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As we prepare for the Run for the Roses tomorrow, May 2, 2015, many are considering which horse to choose as the next great-hearted champion of the historic Churchill Downs. One very familiar to this subject is Kerry Thomas, creator of the Thomas Herding Technique and co-author of HORSE PROFILING with Calvin Carter. Kerry has consistently named top finishers in the Derby using his technique of “profiling” the field and determining each horse’s “emotional conformation.”

Kerry has developed what he calls the “P-Type” grading system, which assigns letter grades according to a horse’s instinctual tendencies (basic and acquired), and his ability to handle environmental stimuli while in motion. This has become a valuable means for analyzing racing potential for obvious reasons, but it also resonates in other equine sports, as it can help you the best methods of choosing a discipline or training a particular horse (see more about this concept in HORSE PROFILING).

Click image to read the article about TSB author Kerry Thomas in the Wall Street Journal.

Click image to read the article about TSB author Kerry Thomas in the Wall Street Journal.

 

To access Kerry’s picks for the 2015 Kentucky Derby, CLICK HERE to visit Brisnet.com. You can also listen to Kerry and his THT associate Pete Denk discuss this year’s Derby field on Twin Spires Radio (CLICK HERE).

In addition, HORSE PROFILING co-author Calvin Carter, founder of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, discusses this year’s Derby contenders on a pedigree-by-pedigree basis, as well as with consideration of past performances, on his blog: CLICK HERE.

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

John Strassburger, Performance Editor of Horse Journal, says: “[HORSE PROFILING] will help you unravel your equine athlete’s personality and needs, so you can evaluate your horse’s ’emotional conformation,’ which the author Kerry Thomas calls the real indicator of a horse’s ability…no question as to why his work has been called ‘groundbreaking.'”

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

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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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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Thoroughbred pedigree analyst Calvin Carter with the book he coauthored with equine sport psychology pioneer Kerry Thomas.

Thoroughbred pedigree analyst Calvin Carter with the book he coauthored with equine sport psychology pioneer Kerry Thomas.

Calvin Carter, coauthor with equine athletic psychology pioneer Kerry Thomas of HORSE PROFILING: THE SECRET TO MOTIVATING EQUINE ATHLETES has long studied pedigree and blood stock. It was 2009 when he attended a Derby Trial race at Churchill Downs and met Kerry—they hit it off from their first meeting. Kerry wanted to write a book about his extensive research and study into the emotional conformation and herd dynamics of racehorses. Calvin, with a degree in English and journalism and a background as a writer, believed strongly in Kerry’s techniques.

“Calvin Carter is not only a true friend to me and the horse, he is also among the most talented writers and researchers that I know,” says Kerry. “I am thrilled to have written a book about my research and work, and prouder still that Calvin has blessed my work with his talented eye and honest character.”

Calvin talks about his work with Kerry, as well as his own business—Thoroughbred pedigree analysis—in a new feature article in IU Southeast magazine. Click the image below to read the whole story:

A_Winning_Combination-1

Click the image to read the full feature story about Calvin Carter and his method of picking winning equine performers.

 

 

HORSE PROFILING is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE EXCERPT (Find the red download link on the right side of the page.)

What they’re saying about HORSE PROFILING:

“Work such as Kerry’s that addresses getting results while still putting the horse first—a holistic approach between mind and body, spirit and science…is much needed at this time. I am sure that this book will be an eye-opener for many, and I pray that it fulfills its promise and contributes toward bringing horses and humans together in ever more successful and fulfilling ways.”  —HRH Princess Alia al Hussein/Princess Alia Foundation

“The wonderful thing that Kerry has done for serious students of the horse is to provide a way of measuring dimensions of the horse that we only had a ‘gut’ feeling about in the past. Certainly this kind of ‘sixth sense’ has been well developed by a rare handful of horsemen—seasoned horsemen who have a real sensitivity for understanding all aspects that make up a horse and his mind, body, and spirit. Now, thanks to Kerry’s insightful research, we can all actually begin to understand and measure, if necessary, the mind, emotions, and ‘spirit’ of the horse—what makes him ‘tick’ beyond simple physical athleticism.”  —Lester J. Buckley, Buckleysporthorses.com

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Linda Snow McLoon’s award-winning Brookmeade Young Riders Series has earned critical praise for its emphasis on hard work and good horsemanship, as well as its authentic representation of the challenges an ambitious young equestrian can face in the world of “riding stable drama.” McLoon’s first two books in the series, CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, also take on a number of important social issues, including emphasizing an awareness of the incredible potential of horses retired from racing and giving them a fresh start and a new life. McLoon, a lifelong horsewoman, created the characters to reflect her own devotion to finding and retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds.

“Crown Prince comes to Sarah Wagner from the racetrack,” explains McLoon. “Over the years, I’ve rescued a number of horses off the track. I found that one of the most satisfying aspects of owning horses was to help those Thoroughbreds make the transition from racehorse to sport horse. Their high intelligence, sensitivity, and athleticism make them good candidates to learn new ways and eventually excel in the show ring, eventing world, dressage, and even competitive trail riding. The fact they’ve been selectively bred for speed for over three centuries makes them the superior athletes we see all over the world today.

Author Linda Snow McLoon and one of her OTTBs, Gamekeeper.

Author Linda Snow McLoon and one of her OTTBs, Gamekeeper.

“One of my favorite OTTBs was a lovely bay gelding I bought at the Saratoga Horses of Racing Age Sale,” McLoon remembers. “Watching the horses being walked before going into the sales arena, I was taken with his large intelligent eyes, overall quality, and that he walked as straight as an arrow. I found myself bidding on this horse, dueling it out with one other bidder before I could take this fellow home. I later discovered he was a well-bred horse who had been purchased for a high price tag as a yearling and traveled to England to train for turf racing. Sold once again, he came back to Belmont Park, but after only starting in one race, he developed an abscess in his neck which took a long time to heal. With so many other racing prospects, his owner decided to cull him from his string and place him in the auction. The horse I came to call ‘Grand Luxe’ always had the small indentation in his neck, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a children’s hunter champion.

“So many ex-horses have gone on be successful in other careers after their racing days were over. Thankfully today there are many organizations that place these horses in good hands after the racetrack.”

“These books are thoughtfully written and entertaining accounts of a girl and her first horse of her own—an off-the-track Thoroughbred,” says Amber Heintzberger, writer, photographer, and coauthor of BEYOND THE TRACK with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program Director Anna Morgan Ford and MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON with eventing star Phillip Dutton. “Linda Snow McLoon includes plenty of excitement to keep young readers turning the pages as they absorb accurate information about riding and horse care, as well as a few important life lessons. This book may inspire young equestrians to someday find their own ‘Crown Prince’ and rescue a Thoroughbred off the track.”

You can find out how Sarah Wagner comes to find Crown Prince, her dream horse, at the track, and how Sarah must fight to keep him, in the first two books of the Brookmeade Young Riders Series: CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, available now at the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE EXCERPT FROM CROWN PRINCE (click on the red chapter download link on the right of the page)

CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE EXCERPT FROM CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED (click on the red chapter download link on the right of the page)

In Maine this summer? You can meet Linda Snow McLoon at the Books in Boothbay Summer Book Fair, Saturday, July 13, 20013!

Visit lindasnowmcloon.com for more information.

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Horse-Profiling-250TSB was pleased to read the following new review of HORSE PROFILING by Kerry Thomas and Calvin Carter:

“Basic instinct can never be removed or altered entirely as it represents the horse’s survival mechanism.”

As a pioneer in the field of Equine Athletic Psychology, Kerry Thomas—aided by Calvin L. Carter, a pedigree analyst and freelance writer— sets forth his theories and training programs in Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes. The work will benefit horse owners, trainers, and equine teams in their goals of bringing out the best in their already talented horses.

The informative book begins with the author’s introduction to his philosophies. He then lays out each section with specific techniques and how to implement them. This includes setting up an Emotional Conformation Profile of the horse. When problematic behavior is found, the author explains how to nurture a frightened or depressed horse, or one with a deep-rooted negative memory association. Thomas relates stories and case book studies that keep the text interesting. Interspersed throughout are Q and A sections called “Kerry’s Corner” which provide solutions for particular cases.

Over 100 candid, color photos of beautiful horseflesh tell their own stories. We learn about a racehorse who was an expert in “managing outside stimuli…to target and release opponents”—Barbaro, 2006 Kentucky Derby winner. It’s inspiring to find out which horses had physical defects but were aided with a champion’s heart and the will to win: Real Quiet, Looking at Lucky, Sunday Silence, Seattle Slew and Northern Dancer. The last story in this well-written, technical and yet entertaining volume is about Seabiscuit, the 1938 Horse of the Year.

Along with vital information for professional horse handlers, this beautiful over-sized teaching guide will equally appeal to all lovers of horses. The book will stimulate interest in young people who will thrill to the adventures and pictures. They just may identify and follow through with a lifetime focus on a fulfilling career.

Mary Popham is a writer and book reviewer who lives in Louisville. She holds an MFA from Spalding University.  

HORSE PROFILING is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Kerry Thomas, author of HORSE PROFILING with Calvin Carter, will be signing books at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs on August 12, 2012.

Racing season has opened in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Kerry Thomas, creator of the Thomas Herding Technique (THT) and author of HORSE PROFILING: THE SECRET TO MOTIVATING EQUINE ATHLETES with Calvin Carter, is scheduled to be on site August 5 through August 12, 2012, and available to clients for Prepurchase Profiles during the Yearling Sales.

THT’s unique Yearling Evaluations measure: distance propensity, trainability, class, and temperament.

As Kerry and Calvin detail in their book HORSE PROFILING, “the mental capacity of the equine controls the physical output of the athlete.” The horse’s mind is the most undervalued and least understood aspect of judging sale yearlings. While your bloodstock agent can judge the horse’s physical conformation, Kerry will use THT to evaluate the horse’s mind. For inquiries, contact THT’s Director of Equine Services Pete Denk at (859) 699-7890 or peterdenk@yahoo.com.

On August 12, from 10 am to 1 pm, Kerry will sign books and answer questions at a special event featuring HORSE PROFILING at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, located across from the Saratoga Race Course. Be sure to make time to enjoy the museum and its exhibits, as well as learn more about Kerry’s techniques in person. Copies of HORSE PROFILING will be available for purchase at the event.

In related news, Kerry’s co-author, writer and Thoroughbred pedigree specialist Calvin Carter, was featured in Southern Indiana Current Magazine. You can read the interview with Calvin by clicking HERE and turning to page 11.

Calvin Carter, co-author of HORSE PROFILING, was featured in the July issue of Southern Indiana Current Magazine.

HORSE PROFILING, called “ingenious” and “long overdue” by reviewers, 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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On June 15, “The Rail” horse-racing blogger Leslie Knauf described how two sports perhaps perceived far apart on the equestrian spectrum—racing and dressage—have in fact long been interwoven.

“The highly contained nature of dressage,” Knauf writes, “with its collection and extension of the horse’s three gaits — walk, trot and canter — within a relatively small arena would appear to be the antithesis of racing — galloping at top speed around a vast oval — but its fundamental principles of rhythm, looseness, contact, impulsion, straightness and collection can provide a solid foundation for all forms of equestrian sports, including racing, where it already has had Triple Crown implications.”

This was news to me! Sure, I know the stories of ex-racehorses that have gone on to successful dressage careers, even at the highest levels (of course most notably Hilda Gurney’s Olympic mount Keen). But has dressage actually been used to prepare a Thoroughbred for competition on the track?

Knauf goes on to explain: “More than 35 years ago, the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew was a gangly, unraced 2-year-old with significant coordination and conformational issues. Paula Turner, then the wife of Seattle Slew’s trainer Billy Turner, reportedly used her previous training and competitive experience in dressage and three-day eventing to help Seattle Slew develop the impulsion and self-carriage the young colt needed to overcome his physical challenges as he embarked on his career as a racehorse.”

It would appear the 1970s were the heyday for this dressage-racing integration! And with the winning examples provided, it certainly appears to have been a formula that worked.

I do think that there is today more awareness regarding the need for retraining those Thoroughbreds that do not “make it” as racehorses for one reason or another. Programs such as New Vocations Racehorse Adoption, directed by TSB author Anna Ford, go to great lengths to prepare these horses for the new homes and new “jobs” that can secure them a long and healthy future. (Anna Ford’s book BEYOND THE TRACK is a wonderful resource for those considering adoption of an off-the-track Thoroughbred.)

However, it would seem that there are also great possibilities for racing trainers to more actively incorporate dressage principles as they prepare young stock for the track. This kind of “cross-training” is surely not so farfetched as it seems.

Perhaps Leslie Knauf’s point, made toward the end of her New York Times’ piece, should be more boldly stated, and yes, repeated: “…the paradigm for racehorse training already is starting to shift toward incorporating fundamentals of other competitive horse sports, including dressage, as part of their racing training, which promises the potential for an even brighter future for racing’s most important players. The odds are heavily in favor of all involved — especially the horses — coming out as winners.”

—Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

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