BY KATIE KALFAYAN
As a Thoroughbred Incentive Program Youth Ambassador, I’ve spent a large part of my eleven years riding working with Thoroughbreds. Currently, I ride a Thoroughbred named Petey that I plan on competing in the jumpers with. There’s a lot to look forward to when I show Petey, and one of those things is the Thoroughbred Incentive Program.
Thoroughbreds were once the forefront breed in American showjumping and competition. Despite this, there has been an increasingly strong emphasis on imported horses from Europe especially in hunter and jumper rings. Recently however, Thoroughbreds are making a comeback, with more and more people buying and adopting Off the Track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs). From amateurs to juniors to professionals, OTTBs can be seen in many barns all around the country. Today, the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) is making moves to help Thoroughbred lovers get involved in the both the showing and recreational riding community.
If you have not heard of TIP, it is a program run by The Jockey Club and is open to any thoroughbred registered under The Jockey Club. To be registered, all you have to do is sign up for a TIP number on their website. Once you register your horse, there are many things you can do to get involved.
First, many horse shows around the country and in Canada are TIP recognized. This means that they offer TIP awards (such as highpoints) or have TIP classes. The TIP website (tjctip.com) has a calender of every TIP recognized show that you can use to find out if you have one in the area. All kinds of shows are TIP recognized, including dressage, events, and even western shows.
Next, TIP has a program called the Performance Awards. The performance awards are year-end awards open to all TIP horses/riders. These involve self-reporting results from every show, including non-recognized horse shows. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is too far from a recognized show to get involved with TIP.
Finally, the Thoroughbred Incentive Program offers the Recreational Riding Program. This unique award, similar to the Performance Awards, is self-reported, but instead of show results, you record recreational riding hours. This includes trail rides and hunter paces (anything in a ring, lessons, and shows do not count for this). The Recreational Riding Program gives an opportunity to Thoroughbred lovers who do not show.
The Thoroughbred Incentive Program is a great way to get involved in the OTTB community and get recognition for working with an amazing group of horses!