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Monday, September 08, 2014Contact: Shannon Luce (859) 224-2716
The Jockey Club’s T.I.P. Program Announces Non-Competition Award Winners

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) today announced the recipients of its two non-competition awards for 2014, the T.I.P. Thoroughbred of the Year Award and the T.I.P. Young Rider of the Year Award.

The Thoroughbred of the Year Award recognizes a Thoroughbred that has excelled in a non-competitive career, such as equine-assisted therapy or police work.

This year’s recipient is Groomed to Di For, aka Nightwatch, an 18-year-old therapy horse from Untamed Spirit Therapeutic & Education Program in Virginia Beach, Va. He has been a therapy horse for almost three years.

Nightwatch was bred by Dr. Kevin Harbin in New York. Nightwatch was owned by George and Elaine Rector of Virginia Beach, Va., and for many years competed on the Hunter/Jumper circuit until an injury suspended that career. He was then donated to the Virginia Beach Police Mounted Patrol on July 6, 2005, where he joined forces with other distinguished patrol horses. Throughout his career with the Virginia Beach Police Mounted Patrol, Nightwatch attended many special assignments in the community. Nightwatch and his partner remained together until Nightwatch retired from the police service on November 18, 2011.

“This gentle Thoroughbred immediately endeared himself to the special needs children who are awed by his majesty and presence,” said Barbara Ford, Executive Director of Untamed Spirit Therapeutic & Education Program in Nightwatch’s Thoroughbred of the Year application. “Nightwatch has been an integral part of the program and participates weekly in therapeutic lessons. He is one of the key mounts during summer camps and horseshows, winning many ribbons for his riders.” As instructor Ashley Ford-Gayhart notes, “Nightwatch, like so many of our students, has changed immensely since becoming a therapy horse. He has learned to let go of his anxieties, trust our riders and has physically blossomed over the years.”

The young rider award, which recognizes a rider 18 or under who owns or leases a Thoroughbred for use in 4-H, Pony Club or other activities, was split among five riders, Chloe Bellerive, Gracie Lukaczer, Mary Kate Moran, Melissa Baumann and Sarah Zube.

Chloe Bellerive
Bellerive is 15 and is a repeat winner of the award. She is involved in various horse activities, both mounted and educational, including 4-H, FFA, and USHJA, and is an ambassador for Thoroughbreds.

“Our journey together has been filled with challenges, life lessons but also success. Atlas has given me a positive mind about Thoroughbreds and how well-rounded they could be. He changed my thoughts about OTTBs, and now I have two more thoroughbreds that I'm working with,” said Bellerive.

Her horse, Lemon Twister, aka Atlas, raced four times with one win and earnings of $16,320.

Bellerive, who is from Keedysville, Md., plans to use her T.I.P. award funds for training and to help promote Thoroughbreds in their second careers.

Gracie Lukaczer
Lukaczer’s dream of owning a horse became real decades earlier than she anticipated. After riding Solicitor General, aka General, to prep him for sale and performing well with him at a show, Lukaczer was worried that the right buyer might not come along, so she saved up and bought him herself.

Now 16, she has owned General for nine months. “Riding General has given me a chance to learn dressage and how to ride a horse correctly back to front. I have learned to sit quiet and trust his decisions when we hit a sticky spot in show jump, as well as when to put my leg on to make time, Lukaczer said. “General might have come from a dressage background but we have an eventing future.”

General raced eight times with one win and earnings of $33,950.

Lukaczer lives in Washington, D.C., and has been riding for more than seven years, including two in Pony Club. She plans to use her T.I.P. award funds for training and competing with General.

Mary Kate Moran
Although Moran, 17, has ridden and trained many horses and many Thoroughbreds over the years, His Name is Rico, aka Enzo, is her first horse, and they have been together since January 2011.

Before she bought Enzo, Moran had a bad fall on a leased pony and had lost confidence in riding, but Enzo has changed that. “He has made me feel safe, confident, and totally in control, and he has allowed me to put my fears aside and reach my goals,” Moran said. “The confidence that Enzo gives me goes beyond the saddle.  In school, I was always the shy kid, afraid of my own voice. But once I got Enzo, it was as if I had purpose, as if my thoughts suddenly had merit.”

Moran is from Richmond, Va., and she events and is involved with Pony Club. She plans to use her T.I.P. award for college, where she plans to take Enzo.

Enzo raced 61 times over five years with seven wins and earnings of $70,342.

Melissa Baumann
Baumann, 14, is from South Reading, Vt., and has been riding horses since she was 8. She is a working student and leases her Thoroughbred, Dalahast, from her training barn.

“No one was ever allowed to ride him except for my trainer, Kelly,” Baumann said. “After four years of working, riding, training, and studying eventing, my trainer asked me if I would like to start riding/training with Dalahast. My job as his rider is to be there to support him and stay very calm and quiet in the saddle. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. We train together six days a week, and I work doing chores for lessons, his vet and farrier bills, and part of the Lease.”

Baumann will use her T.I.P. award funds to maintain her lease on Dalahast, with whom she hopes to make it onto the Area 1 Young Riders Team.

Dalahast is unraced and was adopted by Fox Penny Farm from Second Stride in Kentucky.

Sarah Zube
Zube, a longtime volunteer with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, has owned her off-track-Thoroughbred About Noon, aka High Noon, for two years. They compete in hunters, equitation, 4-H and dressage.

Zube loves Thoroughbreds because they have aptitudes for so many different disciplines. After riding “a fancy show pony,” High Noon has been a challenge to Zube but also a teacher. “He has taught me not to expect things to be perfect, and to be thankful when they are,” she said. “He has taught me never to judge another rider when they are having a rough day, because I know I have been in their place before. He has taught me that the ride you put in is much more important than the ribbon you receive. Overall, the best thing about my Thoroughbred is what he has done for me after his career on the track – he has made me a better person.”

Zube is 15 and lives in Midlothian, Va., and she hopes to use her T.I.P. award funds to attend a clinic with her idol, Anne Kursinski and toward the Virginia 4-H state show.

High Noon raced 22 times with two wins and earnings of $88,871.

Created and announced in October 2011, T.I.P. recognizes and rewards the versatility of the Thoroughbred through sponsorship of Thoroughbred classes and high point awards at sanctioned horse shows, performance awards, and non-competition awards. For more information about T.I.P., please visit

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms, among others. Additional information is available at