Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s showtime at Pimlico. The home of the Preakness usually hosts the fastest horses around but this weekend, an all-thoroughbred show is taking the breed from the starting gate to the in-gate.
Gigi Barnett explains.
This is a side of Pimlico many horses and people rarely see. Jumping, walking and trotting is the show side of Old Hilltop.
“You go out in the show ring and you feel good and he feels good and it all works,” said rider Kassie Long.
This weekend, the totally thoroughbred show gives retired race horses a second chance to compete.
“It’s sort of exciting to see them come back and how they’re so much quieter now,” said Maryland Jockey Club Racing Secretary Georgeanne Hale.
Hale started the show last year. She says it proves that the breed can perform off a track when their racing days are over and that they’re still valuable.
“People now say that horses aren’t cared for properly and we’re mean to them and we’re not,” Hale said. “They take better care of the horses than they do themselves.”
Many horses in this weekend’s show once raced at Pimlico.
“To bring a horse back here, it’s like bringing their past back and they get really excited,” said rider Sarah St. Claire.
All-thoroughbred shows are gaining popularity nationwide since this one started last year. While it’s designed to showcase what thoroughbreds can do after retirement, it also brings a different type of horse lover to Pimlico.
“The people that we’re bringing here, we don’t see at the races. They’re not gamblers. We’re hoping that by bringing them here, that they can come to the races,” Hale said.
The funds raised from this event go to horse charities.
Baltimore’s mounted police unit was also featured at the horse show. It is the nation’s oldest continuously-operated mounted unit.