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].
This month we are excited to feature a very special off-the-track Thoroughbred by the name of Blond Cheri, or "Demitasse" as she is now known. Demitasse, owned by Kendall Baker, is by Scat Daddy and out of Blond Dancer. Baker has been producing the talented 7-year-old for almost two years now and as a pair, they have racked up some impressive finishes. While this talented mare is small at just 15.2 hands, Baker described her as small but mighty, and we are excited to have Natalia Neneman to give her insight on this talented mare and the positive characteristics that will help her excel in her second career.
First, Neneman looks to evaluate Demitasse’s conformation. “From the photos, the horse looks to have a nice big shoulder and a nice long neck, both great features to have as she begins her new career.” Neneman also observed that, “The horse also looks to have a big hind end, which would indicate a powerful engine, a huge positive when it comes to retraining these OTTBs in their next career.”
When she moved on to the mare’s under saddle photos, Neneman continued to spot features that would only help the mare excel in her new career. “From the jumping photos, she looks very keen, which is great!” While the horse may be a bit too exuberant dropping into water, Neneman recommended, “Doing some quiet drops into water would be great for this mare so she learns to not jump in quite as far. I find this may catch up to you as you move up the levels where there may be another element after the drop.”
Moving on her to form over fences, Neneman added that Demitasse posses more great qualities in the way she jumps and uses her body. “She is careful and tidy with her knees by the look of the photo - the hallmark of good jumpers," explained Neneman. “There is a lot to love about the way she jumps and while a photo is only a moment in time, she looks like she moves well on the flat as well,” she added. All are very good characteristics of course!
Overall, Neneman feels the horse presents a very nice looking picture and she wishes them the best of luck! She feels there is no better horse out there than an OTTB who tries his or her heart out and while you can only tell so much from a photo, Neneman believes this horse has all the makings to succeed in her new career. She added, “When you combine her love of the job with natural ability and positive conformation characteristics, you tend to end up with a horse who is very special. Good luck!"
Natalia Neneman owns and operates Natalia Neneman Eventing in Ocala, Florida. She has ridden and trained multiple OTTBs in their new careers in the event world in addition to showing at the Retired Racehorse Project with great success, including picking up a championship win in 2018.
Derek di Grazia’s cross-country courses at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International is the setting for all the action today in Elkton, Md. Here is what you need to know to follow along:
With 70 percent of the scores coming from the second day of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships, the 4- and 5-year-olds had a big moment in front of them to impress the judges Chris Ryan and Sally Ike. The horses were judged over a set of show jumps (15 percent) then moved directly into the cross-country portion (30 percent) before finally showing off their gallop and earning an overall score for their jumping (15 percent) and general impression (10 percent).
At the end of a busy day wrapping up the dressage phase of The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day (FHI), two new riders took over the top of the leaderboards. Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville Z moved into first in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship with their 28.6, while Alexa Gartenberg and Louis M claimed the pinnacle position in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship on a 25.9.
On this week's episode of the USEA Podcast, prepare to "winterize" your horse with tips from both a rider's perspective and a veterinarian's perspective. First, five-star eventer Emily Beshear shares her tips for helping your horse adjust to the cooler temperatures. Then, her husband Dr. Jeff Beshear provides tips from a vet's point of view on how best to care for your horse as the season changes.