The Jockey Club Incentive Program (T.I.P.) released 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 2016. The Thoroughbred of the Year Award, given to a Thoroughbred that has excelled in a non-competitive career, went to Big Saga (Arctic Saga), aka Louis or Shadow Dancer, a therapy horse with The Right Step Inc., in Littleton, CO. The 27-year-old Idaho-bred was originally a show horse, and the division champion in the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association. Later in his career, Big Saga taught many different children about riding, and has served as a therapy horse for The Right Step.
“The Right Step and our clients are honored to have Louie as a therapy horse,” said Christine Remy of The Right Step. “He is a Thoroughbred who has had something to give back and teach us humans in all the stages of his life. And we humans have loved and treasured him all the way through.”
The young rider award, which recognizes a rider 18 or under who owns or leases a Thoroughbred for use in 4-H, Pony Club or other activities, was split between Caitlin Dinkel of Springville, Utah (18), Morgan Kastner of Glyndon, Minnesota (18) and Ella MacMaster of Woodstock, Vermont(16). Dinkel, who is majoring in Equine Science at Utah State University, will use the award for furthering her education, with the same for Kastner, who is pursuing a Business Education degree at Valley City University. MacMaster's focus will be to use the award for training and attending the North American Junior Young Riders Championships in 2017.