I, Shaina Humphrey, was selected to train two off-the-track Thoroughbred for the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover Project. Now what?
When I signed up I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. A friend had contacted me by email, “I think you should do this,” and she sent a link to the Retired Racehorse Project. Their slogan is ”from the Sport of Kings to the King of Sport” and their logo is a horse wearing a crown. “Catchy,” I thought, “I like them already.” She wanted me to sign up for the Thoroughbred Makeover and the deadline for entering was January 30—It was January 20. There was not a lot of time, but I was curious. Plus, there was $100,000 of prize money involved.
The small print required you to become a member of their organization for $25 , pay a nominating fee of $200, and be selected by a committee. The membership fee I could justiify as I would surely get exposure to more thoroughbred owners, trainers, and facilities but the $200 nominating fee? Not so much, and there were a lot of rules involved with competing. It sounded like a fledgling organization with all kinds of aspirations.
I support the idea of repurposing thoroughbreds and have had the majority of success in my career riding them. I thought, “I need to support this,” so I charged my credit card with $225 and pretty much forgot about it. Now it is February 15 and I find myself scrambling to find two qualified horses to do this on.
Now what? I hope to let you know.
Shaina Humphrey is a United States Equestrian Federation Rated Judge of Hunter and Jumper horses. She has represented the United States in International Competitions in Show Jumping and has owned, bred, and trained National Champions in her sport. She is the owner and trainer at Lucky Horse Farm in Granby, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband Lance and three children.
Thoroughbred horses have always been a mainstay of Shaina’s competitive success. She has taken horses off the track, and retrained them for various disciplines: dressage, eventing, field hunting, trail riding, and polo. Her experience working with Thoroughbreds is not limited to the show ring—she has worked breezing horses at the race track and served as a whip for the Woodbrook Hunt Club in Tacoma, Washington.
Most recently, Shaina has developed the horse “Call Me Larry” for hunter competitions. He ended his 2013 season with a clean sweep of the Thoroughbred Incentive Program Classes in Saratoga, NY.
About the 2016 Retired Racehorse Project
500 trainers were selected to compete for $100,000 in prize money for all manner of diciplines from dressage to rodeo on qualified off-the-track Thoroughbreds. Participating horses have to have raced or had an official work no more than two years from the competition and not have been trained for their new disclipline before October of 2015. The final will be held October 27 – 30, at the Kentucky Horse Park.