Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Allison Price
“OTTB” is Off-Track Thoroughbred. An off-track Thoroughbred horse was once bred and trained for racing, but is not currently an active racehorse. Many OTTBs can be registered with The Jockey Club. The Jockey Club hosts the Thoroughbred horse breed registry in North America.
To be considered an OTTB, a horse does not need to make a specific number of starts at the racetrack. Some OTTBs have had 50 starts or more, while others have not. Horses can retire from racing or training for a variety of reasons. Some horses are unable to race on the track, while others have injuries that prevent them from racing. Retirement is not always a sign that a horse will succeed in a new career outside of racing. Many OTTBs are successful in rehabilitating horses and reaching high competition in other equestrian disciplines. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has 81 certified aftercare organizations who offer rehabilitation programs.
Horses can sustain injuries that may end their racing career but not their careers off the track. Stormin Eddie, for example, had a bowed tendon but is now successfully competing in dressage. Big Deuce suffered from a rare muscle condition. However, he was rehabbed and retrained to compete in Pony Club and the hunter/jumper rings. An experienced veterinarian and a TAA-accredited Aftercare organization can help you determine what an OTTB might be capable of off the track.
OTTBs on Sale
OTTBs are great mounts in many equestrian disciplines. Thoroughbreds are known for their athleticism, speed and heart. This makes them a great choice for all equestrian disciplines. OTTBs are versatile and have been able to become champion hunters/jumpers, barrel racers, five-star eventers, and reliable trail partners. Learn more about OTTBs’ success off the track by TAA-accredited organisations e.
An OTTB’s adoption fee can be as high as a few thousand dollars, or even more. An OTTB’s adoption fee is determined by many factors, including the location, financial stability, training level, and confirmation. But don’t let price be the only way to determine if an OTTB is right. OTTBs require time to adjust to their new life after they have left the track. OTTBs can have second careers that seemed impossible when they first started off at the track with the right care and patience.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has 70 accredited aftercare organizations that offer adoption programs. Are you thinking of adopting an OTTB. Talk to a TAA-accredited organization about your horse goals.
Many misconceptions surround OTTBs, particularly regarding their temperament and suitability to careers outside of the racing track.
An OTTB in an equine-assisted program.
Thoroughbreds can be versatile and varied. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, temperaments, and energy levels. The breed is known for its competitive nature and ability to please people. Every horse is unique.
These qualities make OTTBs excellent equine partners in a range of riding disciplines and equestrian pursuits. TAA-accredited aftercare organisations are the best in helping these horses find new homes and careers. See more of their stories.
Some OTTBs have made it to the top-tiers of equine competition. Blackfoot Mystery, for example, made three starts at the track before being retired. He was then retrained to event. Boyd Martin has partnered the gelding in many international events such as the 2016 Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, and the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.
The opposite end of the spectrum is multi-grade 1 winner and millionaire Game on Dude, who now participates in a living tourism destination at TAA accredited Old Friends. Jackhammer is a TAA-accredited After the Homestretch graduate and trail riding partner for his adopter.
Others OTTBs have gone on to other, less typical careers. Tizrobertcharles was a track winner and a grad of TAA’s Florida TRAC. He became a police horse, who patrols large events in South Florida. Fighting Furrari was once a movie star due to his role as “Seabiscuit”. He is now part of the TAA-accredited square Peg herd, which specializes on equine assistance for individuals with Autism.
As the Thoroughbred Aftercare movement expands, OTTBs continue to prove that they are more than just one-trick ponies. Eventers, champion show hunter, lightning-fast barrel runners and sensitive therapy companions. You name it, OTTBs do it.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!