The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) has revealed the recipients of its two non-competition awards, the T.I.P. Thoroughbred of the Year Award and the T.I.P. Young Rider of the Year Award, for 2021. The Thoroughbred of the Year Award recognizes a Thoroughbred that has excelled in a non-competitive career, such as equine-assisted therapy or police work, and includes a $5,000 grant to the non-profit organization associated with the horse or, if no organization is associated with the horse, to a horse-related charity chosen by The Jockey Club.
This year's winner is Fahey, registered with The Jockey Club as Rock the Mountain, a 26-year-old gelding who assists with riding lessons and therapeutic programs at New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding Foundation in Palos Hills, Illinois. He raced 35 times, winning two races and earning $23,077. Before joining New Beginnings, Fahey was a member of the Chicago Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit. He was named after William Fahey, a Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty.
“Fahey is a trusted horse for our riders, as he has a kind temperament and calm demeanor,” said Mary Hensley of New Beginnings. “He has an affinity for those with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, he is well-suited to participate in the New Beginnings 'One Good Day' clinics that are offered to veterans and first responders as well. In this new day of COVID-19, he is also a respite and a friend to those who are in need of a confidant.”
The young rider award, which recognizes riders 18 or younger who own or lease a Thoroughbred for use in 4-H, Pony Club, or other activities, has been awarded to Victoria Klapper, Dafna Heule, and Kaylynn Berry. Klapper, 17, owns three off-the-track Thoroughbreds and has competed in jumpers. She plans to use her award funds to help pay for college. Heule, 18, leases Ahh Ahh Chew, also known as Chewie, and they compete in eventing. Heule would like to put her award funds toward training a new off-the-track Thoroughbred once her lease with Chewie ends. Berry, 15, owns New Blane, also known as Unsolved Mystery (barn name: Myst), and they compete in jumpers. Berry is a T.I.P. Youth Ambassador. Berry would like to use her award toward competing in rated shows and college tuition.