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.
My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.
Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.
Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.
Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).