The “X” in the newly renamed “Ultimate X Showdown” doesn’t stand for ex-boyfriends or ex-wives, but it does have something in common with the X Games…namely that the toughest, fastest and strongest athletes will be on-hand to compete, only the “X” in this competition stands for “ex-racehorse”. On September 5, 2014, the Dreaming of Three Foundation will host its second all off-track Thoroughbred barrel racing event at the Simmons Equestrian Center in Negley, Ohio. And this year, a new name was in order.
Originally conceived as the “Extreme Retired Racehorse Makeover”, the event sought a name change this year after a little letter from a rather big company forced the founder, Jacqueline Harris, to consider a name change. “When we created this event last year, I did not in my wildest dreams expect our event would be big enough or get enough national attention to get us noticed by the corporate suits at Disney. I just liked the name and didn’t think of any similarities!” said Jacqueline of the request by Disney’s legal team for the event to have a name change (it apparently infringing on their “Extreme Home Makeover” tv show). “I guess we did something right last year, the first event certainly created a lot of buzz inside and outside the barrel horse community!”
So for 2014’s event, the competition will be called the “Ultimate X Showdown”, the “x” of course is a nod to the Thoroughbred ex-racehorses that will be the only competitors. “Our mission is to increase the marketability of the off the track Thoroughbred in the western events, namely the speed events like barrel racing,” said Jacqueline. “We want to showcase their abilities in this competition and show the world that they can compete toe to toe with any other breed.”
The Ultimate X Showdown invites barrel racing trainers to seek out and the retrain an ex-racehorse that comes to them with no prior trainer, other than what they learn at the track. The team of horse and rider then has 100 days to refine their barrel racing technique before the final competition in September. “Last year we filled the arena with 12 riders, using just word of mouth advertising,” says Jacqueline. “This year we would like to see 100 or more applications to fill the 15 spots will have available for this year’s event and hope to see some of the barrel world’s biggest names as well. I know they are out there, competing every weekend beside the rest of us on Quarter Horses, we just don't know it, as it's not advertised. I heard that Martha Josey competed on a few OTTB's and I hope we can see more riders consider these great horses. ” All proceeds from the event go to support off-track Thoroughbred placement and marketing through several nationally accredited Thoroughbred rescues.
Trainer/Rider applications for the 2014 event can be found at Dreaming of Three’s website: www.dreamingofthree.org <http://www.dreamingofthree.org/>