The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) named the recipients of its two non-competition awards, which included the Thoroughbred of the Year Award and the T.I.P. Young Rider of the Year Award, the organization said in a release Wednesday.
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.
The 2023 Thoroughbred of the Year is Kat. Registered with The Jockey Club as Kat's Hope, Kat is a 15-year-old gelding that works as a therapy horse at Special Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Center, a nonprofit that provides a variety of equine-assisted services for individuals with physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or traumatic-stress disabilities.
“He may have been born into the world of racing, but he was destined to be a therapy horse,” said Dana Fielding, ESMHL program manager at Special Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Center. “At Special Equestrians we harness the healing power of horses to transform lives every day, and, having Kat as part of our program, we have witnessed the profound impact he has had on the clients we serve.”
The young rider award, which recognizes riders 18 or younger (as of Jan. 1, 2023) who own or lease a Thoroughbred for use in 4-H, Pony Club, or other activities, has been awarded to Scarlet Boucher, Eysley Hatfield, Allie Koss, and Anna Szefc.
Click here for more information.