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.
The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place later this month at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. across May 27-30. Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, the USEA is working with VHT organizer Andy Bowles to ensure the Championships are still a destination competition for all Intercollegiate event riders, packed full with an opening ceremony, the traditional “college town” area, the prestigious spirit award, and an abundance of prizes.
The FEI passed rule changes impacting Minimum Eligibility Requirements in November 2020 that go into effect on July 1, 2021. The changes will impact athletes who are uncategorized, “D” and “C” athletes competing at the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCI5*-L levels. Please see below for the highlighted changes. The USEF requirements to compete at these levels remain unchanged, but please remember that the USEF requirements must be achieved within 12 months of the competition. These changes will be adopted into the USEF Eventing Rulebook by July 1. See Appendix 3 for qualification requirements.
Beginning May 17, 2021, USEF will implement new protocols regarding the use of face coverings/masks at USEF-licensed competitions in response to recently updated CDC recommendations. Please click here to access the full amendments to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan protocols.
Nicole Brown is joined this week by Irish World Equestrian Games silver medalist Sam Watson as they discuss the road to a successful cross-country round. They cover your basic training at home before your event, what you do when you get to the event and are walking the course, warming-up, visualization, and finally how to tackle the course. This podcast is full of words of wisdom from Sam that will keep you listening to the very end so tune in now!