They’re a breed that may not be for everyone, but they’re a consistent presence at the upper levels.
Thoroughbreds continue to excel in the sport of eventing, and eventer Sarah Davis is one of their biggest advocates. The horseman recently relocated her business to Heartbeat Farm.
The professional not only teaches lessons, but also competes, as well has having a number of sales horses in her barn. But, it’s the Thoroughbred that continues to resonate loudly with Davis.
Heartbeat Farm has been ideal for Davis, and it’s not just the facility’s idyllic setting, but its ample space and large barn.
“I’ve had nothing but extreme compliments about the farm,” said Davis. “The view is incredible. There’s so much energy, but at the same time it’s very relaxing. It makes for an excellent backdrop to sell horses.”
However, it’s Davis’ preference for Thoroughbreds that makes her sales program successful. The horseman has a number of connections with trainers at different racetracks.
“I tend to stick to family run racing farms, who breed their horses,” said Davis. “It takes a special rider, and a certain type of horsemanship to properly retrain a Thoroughbred, who’s off the track, so that he’s classically trained and easy to ride.”
Davis’ experience has enabled the horseman to develop an eye for finding the right type of horse, ones that will fit her program. Thoroughbreds continue to attract the attention of the performance horse world, possessing many sought-after traits, willingess, heart and desire.
“You have to be able to have the skill to be able to identify the ones that have the potential to be prospects to be retrained,” said Davis. “You also have to be sure you’re going to be getting them into the right home.”
The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program has generated additional interest in the breed, with many off the track Thoroughbreds transitioning into their next career.
“Thoroughbreds are making a comeback. If you watch the upper levels of the eventing sport, you’ll have the off the track Thoroughbreds that are still at the top, running advanced, and doing four stars,” said Davis. “Lanie Ashker’s horse, Anthony Patch, was a Charles Town throwaway. He’s a little, 15.3 hands, off the racetrack horse. Their success in the sport is making the breed desirable. People still realize you can have a nice, upper level horse, and it’s probably not going to be a Warmblood. It’ll probably be a Thoroughbred.”
It’s Davis’ ability to reschool the horses, find the right horse for the right rider, that has earned her the trust and respect of other horseman in the industry. The eventer provides owners and trainers at the racetrack with a place to send their horses after they’ve finished their career in Thoroughbred racing, to make sure they end up in the right situation. The horses will go to horsemen, who compete, can afford to take care of the horse, and know how to do right by the horse, she said.
“Everyone thinks you have to rescue the racehorse,” said Davis. “When they’re at the racetrack, they’ll be taken care of better than they’ll ever be for the rest of their lives. It’s where they go after leaving the track, going to people who don’t know how to take care of them, or the horse ends up being too much for them. A lot of times, I’ll get them after they’ve gone to that person, and I will get them fit, healthy and where they need to be.”
For more information about Sarah Davis Eventing, you can access the horseman’s website at sdeventing.com.