January 27, 2014 | Jessica Paquette
When New England champion Massachusetts-bred Southoftheborder made her final start this summer, I assumed the multiple local stakes winner was off to the breeding shed for owner and breeder Lloyd Lockhart.
That was in fact, not the case. Southoftheborder was not quite ready to hang up her horseshoes and completely retire. Laurine Barreira, Lloyd’s granddaughter, has taken over the management of the family’s Cedar Lock Farm in Florida and saw potential in the big, good-looking mare for a second career off the racetrack.
“She was so athletic, talented, willing to please and fun to work with throughout her career. Watching her in the field with Petesamassbred made me realize she just wasn't ready to be a broodmare retired from working,” said Barreira. “It was evident that she still wanted to strut her stuff; so I decided I would retrain her as a hunter/jumper for myself.”
The eleven-year-old daughter of Senor Conquistador has always been a favorite of New England Hall of Fame owner and breeder Lockhart. “Grampa always called her his pet, and that's exactly how she acts. She is just so loving and sweet, and always alert and waiting for my next instruction.”
One common misconception is that an older Thoroughbred is more difficult to retrain. Often the more experienced war-horses are passed by as show prospects in favor of something that is more of a blank slate. I have found that while an empty canvas can be nice, you know with a seasoned racehorse that they already have the fire and competitive spirit to excel in the show ring. “I have retrained many OTTB's over the years, and I have to say that it all has to do with the horse and their personality,” said Barreira. “South is definitely one of the easiest I've had in a long time. It’s safe to say I'm absolutely smitten.”
An advocate for off-the-track Thoroughbreds, Barreira has become an advocate for OTTBs and has successfully sent many of the family’s homebreds off to successful careers as show horses and pleasure mounts.
Across the country, more and more Thoroughbred exclusive shows have been popping up as a way to promote the OTTB in their second careers. Barreira has created one of her own and it could be an exciting addition to the competitive Florida Show circuit this spring.
“The all-new "Run for the Ribbons" Horse Show Series will be an exclusive Hunter/Jumper horse show series for all tattooed, registered, and identifiable Thoroughbreds. Our mission is to create a meaningful competitive environment, raise the demand for Thoroughbreds, and to help owners in expanding second career options for OTTB's (Off-Track Thoroughbreds). We envision the Run for the Ribbons as a great way to showcase the talents and abilities of Thoroughbred horses in the second stage of their careers in the world of Hunter/Jumper competition. We will also have in-hand classes for thoroughbreds that are no longer able to compete under saddle. This will encourage and reward those who have taken on the responsibility of caring for those horses. This exciting and meaningful show will provide prospective horse buyers with a fresh look at the OTTB as the potential source of their next horse, rather than selecting other more conventional breeds. We also believe that this show will encourage trainers and owners of current racehorses to retire their horses in sound condition, knowing that there is a market by way of this new exclusive Thoroughbred show series. We envision this series as an opportunity to remove the dark cloud hanging over the horse racing industry, providing for the wellbeing of OTTB’s and opening the door to new opportunities for them and their owners. Caring for our beloved Thoroughbreds after their lives in racing has become the driving force behind this series and its success. This new life “after racing” will also go far in generating substantially greater positive public opinion about racing. We recognize the hardships faced by retiring Thoroughbred racehorses, and have created this show series exclusively for the purpose of honoring this elegant and competitive breed, giving them a new lease on life, and providing greater home opportunities for them after they cross the “finish line” for the last time. This show also allows us to further the industry’s current conscientious efforts to enhance thoroughbred retirements.”
More information about Cedar Lock Farm and the Run for the Ribbons show series can be found here: http://www.cedarlockfarm.com/run-for-the-ribbons-horse-show-series.html