Columbus, OH — The U.S. Trotting Association announced the launch of the Standardbred Incentive Program (SIP) on Thursday to recognize harness racing horses who participate in disciplines other than racing and to provide awards for leading contestants.
A formula will determine the number of points earned during each event based on the horse’s placing, the number of entries in the class/ride and whether it is a Standardbred-only or open event.
There is also recognition for those that trail ride/drive outside of recognized competitions. By logging daily rides, participants can earn milestone awards.
“Due to their versatility, durability and athleticism, Standardbreds are perfectly suited to participate in non-racing disciplines whether they are former racehorses or not,” said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. “The USTA’s new Standardbred Incentive Program is an excellent way to encourage their utilization in other forms of competition or just for pleasure riding.
“This is another way for the USTA to promote our horses for a quality life after racing and off the racetrack.”
To participate in SIP, the rider/driver must be a USTA member and have access to email to set up a USTA MyAccount. More information about USTA membership can be found here.
Participation in the program will be reported as a rider/driver and horse combination, therefore USTA membership and MyAccount needs to be set up for each person.
The SIP season will run from Dec. 1 through Nov. 30 annually. Placings and miles for the 2022 season, which started Dec. 1, 2021, can be submitted retroactively.
SIP is available for any event in North America, but the show/location must be submitted, through a participant’s MyAccount, for approval. The information requested allows administrators to verify the show and assists with finding the official results after the show to verify placings. More than 50 shows have already been pre-loaded into the database.
To learn more about the USTA’s SIP program, click here.
A short video about the SIP is below.
Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program at the USTA has worked with owners of off-the-track Standardbreds to educate the general public about the many disciplines Standardbreds excel at once they are retired from racing. The USTA will continue to recognize participation in sanctioned American Driving Society, American Endurance Ride Conference and United States Dressage Federation events through those organizations. For more information about Standardbred off-track initiatives from the USTA, visit here.
From the USTA Communications Department