​Thoroughbreds Return to Future Hunter Divisions at the 2013 Capital Challenge Horse Show

Sunday, September 1, 2013
Posted by Jennifer Wood Media Inc.



Bacardi and Havens Schatt won last year's ,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship. The top competitors in the Thoroughbred division at this year's CCHS will qualify for the championship. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.​
Bacardi and Havens Schatt won last year's ,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship. The top competitors in the Thoroughbred division at this year's CCHS will qualify for the championship. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.​
Upper Marlboro, MD – The 2013 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS), presented by The Gochman Family, is pleased to announce that a $4,000 Future Working Hunter Thoroughbred division has been added to the schedule this year, sponsored by the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program. Entries for the Future Hunter Thoroughbred division are open until September 9, 2013.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show celebrates its 20th anniversary at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The 2013 dates are September 28-29 for the Equitation Weekend, presented by, and the USEF “AA” rated event on September 30-October 6.

The 2013 Capital Challenge Horse Show has a great variety of competition for young horses, beginning with the Future Hunter divisions on Monday, September 30. Top competitors then have the chance to qualify for the $20,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship on Wednesday, October 2.

Capital Challenge looks forward to welcoming the nation’s talented young Thoroughbreds back to this year thanks to the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program. The TAKE2 Program was launched in 2012 to promote second careers for retired Thoroughbred racehorses. It highlights the success of Thoroughbreds in the show ring and rewards those who compete on Thoroughbred hunters and jumpers with prize money and awards in restricted classes.

In an effort to broaden the avenues available to Thoroughbreds after their racing careers are over, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) last year partnered with the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB) to establish TAKE2. Many equestrian professionals have jumped on board with the program in order to aid in its success, including Adele Einhorn, Executive Director of Skidmore College, Saratoga Classic Horse Show and Director of Special Projects.

“TAKE2 is just something I was asked to help out with and now I am into it hook, line, and sinker, and it is so much fun,” Einhorn noted. “I feel passionate about it and I think it is something that is really meaningful.” Einhorn is also co-chair of the Thoroughbred Task Force for the USHJA and noted how many professional riders and show officials would love to see Thoroughbreds make a comeback in the show world.

“They need something to do with these horses and we kind of cut them out when we started riding Warmbloods, but that doesn’t mean that there is not a place for them,” Einhorn stated. “There are a lot of these horses out there and there is a use for them. If we create a place for them to participate in the sport once again, then I believe you will see them come back into the fold. It is a win-win situation because we get the Thoroughbreds back in and it opens the door to a new market of people that will compete at these horse shows. It just makes sense all the way around.”

Professional hunter rider Sandy Ferrell is no stranger to the Capital Challenge Horse Show and has a fantastic young Thoroughbred to show in this year’s competition. Ferrell will ride the eight-year-old gelding Early Note, owned by Richard Blue, in the Future Hunter Thoroughbred division. Early Note formerly raced before transforming into an excellent hunter, proving himself this past winter after earning a championship in the Thoroughbred division held at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Richard Blue’s daughter, Gay Blue Petersen, shows the gelding in the Adult Amateur Hunters, while Ferrell is his trainer and professional rider.

“That horse, not only did he race, but he did steeplechase and a little bit of everything,” Ferrell described. “It is kind of amazing that he did so many other things as far as the race world is concerned and he turned out to be such a superstar in the show ring. He is a good boy. He is a true confidence builder. He is super easy to ride, super fun to ride. He is just a good horse."

“I think a lot of people associate the Thoroughbreds with old school horsemen and the good old days of the show hunter world,” Ferrell noted. “Back then it was mostly Thoroughbreds. Over the years, they have kind of been replaced by the Warmbloods for different reasons, but traditionally I think people still consider Thoroughbreds as show horses, so it is nice that they are once again being recognized as show horses.”

Ferrell acknowledged Capital Challenge as an excellent outlet for giving young horses the mileage and experience they need for success and praised the show on their efforts to make the future hunter competition important. “For us, Capital Challenge is kind of like our Super Bowl with Pre-Green horses,” she stated. “It is very difficult competition. Everybody brings their Pre-Green horses there to let them shine. It is a little bit different in that it is not just a normal horse show. The young horses are very much showcased there and they are as important there as any other division.”

The Future Hunter Thoroughbred division at Capital Challenge is open to Thoroughbreds that have either their Jockey Club certificate of registration, a lip tattoo, a letter from the Jockey Club verifying the horse’s identity, or a breeder’s certificate verifying the horse’s breeding. The division includes two $1,000 over fence classes, a $1,500 stake class, and a $500 under saddle class.

Entries will have the opportunity to win the High Score Thoroughbred Hunter Award, sponsored by TAKE 2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program, Inc., which awards a $1,000 bonus to the highest scoring Thoroughbred that shows in the Thoroughbred section of the Future Working Hunter division.

By competing in the Future Working Hunter Thoroughbred division, entries also have the chance to qualify for the $20,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship. The championship class is open to the top six in each of the six Future Hunter sections. Many consider this class one of the most exciting events of the season as it showcases some of the most promising young horses in the country.

New for 2013, Capital Challenge is also very excited to host the presentation of the TAKE2 Thoroughbred High-Point Hunter Year-End Award. TAKE2 classes, open to raced and unraced Thoroughbreds eligible to be registered with The Jockey Club, were offered at 50 “A”- and “AA”-rated horse shows in 17 states this year. The TAKE2 Hunter and TAKE2 Jumper accumulating the most points for the year will each receive an award of $1,500 and a TAKE2 cooler. The jumper award will be presented in Kentucky.

“We started it last year in a little target market and then launched it this year full-on and it has really taken off,” Einhorn said. “We offer wonderful prize money. We spent about $150,000 this year on the program, awarding on average about $1,500 in the hunter divisions, and Capital Challenge is offering even more money of course. It has been lucrative for people to come and participate in the program because they can usually win back their entry fees.”

For more information on the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program, please visit or follow TAKE2 on Facebook.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show looks forwards to welcoming horses and riders for its 20th year of exceptional competition this fall. For more information, please visit or visit the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook!

In its 20th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year's show will take place on September 28-October 6.

Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country's best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.