Welcome to the Winter Newsletter! We've got a feature on transitioning to college with horses from the perspective of three of our Youth Ambassadors, TIP program updates and reminders, and we caught up with a few Thoroughbreds.  I hope you all stay safe and well as we near the end of what has been an unusual year. Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year! 
~Kristin Werner , T.I.P. Coordinator

Advice from T.I.P. Youth Ambassadors on Transitioning out of High School with Horses

By  T.I.P. Youth Ambassadors Carley Allington, Amy Demetrick,
and Payton Gunther
Transitioning out of high school and into the “real” world is already a taxing and interesting journey, but doing it with horses makes it significantly more difficult. Each one of us have and are taking on this experience from a different perspective. We’ve decided to write about each of our individualized experiences to give insight to those coming up to this milestone and give a nod to those who have gone through the same ups and downs that we have recently.
Carley: I am finding that college is a great place for self-discovery. I am continually growing and changing my mind on where I’m headed, but one thing has been consistent: my horses. I enjoy being able to spend what time I can at the barn with them and getting a study break here and there. It’s important to keep things that you love close in order to keep going in a rigorous program. I think if it’s financially and reasonably possible for those of you who are nearing the big milestone starting college, I recommend bringing your horse with you to college only if you can handle a full plate. It may seem too stressful to bring horses into the mix, but it might be a nice study break, even if it’s towards the end of your college career when you need it most. I also recommend if it isn’t going to be possible to move your horse or if you only lease, lesson, etc. that you look into if your university has an equestrian team. Though I don’t ride for my team, I absolutely love being a part of it for the social aspects as well as participating on the executive board.
Amy: [Amy is taking a gap year before starting college and is a working student at a farm in Calgary] Although it's hard work, it's amazing to have the opportunity to dedicate almost all my time to horses.  I've already learned so much about riding, and even more about thoroughbreds in general.  Riding at a farm that primarily consists of warmbloods is very different from what I’m used to.  After working over the summer prepping thoroughbred yearlings for The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s sale in British Columbia, and having ridden mainly thoroughbreds throughout my life, I have little experience riding warmbloods or other breeds.
If you have the opportunity to work and ride at a barn somewhere, and be surrounded by solely horses and horse people, I would definitely recommend you do it. The one thing I would suggest to anyone experiencing a change whether you're juggling a university schedule with riding, moving to a different barn, or starting on a different horse, is to always surround yourself with a good support system.  Having people around you for encouragement and inspiration is key to success in anything, especially in regards to riding. Having a trainer you trust, or a friend you can talk things through with are all crucial elements to not only getting better at the sport but staying healthy and grounded in general. I’m so happy to be able to spend my gap year like this, and can't wait to find out what the rest of the year looks like.
Payton: Unfortunately, due to financial reasons, and the fact that Allie [her Thoroughbred] is living a peaceful retired life in a big field with her friends, I was not able to bring her to my university with me. This has been hard, since she was my main form of comfort in my most difficult times. However, I have found other ways to destress, and I visit Allie when I can. I encourage people to go to college, and I encourage equestrians to go as well. A riding career is a hard thing to create, and to have a backup plan is always a good idea. If you can, bring your horse with you to college to help you through this transitional period in your life. If you can’t bring your horse, like me, don’t be discouraged. Look into riding programs at your school, usually you can take a lesson on your own time, on a horse that the school or private riding program owns. No matter what, ensure that your horse is being well taken care of wherever they are; they deserve it!
Carley, Amy and Payton's Parting Advice:
You should do whatever you can to further your dreams with or without horses. Remember why you are starting your journey, and don’t forget your lovely ponies and friends that have helped you along the way. Everything will fall into place and work out one way or another; Enjoy the ride.

T.I.P. Program Reminders and Updates
Performance Awards are due December 20!
All instructions available at

Some reminders -
1. Hunters and Jumpers - CHECK YOUR HEIGHTS and ensure you have selected the correct division. Not sure what the divisions are? Visit The height break downs are not the same for Hunters and Jumpers.
2. Check your zones. (second tab)
3. High Point-type awards (T.I.P. or otherwise) and series-end awards do not count for Performance Award points. Please delete any you have entered.
4. Any Eventing or CT that is below Beginner Novice should be entered as Pre-BN (this includes Amoeba, Tadpole, Green as Grass, Goldilocks, Elementary, Intro, Starter, etc.)
5. Please make sure your class description includes the class name or test description, class number and height if applicable. PLEASE include class numbers for all H/J, Pleasure classes.
6. All virtual or online shows must be entered as Online Shows - in the drop down box for Category and Division, select ONLINE - OnlDR and ONLINE - OnlOT only.
New Awards for Thoroughbreds playing Polo
The Thoroughbred Incentive Program and United States Polo Association recently announced that they will recognize Thoroughbreds that are excelling as polo horses through six awards that will be offered annually, starting in 2020. The full press release can be found at Applications are closed for 2020 and winners will be announced in 2021. Applications for next year’s awards will open November 1, 2021.
For more information visit
Checking in with the Thoroughbreds!
We had an exclusive interview with our 2020 T.I.P. Thoroughbred of the Year Sir Gus. From racehorse to therapeutic riding horse, click on the photo to watch a video about Gus' journey to TAA-accredited Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Inc.  
T.I.P. recently assigned its 30,000th number to Looking Good Kelly, now known as “Teddy,” an unraced son of Jimmy Creed out of Airizon. He is owned by Jaimie Pollock. “I purchased Teddy in August with the intent of making him my next eventing partner, Right now I am focusing on putting a solid foundation on him, but I hope to get him out to some competitions next year!” We wish Jaimie and Teddy the best of luck and look forward to their participation in T.I.P.

Wishing 2017 T.I.P. Thoroughbred of the year SSO Valor a happy retirement after 17 years with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. Click the photo to read the article from

Congratulations to Hadifly, the America's Best Racing Fan Choice Awards Favorite OTTB in Equine-Assisted Therapy. After making nearly 50 starts, Hadifly became a three-day event horse before transitioning into a riding horse at the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding. He retired in 2018 and this year received recognition as the fans’ favorite OTTB in Equine-Assisted Therapy. Hadifly was the 2018 T.I.P. Thoroughbred of the Year.
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What is Thoroughbred Connect?
Thoroughbred Connect enables anyone with an Interactive Registration (IR) account to express his or her willingness to be contacted by someone in possession of a Thoroughbred in the event the horse is in need of aftercare or assistance. It is also a resource for horse owners to list a Thoroughbred that is in need of aftercare or assistance.

Thoroughbred Connect Information is now available with Digital Foal Certificates: With this update, contact information for those who would like to help a specific Thoroughbred is displayed by default on a horse’s digital certificate page. Thoroughbred Connect users can elect to opt out of this setting at any time. Contact information associated with horses born prior to 2018, and who thus might not have a digital certificate, can still be shared with a successful connection made via the Thoroughbred Connect link after logging into IR.

For more information about Thoroughbred Connect, please visit
Programs available through T.I.P. 
Click the links for more info!
Important Dates
Dec. 2020:
2021 T.I.P. horse shows approved 
Dec. 20, 2020:
2020 Perf. Award forms due
January 2021
T.I.P. Calendar of Events updated
February 1, 2021
TJC Scholarship Applications Due
April 2021
Young Rider and TB of the Year Applications Open
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