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This weekend: "The First Saturday in May."

This weekend: “The First Saturday in May.”

 

On Saturday, May 3, 2014—“The First Saturday in May”—a field of three-year-old Thoroughbreds will thunder through a mile-and-a-quarter at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. This will mark the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, a horse race that has been run every year since it was started in May of 1875.

For the past three years, Kerry Thomas—founder of the Thomas Herding Technique and a system of “Emotional Conformation” profiling for horses—and Calvin Carter, Thomas’ coauthor of the book HORSE PROFILING and owner of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, a bloodstock consulting firm, have successfully named the winners of the Kentucky Derby using their unique systems of patterns-of-motion and pedigree analysis. This year, both Thomas and Carter again provide their insight into the equine athletes that will step on the track come Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

TODAY, Wednesday, April 30, Kerry Thomas’ Patterns-of-Motion Analysis drops at Brisnet.com. Thomas picked Orb, I’ll Have Another, and Animal Kingdom all as Derby winners due to their unique Emotional Conformation and ability to manage space and sensory input around them (Thomas explains his theories and system in the book HORSE PROFILING—CLICK HERE to find out more). Be sure to visit Brisnet.com TODAY to get Kerry Thomas’ 2014 Kentucky Derby picks!

 

Click the image above to visit Brisnet.com and find Kerry Thomas' 2014 Derby Profiles.

Click the image above to visit Brisnet.com and find Kerry Thomas’ 2014 Derby Profiles.

 

Calvin Carter is a Thoroughbred pedigree expert and has used intensive analysis of pedigree, combined with his understanding of Emotional Conformation, to name Derby winners the past three years. He has devised his own Classic Champion Profile with a numerical score: the higher the score, the better a horse’s potential in classic competition. Carter will name his favorites in the 2014 field in his Classic Champion Thoroughbred blog. Carter’s blog will post after the Draw, which occurs at 5:21 p.m. today. CLICK HERE to visit Carter’s blog.

In addition, Carter will be interviewed on WAVE 3 TV by reporter John Boel, live from the Churchill Downs backside, on Thursday at 7:15 p.m., during the station’s broadcast of the Pegasus Parade in downtown Louisville. Carter will also appear on WHAS 11 TV’s “Great Day Live” with Terry Meiners and Rachel Platt on Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Thomas and Carter have been busy in the days running up to this coming weekend! Thomas was recently featured on TheRacingBiz.com, as well as in the winter issue of the international horse racing magazine Gallop. CLICK HERE to read the article on TheRacingBiz.com. Meanwhile, Carter spoke about HORSE PROFILING at two author events in Thoroughbred country.

 

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HORSE PROFILING by Kerry Thomas with Calvin Carter is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

 

“[HORSE PROFILING] leaves you with no question as to why [Kerry Thomas’] work has been called ‘groundbreaking.'” –John Strassburger, Performance Editor, Horse Journal

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Orb charged to the front of the field in the final seconds of the 139th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, winning the Run for the Roses in an atmosphere that was anything but idyllic. The rainy Saturday in Lousiville, Kentucky, challenged this year’s batch of talented young Thoroughbred racehorses with a sloppy track and heavy, unsure footing. As it so often can, weather played its part in crowning the 2013 Derby champion.

In 2011, Kerry Thomas, founder of the Thomas Herding Technique and author of HORSE PROFILING: THE SECRET TO MOTIVATING EQUINE ATHLETES with Calvin Carter, named Animal Kingdom the strongest contender in the Kentucky Derby according to Kerry’s method of Patterns of Motion Analysis. In 2012, Kerry chose I’ll Have Another as his pick from another talented field. And in both years, his analysis proved true.

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Once again, in the days running up to the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Kerry studied video and results of the horses named to break from the gate on the afternoon of May 4, analyzed what he calls their “Emotional Conformation,” and noted his favorites online at Brisnet.com. Kerry explains his ideas about the importance of Emotional Conformation in the equine athlete in his book HORSE PROFILING (CLICK HERE for more information).

If you didn’t have the good luck to read Kerry’s Derby profiles before Saturday’s race, here’s an excerpt from his complete field analysis, which was available for download from Brisnet.com—check out what he had to say about the tough-it-out winner Orb, who fought through the muck to cross the finish line first, despite inexperience in bad conditions:

Thomas Herding Technique Patterns of Motion Analysis/Orb

As much as humans can feel a horse’s presence, the best way to judge a horse’s true power is to let the horses tell you. In other words, look for reactions in nearby horses.

In Orb’s maiden win last November, he defeated fellow Derby starter Revolutionary, a high-level horse in his own right. On the far turn, Revolutionary was on the rail, while Orb was out 4 or 5-wide. There was a clear recognition by Revolutionary that there was a beast-like presence on the outside that he wanted no part of (at least not at that point in his career).

Orb wasn’t showing any demonstrations of body language to influence Revolutionary or the other competitors. He was projecting his presence. That is how the highest level horses choose to communicate—with intent—not with physical bullying or any (misconstrued) classic “alpha” behavior. The fact Revolutionary could feel Orb from that distance away was significant. Orb won the race easily, and not only has he not been beaten since, he continued to grow with each race.

Orb breaks from the gate in group dynamic mode, in complete control. He uses his sense of feel very well. He knows what is going on around him, and he can mentally multi-task without burning much energy. This is an important skill to have. A horse with more singular focus ability—for example, an eye-dependent horse that must look at a stimulus to understand it—can quickly go on sensory overload and burn out emotionally in the Kentucky Derby.

Orb is a very methodical horse and can carry his energy a long way. He has a classic distance mind. In his NW1 allowance victory on January 26, Orb was in a tight spot early, and his jockey pulled him back. Orb handled it with absolutely no panic or unnecessary energy burn. It requires a mental shift to be pulled back and then re-engage, and Orb did it so smoothly.

Orb doesn’t waste any of his individual dynamic energy (the energy horses use in one-on-one battles). He turns it on when he has to pass a horse or assert dominance, but often he barely engages his power. This is not unusual. In nature, high-level horses don’t waste energy. They don’t do anything unless they have to. Orb’s allowance NW1 win was not nearly as close as the one-length physical margin indicated. From a herd dynamic standpoint, that was a 10-length win.

Again, looking at how the other horses react to Orb tells us so much. The lead horse Mountain Eagle was practically running sideways and lost all his momentum because of Orb’s powerful presence from behind. He couldn’t re-settle until Orb went by and released him. Late in the race Orb took over frontrunner Duke of the City’s space and quickly let go. Duke of the City immediately fell into adjunct mode and looked to run on Orb’s flank. He never would have passed him.

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), Orb showed the ability to advance through a field, making multiple moves (we call that stairclimbing). That skill will come in handy in the Derby. Orb showed a huge level of grit in the Florida Derby (G1). He was challenged and he responded by exerting himself with more authority than ever before. He was pushing Itsmyluckyday from behind like a snowplow. And Itsmyluckyday is no slouch. Then Orb slammed the door hard and kept going.

Orb always runs his own race. He doesn’t react to the other horses in his environment. They react to him. In all of his recent races, Orb was still operating very efficiently at the wire. That suggests from a mental/emotional standpoint, he can go further. Orb is extremely versatile. He shows no sticking points or mental weaknesses. He operates strongly in traffic or in open space. He never shows a tendency to mimic the rhythm of any other horse (weaker horses sometimes do this for comfort). Orb is above them.

Orb was challenged in different ways in each race, and he imposed his will on the other horses every time. Orb has grown every race at age three, which is pretty scary. He’s continuing to expand on his confidence and control. Orb is in the top 1% of all horses from the standpoint of emotional conformation and herd dynamics. He is our top rated horse in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Horse-Profiling-250You can find out more about Kerry Thomas’ methods and how they can be used in breeding and training horses that perform optimally more consistently in the book HORSE PROFILING, available at the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

Read more about Kerry’s Patterns of Motion Analysis in our earlier blog post HERE.

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Horse Profiling yields fascinating and important information about ALL KINDS of horses! Here Kerry Thomas profiles Cricket.

Horse Profiling yields fascinating and important information about ALL KINDS of horses! Here Kerry Thomas profiles Cricket.

TSB author Kerry Thomas and his Thomas Herding Technique (THT) system, which he describes in the book HORSE PROFILING, have recently been featured on the BloodHorse.com and HorseRacingNation.com. We are all hoping that Kerry’s ideas for “emotional conformation profiling” can be key in changing the way horse racing in the US is currently handled and viewed. Kerry is a proponent for embracing the horse as a horse first, and an athlete second, and his methods focus on finding ways to match the right horse to the right job, and then training the horse in ways befitting his nature so that he is more likely to succeed and stay healthy in mind and body while doing it.

Kerry’s methods have already found footing in the Thoroughbred racing industry because of his study of herd motion and herd dynamics—it finds very natural application in a “herd sport.” But how can his horse profiling techniques help us motivate equine athletes in other horse sports?

“Having profiled nearly all of the various equine athletic disciplines over the years, I have found that for my clients who own and train eventing horses and hunter/jumpers, an evaluation of their horses pre-purchase or as an ‘in-training athlete’ is an extremely valuable tool,” says Kerry. “The owner/trainer has much to gain and glean from an Emotional Conformation Profile—the tool I use to analyze horse behavior and with it, identify hidden potential.

“One of the core earmarks within a profile of any horse is identifying the way in which the horse interprets both visual and audio stimuli—the efficiency within the translation of environmental stimuli will govern the horse’s efficiency of motion. Among the key discoveries I made in the course of my research, first with wild horse herds in Wyoming, and now in performance horses in various disciplines, is that Patterns-of-Behavior translate to Patterns-of-Motion. Whether in the dressage ring, approaching a complicated question on a cross-country course or combination in the hunter ring, or cutting a cow from a herd, the performance horse’s Patterns-of-Motion dictate the performance outcome. Therefore, understanding his behavioral tendencies in and out of the herd can predict his ability to perform in all manner of situations, and provide the rider/trainer the insight necessary to successfully increase the horse’s ability to perform his very best more consistently.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

“Among the things I look to find within the ingredients of the horse’s ‘psychology’ is how well, and how efficiently, he interprets stimuli. How well too, does the horse ‘read’ the intentions of the rider? The horse’s ability to swiftly respond to the intent of the rider, communicated via subtle body language and pressure, has a powerful impact on the horse’s efficiency of motion. Imagine approaching a tricky combination and needing to make a quick adjustment—successfully clearing the obstacle(s) depends on the horse’s ability to ‘read’ that adjustment, or even anticipate it, as soon as the rider thinks about it. The horse’s ability to read the rider’s intent is directly related to his position in herd hierarchy—and again, a profile can provide valuable information in this area.”

Find out more about Kerry Thomas’ exciting theories and work with THT in the book HORSE PROFILING, available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

You can read the piece about Kerry Thomas profiling Ebloussainte—Zenyatta’s half-sister—on BloodHorse.com by clicking the image below:

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Check out the piece about the new THT Partnership on HorseRacingNation.com by clicking on the image below:

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Kerry Thomas, author of HORSE PROFILING: THE SECRET TO MOTIVATING EQUINE ATHLETES with Calvin Carter, and creator of the Thomas Herding Technique, recently received this letter from a horse lover who had read his book. We thought it summed up what his techniques are meant to achieve so well, we wanted to share it with everyone:

Dear Kerry,

A few weeks ago I read your profiles of the horses racing in the 138th Kentucky Derby. I was reading this post-Derby. I was impressed that your profiles were accurate—many of the horses behaved as you anticipated. The profile spoke about the horses’ individual characteristics and how they would manage based on their ability to focus when other horses where trying to influence them. I had never known this to be possible. I was beyond curious to understand the horse’s view and how this influence takes place. I had never seen horses communicating in a race. I wanted to know more—the article referenced your book Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes.

Nina learns about the importance of Emotional Conformation in her copy of HORSE PROFILING by Kerry Thomas and Calvin Carter.

I have ridden horses my whole life. I have never owned a horse, but I have taken riding classes. I consider myself a pleasure rider. I go to the racetrack once a week in Southern California to joyfully see horses reach their potential, and sometimes sadly to see a beloved horse with talent flounder race after race. I would ride and watch horses but never felt I truly understood them. I would wince when I would see trainers impose their will on a horse—and mystified when a trainer would lead a less athletic horse to victory. Many times my instructors would give me tools that I felt were taking me further from connecting, nurturing, and caring for a horse. I’ve never given up but my hit-and-miss responses to horses sort of made me a bit unfulfilled. I knew it could and should be different.

I just finished your book Horse Profiling—it has been my “Ah Ha! Moment”! The book revealed the mysteries I could not piece together on my own. Once your theories were explained it made sense. The book enlightened me on nature’s design of the horse’s emotions. How powerful herding is, how horses communicate, how horse personalities are different and that affects the way they are trained. I look back with some humor at my attempts to bring a horse in focus that was “done for the moment.” I was not taught the emotional profile of a horse, just his physical capabilities. The book was so fun-filled with case studies to help me understand. The book was very easy to read. Your knowledge was generous. Each chapter covers an entire topic for easy reference.

I really look forward to the fulfillment of seeing every horse understood as the horses in your case studies. Thank you so much for your hard work. I work in landscaping and will suggest to customers your pasture designs that better match the horse’s instincts. I am excited to ride and listen to horses!

Nina Colasurdo

TSB author Kerry Thomas profiling horses for America’s Best Racing: Summer Insider.

For more about Kerry Thomas and his system of Emotional Profiling, CLICK HERE to see a short video on America’s Best Racing: Summer Insider.

HORSE PROFILING is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF HORSE PROFILING TODAY

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