Down to the Wire for the TAKE Thoroughbred League!

Last year's TAKE2 Hunter Finals Champion Lucca and rider Hunter Kay. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

There are just three weeks left in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League season, but that’s still plenty of time to earn points toward the $10,000 Year-End High-Score Awards, and to qualify for the $20,000 TAKE2 Finals. The season concludes August 29, 2021, with 10 horse shows in eight different states: Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Click here for the complete schedule.

The current leaders, Jaime Gibson’s Beyond Comparison, and Patricia Hurter’s Nine Links, have been atop the standings since April. Can they be caught? Click here for the complete TAKE2 League Standings.

The $20,000 TAKE2 Finals will be held Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, at the Kentucky National Horse Show in Lexington. The top 40 TAKE2 Thoroughbred League members in each division will be invited to the Finals. In addition, there are five wild care berths available in the TAKE2 Hunter and Jumper divisions at the Kentucky National to the top five finishers who have not yet qualified. 

Reminder: You must enroll in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League before the end of the season to be eligible to compete in the $20,000 TAKE2 Hunter and Jumper Finals. The season ends Sunday, August 29, 2021. Click here to join now!

TAKE2 Takes 5 with:
Thoroughbred League Leader Nine Links

Nine Links, owned by Patricia Hurter and trainer by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Fargis, currently leads the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League’s Jumper standings with 776 points. The 12-year-old son of Andromeda’s Hero started his racing career with a promising 4th-place finish at fabled Saratoga Race Course, but finished out of the money in his next six starts, and retired with earnings of just $3,316. The bay, aka Niles, has blossomed in his second career, however, and has been in the top 10 in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League standings in three of the last five years.

1) When and how did you and your owner, Trish Hurter, find each other?
    I was lucky enough to be sent to a Thoroughbred re-training farm in Middleburg, VA, called Tebogo Farm, when I was four. I took a few months to chill out after my exciting, if not particularly successful, racing career. A friend of Trish’s visited Tebogo looking for a hunter, and found out about me and told Trish. I was clearly showing talent as a show-jumping prospect. Trish wasn’t really looking for another horse, but she is a sucker for Thoroughbreds because her first horse was an amazing jumper that she got off the track as a 4-year-old. Trish and I met in the Spring of 2014, and agreed to form a team at the Upperville Show in 2014. The rest is history.

2)  You didn’t have a lot of success as a racehorse. What has made you successful in the jumper ring?
    I’m really quite competitive, flat racing just wasn’t for me. Jumping is a lot more interesting and exciting and strategic, which is a good fit for a smart fellow like me. I’m really speedy, and turn amazingly fast, which means that my winning ratio in the jumper ring is really quite impressive.

3) What is it like, training with Joe Fargis?
    Joe is an amazing human. He’s calm, and consistent, and doesn’t let my rider get away with any nonsense. He is a true horseman and always puts my welfare as the first priority. I’m extraordinarily fortunate to have landed up with him as a trainer. He loves Thoroughbreds, not surprisingly since he won a couple of gold medals riding the iconic Touch of Class, a legendary Thoroughbred mare.

4) What is your favorite type of jump and why?
    When I was at Tebogo they cross-trained me over eventing jumps as well as show jumping jumps, so I’ve seen it all and nothing really bothers me. I’m an all-around kind of guy.

5) What do you like to do when you are not training and competing?
    Luckily Trish loves to trail ride, and only rides in the ring the minimum amount necessary to keep me performing at my best. More recently I’ve been showing a new rider the ropes, doing the low children’s jumpers. That’s been a fun and interesting project, she’s learning fast and we were Champion at Lake Placid this year. Apart from showing and competing, we have fun going to the apple orchard, the beach, and other fun places to gallop. I love being turned out on grass paddocks, too, and get a lot of that. I realize I’m really lucky to have landed up where I did. I hang out in Wellington in the winter, and Massachusetts in the summer, being a snowbird suits me. I’m looking forward to hopefully moving to Middleburg, VA, in the next year or so. I’m thinking I might give fox-hunting a try.

We have new leaders for the TAKE2 Junior Rider Award, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA)! Alyssa Paulette and Check the Label (pictured) are atop the Hunter Division, and Savannah Haag and Valedictorian have moved to the front in the Jumper Division. The TAKE2 Junior Rider Champions each receive trophies, and the top five in each division will get TAKE2/TCA saddle pads. The drawing for the $1,000 TAKE2 Scholarship will be streamed live on our Facebook page at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 20. Please tune in!