The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) has announced 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 2020.
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.
This year’s winner is Gus, registered with The Jockey Club as Sir Gus, a 25-year-old gelding that assists with therapeutic programs at Brook Hill Farm in Forest, Virginia. He raced 43 times, winning six races and earning $35,079. Gus became a riding horse for a child in his second career before ending up in a poor situation and being rescued by Brook Hill.
Brook Hill offers equine-assisted learning programs for at-risk youth, physically and mentally challenged children and adults, senior citizens and military veterans. Gus has participated in the at-risk youth program as well as the therapeutic program to assist participants with physical and mental challenges. He helps children to gain self-confidence and grow into caring, compassionate adults.
“Gus has done it all, from jumping at Pony Club Rally to helping children in a therapeutic riding program—he loves to take care of his riders!” said Jo Anne Miller, executive director of Brook Hill.
The young rider award, which recognizes riders 18 or younger who own or lease a Thoroughbred for use in 4-H, Pony Club or other activities, has been awarded to Kate Brown, Clara Dendtler, Jenna Everhart and Isabella Wade.
Kate Brown, 16, owns Sports Revenge, also known as Sport. They compete in dressage and eventing. Brown has served as a T.I.P. Youth Ambassador and plans to use her award funds for horse shows.
“After owning Sport for about three years, I started to learn more about his breed,” said Brown. “Then I learned about T.I.P. and all the great things that they do. I applied to be a T.I.P. Youth Ambassador for 2017-2018 and again for 2018-2019. That taught me so much about the breed, and I met so many cool people along the way.”
Clara Dendtler, who turned 19 last month, owns Go Star, also known as Quinn. They have competed in hunters, and Dendtler was the junior high point rider at the T.I.P. Championships in 2019 while riding Quinn. Dendtler would like to use her award funds to help pay for college. She started at Clemson University this fall and is in the nursing program.
“Quinn has taught me so much, but I feel that she has most notably shown me the importance of perseverance both in and out of the ring,” said Dendtler. “The heart, athleticism, and passion of a Thoroughbred is truly unmatched, and there is no horse breed I would rather work with.”
Jenna Everhart, 18, owns and competes on her Thoroughbred Jetaway E.T., also known as Hector. Showing in English pleasure, the pair was named champion in T.I.P.’s Junior division for English pleasure and reserve champion in the East division in 2019. Everhart plans to use her award funds to support her college education and would like to pursue a career in occupational therapy.
“When I bought Hector three years ago, it was my first time ever on the back of a Thoroughbred. Of course, the road of training a young horse was not perfect, but it taught me so much about riding,” said Everhart. “In the past three years, he has gone from a Thoroughbred with only ever a racing saddle on, to a pleasure champ.”
Isabella Wade, 17, has owned Forum, also known as Wesley, for three years. They compete in hunters, and Wade is a T.I.P. Youth Ambassador. Wade would like to use her award funds to support a trip to the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Show and T.I.P. Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, as well as assist with college tuition.
“[Being a T.I.P. Ambassador] changed how I viewed my responsibility to the Throughbred breed,” said Wade. “Before, I saw riding my [off-the-track Thoroughbred] as something entirely personal. I was riding for myself at shows I enjoyed going to. Now, I see going to T.I.P. shows and raising awareness for the breed as something I should be doing because I own an [off-the-track Thoroughbred]. I can't imagine my life without my Thoroughbred, and being a T.I.P. Youth Ambassador has added to my experience.”
About The Jockey Club T.I.P.
Created and announced in October 2011, T.I.P. recognizes and rewards the versatility of the Thoroughbred through sponsorship of Thoroughbred classes and high point awards at sanctioned horse shows, year-end performance awards, a recreational riding program, and non-competition awards. Additional information about T.I.P. is available at tjctip.com and on the T.I.P. Facebook page at facebook.com/tjctip.
About Brook Hill Farm
Brook Hill Farm is a horse rescue and therapeutic riding center, helping horses help people. Horses come to Brook Hill Farm from seizures and owners that can no longer care for them. People come to Brook Hill Farm with physical and mental disabilities. Together, they come together to heal. For more information, visit our website brookhillfarm.org.