But for those horses who have hung up their racing shoes, retirement needn’t be the next option. NBC reports that a select few ex-racehorses will be headed to Rio for a second chance of success at this summer’s Olympics.
Our long faced friends will be seen in three equestrian events over the course of the games: eventing, dressage and show jumping.
Ex-racehorses, often called off-the-track thoroughbreds or OTTBs, most commonly appear in eventing – a sport sometimes referred to as the horse triathlon due to its combination of dressage, cross-country and show jumping.
Eventer Lynn Symansky, is set to make her Olympic debut in Rio with Donner, an ex-racehorse whose bloodlines can be traced back to 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Northern Dancer. Donner began racing in 2006 and in his first race, at New York’s Belmont Park, he place ninth out of nine.
Hopefully for team USA, he’ll be a little more olympically-inclined.
“He was well bred in terms of what we like to see in some event horses and other event horses that have been successful.” Symansky told NBC. She decided to work with him “not because of his previous career and his success or lack of success in racing, but just because of the type of horse that he was.”