November 2014 Issue - page 6

Page 6
November 2014
Icabad Crane Crowned Most Wanted Horse at Thoroughbred Makeover
Icabad Crane, a nine-year-
old gelding who ran third in the
2008 Preakness Stakes, returned
to Pimlico Race Course on
Sunday, October 5 to win the
America’s Most Wanted Thor-
oughbred contest sponsored by
EQUUS Foundation, taking home
the winner’s share of the $10,000
The contest, organized as
part of the Retired Racehorse
Project’s Thoroughbred Make-
over, paired ten top trainers with
ten Thoroughbred ex-racehors-
es and showed their progress
throughout the summer on the
RRP’s website. Each team rep-
resented an equestrian discipline:
Polo, Show Hunter, Eventing,
Ranch Work, Steeplechase, Fox
Hunter, Show Jumper, Barrel
Racing, Dressage and Pony Club.
With 10,480 people voting
online in a very tight race, Team
Icabad pulled out all the stops to
win. A series of video endorse-
ments from his former jockeys,
past trainer and current owner
Graham Motion, current trainer
and rider Olympian Phillip Dut-
ton, and Phillip’s thirteen-year-old
daughter Olivia contributed to his
popularity, but the on-track per-
formance sealed the win. Jumping
a five stride line of jumps in four,
five, six, seven, and eight strides
proved just how responsive this
great horse has become, but when
Olivia got on and showed the
horse’s generosity and kindness
with some beautiful work on the
flat, Icabad truly became Ameri-
ca’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.
“He is very adjustable and
such a sensible horse,” Dutton said.
“The last time he was at Pimlico
was when he ran in the Preakness
Stakes in 2008, so to give it a go in
front of the grandstands says a hell
of a lot about the horse,” he said.
“The whole afternoon was
pretty incredibly inspiring watch-
ing these off-track Thorough-
breds — where their lives have
gone and what the other trainers
have been able to achieve with
them in all these other disci-
plines,” Phillip said.
At the end of the day on
Sunday, it came down to just 120
votes between Icabad and Pook-
ie’s Princess, with trainer Patrick
King demonstrating Western
Dressage, a bit of reining, work-
ing with a tarp over her head,
work with the Garocha pole, and
lying down on the track at the end
for Patrick to dismount.
Close behind were Discreet
Dancer, trained by Olympic show
jumper Armand Leone representing
New Vocations RacehorseAdop-
tion Program, and then D’Sauvage
of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue
demonstrating side saddle, show
hunter, and leadline. All ten contes-
tants had large followings rooting
for them and all went home proud.
“What happened on the track
today was a gift from Thorough-
bred horses to people everywhere,”
said RRP President Steuart Pitt-
man. “They showed us their souls,
their generosity, and their elegance.
We are grateful to our sponsors,
our host, our participants, and to
all of the racing, equestrian, and
mainstream local media outlets
for spreading this story to millions
of readers, viewers, and listeners.
The demand for these horses after
racing is growing and that is our
gift back to the horses. ”
The America’s Most Wanted
Thoroughbred contest was just
one part of a weekend-long event
celebrating Thoroughbreds off the
track. Now in its second year, the
RRP’s Thoroughbred Makeover is
the national gathering of the farms,
organizations, and trainers who
transition these horses to second
careers. Morning seminars covered
training, health care, and the busi-
ness side of acquiring, training, and
placing horses with new owners.
The TCAThoroughbred Market-
place showcased 48 Thoroughbreds
for sale or adoption, giving owners
the opportunity to present the hors-
es to spectators and connect with
buyers from the region.
The event was streamed live
on, reaching
more than 5,000 viewers during
the two days. The video will be
available for viewing on the Re-
tired Racehorse Project’s website.
Seven hundred people attended
the event during the weekend.
The EQUUS Foundation was
the presenting sponsor for Amer-
ica’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred
Contest. Thoroughbred Charities
of America sponsored the Thor-
oughbred Marketplace.
Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane show off their championship rib-
bon after winning the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred
at the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover at Pimli-
co in early October.
Photo credit:
Megan Stapley Photography
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