditions and by the time our April dates came around, COVID-19 was in full force and we were unable to host our cross-country schooling and schooling show.