Equestrian Professional Member Spotlight!
Steuart Pittman Dodon Farm
Steuart Pittman, Jr. and his six siblings are the 8th generation of the Pittman family to own Dodon Farm. The farm is a 550-acre tract of land in Davidsonville, Maryland near the Patuxent River, about ten miles west of Annapolis. Three generations of Pittmans currently reside on the farm including Steuart Sr. and his wife Bobby and Steuart Jr. and his wife Erin, along with other family members.
Steuart began riding as a child in the hunt field, in pony races, and at local shows. He was introduced to eventing through Pony Club and learned the fundamentals of dressage as a teenager from his inspiration and mentor, Ellen Shepherd. In high school Steuart evented through Preliminary on his Thoroughbred mare, Hurricane Hannah.
After a ten-year absence from horses, Steuart returned full force in 1990. Since then he has continued training and selling horses for eventing, dressage, and jumpers. Steuart enjoys teaching all ages in all disciplines, but especially lower level dressage and eventing.
As president of the Maryland Horse Council, Steuart invited EquestrianProfessional.com's Elisabeth McMillan to speak at a seminar in Spring 2009. Steuart laid out for Elisabeth his vision of a project to educate people about the qualities of retired racehorses, the skills required to train them, how to select them, where to find them, and even how to become a professional trainer by buying and selling them. "Elisabeth gave me the confidence to proceed."
The Retired Racehorse Training Project is an effort to expand the market for retired Thoroughbred race horses as pleasure and sport horses through symposia, clinics, horse expos, training publications and videos and internet tools.
Four months later 350 people from ten states attended the first Retired Racehorse Training Symposium in Crownsville, Maryland. The four hour event featured eight horses at various stages of training and was a huge success. Since then the nonprofit Retired Racehorse Training Project has become the vehicle through which Steuart is able to teach to large audiences while promoting a cause and staying true to his passion.
The project is about to launch a new web site that includes a national trainer directory, sources for horses, an apprenticeship program where qualified riders will be placed with nonprofit placement and rescue groups, and a trainer challenge. The project now includes Steuart's wife Erin, who teaches equine courses at the University of Maryland, and a board that spans the racing and sport horse sides of the industry.
"Retired racehorses gave me my career as a rider and trainer," says Steuart. "The Retired Racehorse Training Project is the best way I know to repay them."
To learn more about the RRTP, please visit http://www.dodonfarm.com/RRTP-temp.html
TERPVISION FALL 2010: A SECOND CAREER FOR RACEHORSES (Segment 4) from University of Maryland on Vimeo.