Working with OTTBs is a rewarding part of our business at Shenandoah Sporthorses.

bear berry picking_2x

Owner Sarah Edwards picking raspberries with her OTTB mare “Bear With Me”

Alice started working with OTTBs when she got back into riding after having children. Husband Chris said she could get a horse, but he wasn’t ready to write a big check! So Alice found an 8 year old, Canadian-bred OTTB gelding with no post-track retraining, and she loved him. She was impressed by how quickly he learned, how easy he was to handle, and couldn’t get enough of his  sweet and eager-to-please personality. He was the first of ten OTTBs that Alice has re-started—she  now warns everyone that they are addictive!

Lexington is within five hours of three racetracks, so OTTBs are always available in our area. Alice became interested in the rehabilitation process that some OTTBs need, and uses a variety of  chiropractic treatments, muscle work, ulcer medications, acupuncture, corrective shoeing and Chinese herbs to get them ready for their new career. She enjoys tailoring a plan for each OTTB to get them healthy and sound, and then the really fun part starts with riding.

All of our OTTBs have been responsive and willing under saddle, with pleasant and easygoing attitudes. Thoroughbreds are fun because the personality of each horse really shines through. Riders typically feel a strong partnership with their OTTB because the horse is so participatory in the process. Riding Thoroughbreds requires “feel,” body control and some finesse, but these skills can be taught with good instruction. They are certainly skills worth learning, as they will improve a rider’s ability to work with any breed. Once a rider new to OTTBs has gotten the hang of a slightly different style of riding, the sky is the limit! Thoroughbreds are versatile, forgiving, and lots of fun, and we encourage anyone who hasn’t considered an OTTB to give one a try.

Alice has successfully sold all of her OTTBs on the open market. Most objections that potential buyers have about OTTBs  are based on misinformation: Thoroughbreds have bad feet, OTTBs are hot and dangerous, they are all hard keepers, etc. Alice overcomes these objections with education, and when buyers understand that most common “knowledge” about OTTBs is based on misconceptions, they are usually open to considering an OTTB as their next partner. And when they get one that is a good match, they might be hooked on OTTBs for life!

The community of OTTB fans is a fun and inclusive “club” to be a member of. Everyone is willing to help each other with training challenges, feeding questions, and listen to each other brag about their Thoroughbreds! There are dozens of Facebook groups for OTTB owners, reputable websites with free information about the breed, and so many OTTB organizations—CANTER and RRP are two of the best-known ones.

There are some fun horse show opportunities for OTTBs with the TIP program, where tattooed Thoroughbreds can compete against each other in various disciplines for year-end awards and prize money. TIP classes are becoming common at smaller, local shows, making horse showing affordable for more competitors. Information available here:

Please contact us for more information about our OTTBs for sale—or with any other OTTB questions!

OTTBs for Sale


Zum Wohl

Currently in training with Josie Howard at RE Sporthorses, LLC in Fort Defiance, Virginia: "Zoom" is a 2016, 16.1 hand OTTB gelding. He is RRP eligible and has the personality of a puppy zipped into a horse suit. Zoom is clean legged with no vices. He loads, travels...

OTTB Alumni



We are pleased to introduce “Jackson,” a 2011, 16.3 OTTB gelding, Jockey Club name “Stone Jak.” Jackson is an excellent mover and would excel in the hunters, but could easily adapt to any English discipline. He is a push ride. Like many off the track thoroughbreds, he...


“Hombrecito” is a 7 year old, 15.2 hand Thoroughbred gelding with stunning dapple-grey coloring and a handsome look through the bridle. After a short and unremarkable career on the racetrack (during which he...


"Wow!" was the first thing I said when I met Bo. You don't often see a 17.2 (measured with a stick) OTTB gelding who looks exactly like a Cleveland Bay. "Bo" is a puppy-dog type, 10 year old, big-bodied, handsome and...


Jockey Club name "A Used Gun" is a 16.1, 10 year old OTTB gelding with a kind eye, uphill build and pleasant temperament. "Gunner" raced 8 times and then used as a pony horse on the track for several years. He was...

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