This week I had the opportunity to go to Rolex again. It was an amazing experience, I mean it is the best weekend ever! I was able to see Michel Jung make history by winning Rolex 3 years in a row. I was also able to help out C4 belts during the busiest times there and I may have splurged and bought some things for my ponies. But that isn't exactly the reason I am writing this blog.
I attended a talk that the Retired Racehorse Project had that was on future things that could be happening as well as Makeover plans for this year. One of the biggest things though is making sure people see Thoroughbreds not just as fragile horses, but instead as useful sport horses in all disciplines.
So I decided I would look at some statistics from the Rolex completions from the past two years. I wanted to go 2-3 more years back but I can only find 2016 and obviously 2017 results.
In 2016 eighty-six percent of thoroughbreds who ran around Rolex completed the event. And it was a rough muddy course. 71% of the other horses completed the whole show, but like I said the cross country was rainy, slick, and an absolute mess. So last year 75% of all the horses who started completed. Derek Di Grazia and the weather made sure to make it a tough 4* course.
this year the cross country killed a good bit of people. The questions were rough, and there were a few falls, as well as many issues with fences. The Land Rover Landing definitely added it's fair share of problems with the skinny arrowhead after coming off a sharp turn to a skinny arrowhead.
This year 66% of the TB starters completed the course. A few falls, a few issues, but anyone who made it through cross country continued onto show jumping. 65% of the others completed the whole event, two were withdrawn before jogs, and one more was spun at jogs. This cross country course was brutal and prove it time and time again.
Rolex first timer, pictured above, Woodge Fulton won the best conditioned horse award. Captain Jack came off the track and proved himself to be a cross country machine yesterday. And a fit one at that. He still had go in his tank at the end of the cross country course.
I wish I could find the results for the past 5 years for the complete show. But I can find the best conditioned horse. This year a OTTB won it. In the past Opposition Buzz and Donner have won it. I'm sure as have many other thoroughbreds. They are horses who are slightly easier to get fit than the warmblood counterparts like James Alliston said in the Off The Track Thoroughbred magazine.
The Thoroughbreds, even those raced, have proved they can do it. So who are we to rule them out? That's what my barn is and I have some talented young horses. We just have to be willing to take the time to make our horses and not buy made horses from over seas.