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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Check Me Out; Keeping a Horse Off the Track

At Tioga Downs, Check Me Out easily defeated a field of Open trotters in her first foray against older trotters, winning in a track record (3yoft) 1:54 over a good track.  Basically, for the talented filly, the race was basically a 1/4 mile dash at the end as Tim Tetrick's goal was to keep her out of trouble and in a position to make one move in the stretch.

Not to take anything away from Check Me Out as she did beat the boys in this race, but 'Open' is relative in this case.  Scorpion Moon, the second place finisher raced on Hambletonian Day in an amateur trot at the Meadowlands so clearly he is not as good as he once was.  At best, this was a field was equivalent to a field of mid-level conditioned horses at Yonkers or Harrah's Philadelphia, but it was good first test.  It remains to be seen if we will have another opportunity to see Check Me Out against older trotters this year. 

Do you have a standardbred you want to make sure is never used for racing or breeding purposes?  The USTA offers a Pleasure Registration which will  allow your standardbred to be used for horse shows and pleasure purposes but never allowed to race again in sanctioned events and ensures any off-spring of the horse from that point on are not registered.  The pleasure registration can never be removed IF done correctly.

According to the USTA, for a horse to be registered as a pleasure horse, the person requesting the change must be the listed owner on the USTA books and must have care, custody, or control of the horse at the time the application is being made.  The owner(s) must submit a pleasure registration conversion form along with the current registration if not held in electronic format to the USTA. 

To avoid any problems down the road, follow the instructions to the letter.  If the horse is owned by multiple owners, you need all the owners' signatures, not just one.  Submit the application along with the current registration (Why don't you have an electronic registration?  That's one less piece of paper to lose.). if not an electronic registration.  But perhaps the most important piece of advice is if you plan to adopt the horse out or give the horse 'to a good home' is to convert the registration to pleasure horse while your have care, custody, or control of the horse and are the listed owner(s) when you make the application.  This means, before you adopt the horse out or before you give the horse to someone who will find or give the horse a good home; not after you find out the person you gave the horse to has given or sold the horse to someone else as at that point, then it's too late.

One of the biggest assumptions is if you don't give someone the papers, the horse can't be used for racing or breeding purposes.  Don't chance it.  The only way to make sure a horse stays retired and is not used for breeding purposes is to change the registration type.   

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