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Standardbreds at Equine Affaire
Monday, April 14, 2014 - by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Outreach & Membership Enrichment Coordinator

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Columbus, OH --- The USTA, along with the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, sponsored a 10x30 booth and coordinated demonstrations with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption to educate Equine Affaire attendees about the Standardbred and harness racing over the weekend.

Aimee Hock photo
Drivers Luke Ebersole, Trace Tetrick, Aaron Merriman, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and Mickey Burke in the Standardbred booth after Sunday's demonstration.

Held Thursday-Sunday it took many people, including some of the sport's leading drivers, horses and a lot of literature to educate people on the sport and the great riding and pleasure horses Standardbreds make after their racing career is over.

There were two 10-minute demonstrations which focused on off-the-track Standardbred activities (Saturday) and harness racing (Sunday) and included:

  • Allamerican Legacy and Lauren Glover (ridden)
  • Anvil Raider N and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. (driven)
  • Investor and Julie Allison (ridden), Trace Tetrick (driven)
  • Special Report and Jennifer Daniels (ridden), Aaron Merriman (driven)
  • Starry Night Star and Luke Ebersole (driven)
  • Studs Hooligan and Amanda Munson (ridden)
  • Trabajador and Sarah Hanes (ridden)
  • Viking Kemosabe and Fred Borror (ridden), Mickey Burke (driven)

After the Sunday demonstration, Burke, Ebersole, Merriman, Tetrick and Wrenn talked to attendees, took photos and signed autographs at the Standardbred booth.

Many of the demonstration horses spent time in the petting stall, allowing attendees the ability to visit up close with them, take photos and learn more about that horse’s life, both on and off the track.

Jessica Schroeder photo
A view of the Standardbred booth which shows the plastic horse which allowed for attendees to see how it felt to sit in the racebike.

Standardbreds were sought after by clinicians and other discipline demonstrations over the weekend. Anvil Raider N and Jennifer Daniels, Silver Match and Chris Glover, and Trabajador and Sarah Hanes participated in a gaited horse demonstration on Thursday and Saturday. Special Report was used in a demonstration about identifying horses in case of an emergency or disaster and in another about equine chiropractic adjustment.

There was also a half-hour presentation about the sport of harness racing which featured Standardbreds Investor, Special Report and Starry Night Star and assistance from Julie Allison, Jennifer Daniels, Brett Merkle and Jason Roth.

Other people provided materials for and manned the booth, as well as took care of the demonstration horses, including Roy Burns, Gray Daniels, Joe Ewing, Randy Haines, Aimee Hock, Jerry Knappenberger, Michele and Paige Kopiec, Debbie and Paul Schiff, Avery Smith and Mike Woebkenberg, who provided the plastic horse that attendees could sit behind to simulate how it felt to sit in a racebike.

With other people providing support and assistance, the weekend was deemed a great success by the coordinators.

To view photos from Equine Affaire, visit the Equine Affaire photo album on the USTA Facebook page.

The next Equine Affaire will be held in Massachusetts from Nov. 13-16; Standardbreds will be represented there with a USTA/SPHO-MA co-sponsored booth.

Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program has worked with off-the-track Standardbreds and their owners to educate the general public about the many disciplines at which Standardbreds excel once they are retired from racing. For more information about the SEP at the USTA, visit LifeAfterRacing.ustrotting.com, or send e-mail inquiries to sep@ustrotting.com.


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