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].
How many of you watched the Retired Racehorse Projects’ Thoroughbred Makeover this year? With the USEF Network live streaming the finals action, we got to watch firsthand as multiple USEA riders and their horses absolutely dominated multiple divisions. With more than 500 OTTBs entered, the competition was stiff but these horses showed their talent. One of those special horses, who has not only been successful on the eventing circuit over the past year but also took home the show jumping title as part of the eventing horse domination, was Interactif Spy (Mt. Livermore x Interactif).
For this month’s OTTB critique we are excited to feature Morgan Boyer’s special horse. Boyer has been developing Interactif Spy for less than a year in accordance with the Makeover’s rules and he has taken to eventing like a fish to water. After he had three starts on the track, the now 5-year-old horse found himself in Boyer’s barn where he has been learning more and more about his new job and career. We are excited to have Kimmy Steinbuch Durr and John Michael Durr help us evaluate Interactif Spy and use their knowledge and experience to critique both his conformation and performance under saddle.
On their first impression, the Durrs immediately noticed his positive and eager expression in every photo. When evaluating his conformation, Kimmy first pointed out that the horse is a lovely type, with clean legs and solid bone. She explained, “He has a large and powerful hip and he appears to have developed more muscle over his hip and back which gives him a level appearance at this age, as gravity pulls him slightly downhill when his neck reaches forward.” John Michael also added, “His back is well-proportioned and properly developed, showing where he gets his power from.” Finally, Kimmy explained, “Although his neck is low set, with proper training he should develop the muscles over his top line that will give him the ability to lift through his neck and shoulders, as well as his back and abdomen.”
When watching the horse’s performance at the Makeover and evaluating his under-saddle photos, the Durrs noted the horse looks like a great jumping candidate. “Having a horse that will try so hard to perform in such a big environment at a young age really bodes well for his future. He wants to be careful and uses his scope wisely without excess, everything people look for these days,” said Kimmy. Check out the horse’s performance at the RRP Makeover Finals on the USEF Network on-demand. Interactif Spy is the first horse to show in the Show Jumping portion of the finals.
Overall, both Kimmy and John Michael are excited by this young horse and think his positive attributes in both his conformation and way of going point towards him having a successful future. He has already demonstrated his ability to learn and handle new, difficult, and stressful situations easily, another extremely positive sign that will take this horse far. John Michael feels as the horse progresses in his training, he believes the horse can and will further develop the ability to lift through the shoulders over his topline, which will improve his performance all around. They wish Boyer all the best as she continues to pursue the horse’s second career. Good luck and have fun!
John Michael Durr and his wife Kimmy Durr own and operate Durr Eventing and Show Jumping out of Shelby, N.C. as well as Ocala, Fl. during the winter. To learn more about their program, check out their website.
This month we’re going to begin a several-month series about defense and coping mechanisms. It’s common for these two terms to be used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different. Coping mechanisms are mental strategies that resolve stressful events, while defense mechanisms are behaviors that attempt to avoid or hide from them.
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.