In this series, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) is partnering with Athletux to critique your off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) eventing prospects. 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].
OTTBs come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. While sometimes known for being younger, this month’s OTTB didn’t come off the track until the age of six after he made a whopping 41 starts. We are so excited to feature Noontime Badge in this month’s OTTB critique column.
Noontime Badge found his way into eventing after Stella Sunstein and Kristin Schmolze saw his Facebook ad. “He was listed on Facebook right off the track and Kristin and I bought him as a resale project,” Sunstein explained. Sunstein took him to his first event and then decided to keep him after he surpasses all of her expectations.
With over 15 USEA starts under his belt through the Training level, Noontime Badge hasn’t had a single cross-country jump penalty and has never finished outside of the top 10. Most recently, Noontime Badge scooped up another top 10 finish at the Maryland Horse Trials in the Training division. He is eyeing a Preliminary move up with Sunstein in the irons and she is so excited to see where they can go together!
This month we are excited to have five-star rider Jennifer McFall of Dragonfire Farm with us to critique Noontime Badge. Known for producing young horses up the levels with phenomenal success, McFall has a knack for spotting talent and knowing what it takes to succeed in the upper echelons of the sport. Right off the bat, McFall said, “He’s obviously going to stay sound with that many starts! And clearly, he has a great attitude if he is already excelling in his new career so quickly.” McFall was sure to point out, “Truly, temperament is as important as any talent.” Right from the beginning, it is obvious Noontime Badge has the temperament to succeed and a personality to match.
McFall then transitioned to his pedigree. “I looked up his papers and he has good sport lines a ways back. I really like Fappiano on his dam side,” she added. McFall then looked over his conformation, noting, “He is quite attractive and has a strong and solid build.” Finally, if she was going to be picky, McFall noticed, “His top line is weak, especially behind the withers. He also is a bit downhill, with his hind legs being a bit longer than his front. He is built for speed,” she said with a laugh.
In addition, McFall added, “They will need to take care to develop his style over higher fences as the engagement will be a little tougher, as well as the collected movements in the upper-level dressage.” After looking over the various under saddle photos, McFall also stated, “He seems to give the fences plenty of room, so this style of jumping can overcome a flatter jumping style.” Overall, McFall is very impressed with this horse’s jump technique so far as he looks to have a natural jumping style as well as a try-hard attitude. Not only that, but McFall feels his heart also is his biggest asset and goes such a long way in this sport.
In conclusion, McFall feels Noontime Badge has all the makings to be very successful in the sport of eventing. She looks forward to watching him and his team in the future and following along with his progress. There is nothing like an OTTB who gives his all and this horse looks to be a star for his owners now and in the future.
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.
By this time I am sure that you have received the news that the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) has been canceled. I sincerely apologize for the difficulty this has caused everyone involved. I want to commend the USEA Board of Governors for making an extremely hard decision.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Whidbey Island Horse Trials take place in Oak Harbor, Washington (Area VII) in early July of each year and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021.