Three first-time events this month will benefit Remember Me Rescue (RMR), a north Texas organization that retrains and rehabilitates retired and injured Thoroughbred horses when their race track careers are over.
Although many racehorses arrive at RMR directly after being retired, not all are so lucky. Some get caught in a downward spiral of being constantly traded, neglected, or worse. Two of the horses in the weekend’s headline event, “The Battle of the X’s Trainers Challenge,” were literally plucked from the door of a slaughterhouse.
One goal of the events is to highlight the versatility of the Thoroughbred horse and increase understanding about what can be done for racehorses when they can no longer race. Thoroughbreds make wonderful trail companions, lesson horses, mounted patrol horses, therapy, barrel, jumping or dressage horses. They can be retrained for nearly anything.
“Every horse deserves a happy life at the end of their racing career” said racing Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens. “Unfortunately, most don’t get one. Remember Me Rescue can make a difference by giving horses the happy life they deserve after their racing career.”
The weekend’s events include a gala, two live auctions, a Thoroughbred horse show competition, and the featured event – the Battle of the Xs Trainers Challenge – which will show off the newly learned skills of 10 horses from the RMR program.
The Battle of the X’s Trainers Challenge will be held on Sat., April 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth. The Trainer’s Challenge will demonstrate that retired or rescued racehorses can be successfully re-trained in different disciplines.
Several months ago, 10 trainers from around the country selected a Remember Me Rescue horse to retrain for a rewarding new career. The Trainers Challenge is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation. After the Trainers Challenge competition and presentation to the winners of the Battle, the Challenge horses will be auctioned to go to new homes. To qualify to bid on one of the professionally trained Challenge horses the bidder must have submitted an adoption application and been approved prior to the auction.
Judges for the Battle of the X’s Trainers Challenge will be:
• Julie Krone: Krone was the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race and the first woman inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Julie has also been named as a 2013 National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee.
• Maggi Moss: Moss is one of the top 10 racehorse owners in the country by earnings and wins and an avid supporter of programs benefitting retired racehorses.
• Carol Dean-Porter: Californian Dean-Porter is a USEF A Rated Judge and a host of “Judge My Ride.”
• Mary Cage: Cage is author of the “Past The Grandstand” blog and an accomplished equestrian.
Auctioneer will be National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. Known for his charismatic, entertaining style, Berg trained the legendary horse Alysheba, winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders Cup Classic.
Entertainment will be provided by recording artist, performer and composer Liza G. Fly.
75% of the proceeds from the sale of the horses will fund an Intensive Care and Therapy facility for injured racehorses in RMRs program. 25% will be paid to the trainer of each individual horse to help with care and training associated with their efforts, as well as an extra bonus for a wonderful performance.
The All-Thoroughbred Horse Show will be held prior to the Trainers Challenge during the day on Saturday, April 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Will Rogers Coliseum. Both the Thoroughbred Show and the Trainers Challenge are free and open to the public.
The show is to promote the retired racehorse for a post racing career, as well as all Thoroughbreds as productive, useful horses in all aspects of riding and horse ownership.
Some retired racehorses have injuries that prevent their being ridden. These “companion only” horses can still lead productive lives – many are used for new therapies with autistic and Aspergers Syndrome children with much success. They also are great companions for older horses and good babysitters for young ones.
During the show, a first-of-its-kind “Companion Horse Class” will showcase these unridable horses and the dedicated people who give them loving, forever homes. All old injuries, soundness issues, and conformation will be ‘overlooked’ and the horse will be judged on his appearance, his manners, and the handlers showmanship. The winner of the Companion Class will receive a special prize.
Show judges will be Carol Dean Porter and Mary Cage.
The First Celebrity Fundraiser Gala and Auction will kick off the weekend’s events on Fri., April 26 at 6:00 p.m. The Gala will be held in the Alysheba Room at Lone Star Park and feature a dinner buffet, open bar, entertainment and live and silent auctions.
Maggie Moss will be featured speaker for the event. Julie Krone will serve as co-host and will also sign autographs before the Gala at Lone Star Park.
One-of-a-kind items to be auctioned in the Live Auction at the Gala include:
• Race saddle autographed by multiple Jockey Hall of Fame riders and racing legends including Julie Krone, Gary Stevens, Lafite Pincay, Chris McCarron and Pay Day
• Guitar autographed by country stars Brad Paisley, Pat Green, Miranda Lambert and many others
• Violin autographed by Asleep At The Wheel and Ray Benson
• Grey Goose bottle autographed by racing greats Bob Baffert, Mike Smith, Joe Talamo and many more
• Bronze horse statue “Wild Splendor” valued at $17,500.
Jack Van Berg will be the auctioneer and he will also sign autographs before the Gala at Lone Star Park starting at 5:00 p.m. Entertainment for the Gala will be provided by Liza G. Fly.
Individual tickets for the Gala are $95 and tables for 8 are $700. Ticket price includes dinner, racing Hall of Fame celebrities, auctions, entertainment and live racing at Lone Star Park. Tickets for the Gala can be obtained at www.teamkeen.com/battleofthexsottb/celebrityfundraiserlsp.html. Payment via PayPal accepted.
About Remember Me Rescue:
Remember Me Rescue is a 501(C)(3) organization. The Remember Me Rescue Racehorse Program was formed by racehorse trainers Dallas and Donna Keen to assist retired and injured racehorses after their careers at the track are over. Dallas Keen is the fourth all time leading trainer in the history of Lone Star Park with over 200 wins and has won numerous stakes races since the track opened in 1997.