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OKLAHOMA THOROUGHBRED ADOPTION PROGRAM TO HOST BENEFIT HORSE SHOW

Oklahoma-bred racing champion Zee Oh Six, who earned over $447,000 in 47 starts, and was the winner of eight stakes races at Remington Park between 2002 and 2006, is seen here in September 2012 jumping a fence with rider Melissa Lesseg, 16, from Edmond. (Photo courtesy Thoroughbred Athletes Inc.)

Guthrie, Oklahoma-based Thoroughbred Athletes Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to retraining racehorses in new disciplines after their racing careers are over, is hosting its second annual “Sport of Kings Challenge” horse show at 8:30 a.m. Sun., Nov. 4, at Easy J Stables in Harrah, Oklahoma.

“The Sport of Kings Challenge is the first step in a long-term plan to keep retired racehorses in competition by educating people about what great, athletic horses they can be and providing a rewarding venue for owners of Thoroughbreds to show off their talents,” said Lynn Sullivan, Director of Thoroughbred Athletes. “The stereotype of off-track Thoroughbreds being crazy, nervous, or untrainable is simply not true. Not only do they have a tremendous work ethic, but no horse loves competition more than a Thoroughbred!”

One of the horses scheduled to compete in the Sport of Kings Challenge will be Oklahoma-bred champion Zee Oh Six, who earned $442,311 in 47 starts and was the winner of eight stakes races at Remington Park between 2002 and 2006.

“Zee Oh Six has been in retraining since early 2012,” Sullivan said. “He is our celebrity example of the versatility and trainability of ex-racehorses. We plan to continue with his training so that he can reach his maximum potential in his new career as a jumper or dressage prospect, and we’re definitely looking forward to watching him compete!”

Remington Park has pooled its resources behind Thoroughbred Athletes as well by helping to promote the organization and its programs. For the Sport of Kings Challenge, the racetrack has donated the prize money offered to winners of two classes, including a class solely for off-track Thoroughbreds.

Thoroughbred Athletes helps transition horses from off the track and into a new routine, teaching them not only how to become dependable riding horses, but also exposing the horses to experiences they might not have had on the track, such as being turned out in a pasture with other horses.

With three racetracks in the state of Oklahoma, the need is great for interim facilities such as Thoroughbred Athletes to give these horses a chance at a new life and career.

The Sport of Kings Challenge is free and open to spectators of all ages and will feature a variety of horses competing in 22 different classes. Individuals or companies interested in sponsoring a class or volunteering at the show can contact Katie McClelland at 405-706-5362 or mcclelland.katie@gmail.com.

For more information about Thoroughbred Athletes, Inc. or the Sport of Kings Challenge, visit www.facebook.com/thoroughbredathletes.

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