|Lenox Native to Compete in World's Largest Racehorse Retraining Competition|
|By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff|
03:13PM / Sunday, March 21, 2021
|Ashley Stump and her thoroughbred Golden Giant will be competing in a national show this fall.|
The competition is for thoroughbreds like Golden Giant who have been retrained after their racing careers have ended.
LENOX, Mass. — Ashley Stump and her horse Golden Giant will be traveling to Lexington, Ky., this fall to compete in the Retired Racehorse Project's $135,000 Thoroughbred Makeover competition.
Stump is an advocate for retired racehorses and makes it a mission to provide them with happiness after their time on the track. An equestrian and current off-track thoroughbred owner/trainer, she currently owns seven horses located in the Berkshires.
"I just I think they have the best personality, these horses, and they're just amazing," she said. "Golden Giant has been phenomenal so far."
The event is presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America and is the largest retraining competition in the world for retired horses. It is designed to showcase the versatility and athletic potential of thoroughbreds beyond the racetrack.
This year, more than 900 horses will compete with trainers coming from 46 states and four Canadian provinces. Stump will be competing in the Hunter and Jumper Division, which focuses on a horse's pace, style over fences, manners, under saddle, rhythm, relaxation, and style of movement.
Golden Giant was adopted by Stump adopted from ReRun Throughbred Adoption in East Greenbush, N.Y., which is known as a leader in thoroughbred adoption and aftercare.
He is said to be "very sweet and gentle with an amazing personality."
"I get a lot of my off-the-track thoroughbreds from ReRun," Stump said. "They're absolutely amazing."
She has shown locally as a child and an adult in Western New England Professional Horseman's Association shows. Her thoroughbred Petunia Be Careful took home champion for the year in 2019 in the Baby Green Division along with reserve champion for the Pleasure Division.
As a mother, nurse, and farm owner, Stump still finds the time to ride her horses every day. She plans to attend competitions "all over" starting in May but is mainly focusing on the RRP Competition that will run from Oct. 12-17.
"I guess my biggest thing is like taking these off-the-track thoroughbreds and giving them a second career and a second chance, so I love working with them, I love retraining them," Stump explained. "I found out about the competition and I tried it, I applied and you send in videos and you like give them your background and I ended up getting accepted."
Unfortunately, some racehorses are practically dumped and left to the elements after the end of their careers, which is why advocates like Stump and ReRun dedicate themselves to the cause. One of Stump's rescues was abandoned in a field and forgotten about, his teeth rotting and his body turning to skin and bones. Thankfully, she was able to restore his health and get him back on track.
"It's scary to think of what can happen," she said. "And I don't even like selling my horses because you may sell them to a good person, but that person gets rid of them and you just don't know where they're gonna end up."
Golden Giant is sponsored by Airtime Clothing and ReRun, but Stump is fundraising for her journey to Kentucky in preparation for the October competition. Her goal is to raise $1,000 and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated back to ReRun because of Stump’s appreciation for everything they do.
Stump encourages those interested to follow her Facebook page, as she would love to reach more people and have them cheer her and Golden Giant on.