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.
In a recent public statement made by the La Mondial du Lion Organizing Committee, they confirmed their intent to host the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses this year on October 15-18, 2020 in Le Lion d ’Angers, France. With events starting back up and the Championships set on the calendar, the race to Le Lion is still on!
The 2020 show season has looked a bit different than any of us anticipated, and for many people season-planning was placed on hold. In an episode that was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicole Brown and Diarm Byrne welcome international five-star eventer Will Coleman and British high performance veterinarian Spike "The Vet" Milligan to the show to discuss some of the considerations for planning your season from each of their unique perspectives.
Any riding exercise is about the art of the possible. This is especially true with jumping exercises, when a step too far will compromise safety. Exercises and a method should be developed progressively that build confidence and competence for both horse and rider, and in particular also allows room for error.
In the show jumping phase, where a ribbon can be won or lost based on a fraction of a second, it is important to understand the rules that determine how time is kept. After reviewing the rules concerning time and other show jumping penalties, one should also examine the rules that outline the faults incurred for each of the different types of penalties.