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.
The USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) 2021 Team Challenge calendar is now available! This new program was announced in October 2020 and so far there have been over 60 teams register and 18 team challenges added to the 2021 calendar.
There are currently 34 FEI events on the U.S. Eventing calendar for 2021 with the first taking place in mid-March. While all national events in the U.S. follow the USEF Rules For Eventing, international events follow the FEI Rulebook.
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.
In a difficult year for the sport of eventing, it was volunteers like James (Jim) Newman who helped many events stay afloat. Through www.eventingvolunteers.com, Newman recorded a total of 292 hours and 51 minutes of volunteer service in 2020. Newman’s dedication to the sport amidst a pandemic earned him the top spot on the USEA Volunteer of the Year Presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods leaderboard.