Hunter/Jumper

Today in Good Ideas: Free Classes for OTTBs!

©McCool

Disheartened by exorbitant cost of developing young horses in North America?

Long for the days when Thoroughbreds dominated the hunter/jumper rings?

Enjoy the sun in Southern California?

Husband and wife duo Ali and Francie Nilforushan are about to make your dreams come true.

The co-owners of Nilforushan Equisport Events announced that class fees for young horses and off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) have been eliminated at the upcoming spring Temecula Valley National Horse Show series in Southern California.

As in, the horses show for free. Zero clams. Zip dineros. Nil ducats.

The initiative, explained Ali, is an effort to revive interest in OTTBs in the hunter/jumper industry and to create more opportunities for young riders from a wider range of economic backgrounds.

“For many years there was a Thoroughbred on the podium in just about every Olympic Games, and I know they are still out there and they can be had for nothing. My goal is to provide a show atmosphere for the kids who are not from a financial background where they can buy whatever horse they want,” said Nilforushan.

“I hope that we can cultivate this new way of thinking of going to get a Thoroughbred, training it and bringing it through the ranks. This gives the horses a second career and gives our kids who can’t keep up with some of the rest a chance to show and compete.”

Sponsoring the Thoroughbred friendly endeavor is Oakmont Ranch, a rehabilitation and training center in Southern California.

“For years, Oakmont Ranch has been rehabilitating and training Thoroughbreds, some of which return to the racetrack and some of which find a new career in the hunter/jumper world,” said Oakmont Ranch owner Gary Broad.

“We have developed our own program for retraining OTTBs geared toward amateur riders, and immediately recognized the opportunity that the Nilforushans’ show series brought to these horses and their riders. We feel it is so important to foster the Thoroughbred industry, and hope that by reducing show fees more of these young horses will have a chance to get in the ring.”

As an additional financial incentive, Nilforushan Equisport Events is offering tiered-fee stabling options during the three week circuit. Competitors can choose from permanent and tent stalls at price points of $400, $300 and $200.

The Temecula Valley National Horse Show circuit will take place in April, May and early June. Learn more at www.jump-NEE.com.