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Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P): A Comprehensive Guide

Last updated: June 29, 2023

By: Miles HenryFact Checked

There is one unfortunate downside to owning a racehorse; when they are no longer able to compete, it can be difficult to find them a home. Recently, a trainer told me about one of his retired racehorses winning a showjumping award in the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program. It made me wonder if some of my horses would be a good fit, but first, I needed to learn more about the program.

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) encourages the retraining of Thoroughbred racehorses for other disciplines once their racing career is over. The program offers financial incentives and awards to Thoroughbred owners and trainers who participate in approved competitions. In addition, the program provides educational resources on horse care and Thoroughbred retirement options.

The aim of T.I.P. is to encourage the humane treatment of Thoroughbred racehorses and to ensure that these animals have a purposeful life after racing. If you are looking for a horse to show? Why not consider a retired thoroughbred racehorse? Continue reading to find out how you can participate in this meaningful project.

Picture of a retired racehorse now eligible for the thoroughbred incentive program.
Retired racehorse.

What is the Thoroughbred Incentive Program?

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) is a great way to encourage owners to retrain their retired racehorses. The program provides financial incentives and awards to help offset the costs of retraining and rehoming these horses.

The program is set up so participants can compete at local and national levels in various disciplines such as dressage, eventing, hunter/jumper, polo, racing, and show jumping.

In addition, T.I.P.-registered Thoroughbreds can compete for several prestigious scholarships, such as the Thoroughbred Incentive Program Scholarship Award, the Thoroughbred Education Scholarship Award, and the Thoroughbred Leadership Scholarship Award.

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program is open to all Thoroughbred owners and trainers; there are no membership fees or requirements. By providing these resources, the TIP is making it easier for Thoroughbred owners to give their horses a second chance at a happy and successful life.

How Long Does It Take To Retrain An Off-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB)?

Most retired racehorses will need at least six months of basic training before they are ready to start competing. This time frame can vary depending on the horse’s age, experience, and fitness level. For example, a younger horse that has spent its life racing will likely need more time to adjust to a slower pace than an older horse that has been training for dressage or show jumping.

Thoroughbred horses are bred for one thing: speed. As a result, they often lack the essential skills necessary for other equestrian disciplines. However, with patience and training, an off-the-track racehorse can return to racing and become successful.

Thoroughbred (OTTB) can make a fantastic Riding Club horse, eventer, or show jumper. The key is taking things slow and allowing the horse time to adjust to its new career.

Picture of our horse Ashton, going to the gates for a stakes race.

Horse Qualification

The benefits of being a part of award programs like those offered by TIPs are restricted registered Thoroughbred. However, there are additional requirements, and the Jockey Club is the ultimate authority on the eligibility of horses for the Thoroughbred Incentive Program.

Here is a list of the requirements needed to qualify for TIP:

Qualification #1: Owners and riders are required to obtain a T.I.P. Number before they can take part in a T.I.P. class or be considered for a T.I.P. award. The T.I.P. number card must be presented as a means of establishing eligibility to compete in participating horse shows. 

Qualification #2: T.I.P. Numbers are assigned to horse owners and riders and must be presented to participate in T.I.P. competitions. If you own or lease a Thoroughbred, you are required to have a T.I.P. Number assigned to the horse associated with your account. 

In order to guarantee that the results are recorded correctly, you should add all riders to the T.I.P. number through your account.

Qualification #3: Riders are required to provide proof of eligibility to participate in any horse show. This can be done in advance of the show or on the day of the show by getting a T.I.P. number or card.

Here is a checklist for participation in the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P. ):

  • The Jockey Club Certificate of Foal Registration, either the original or a duplicate of the paperwork (or any document of a similar nature from a foreign stud book).
  • The tattoo on the horse’s upper lip, the horse’s 5-cross pedigree, and the positive search result from The Jockey Club’s Tattoo Identification Services may be located at -The tattoo that was placed on the horse’s upper lip. Horses can also be identified by chip.
  • A letter from The Jockey Club stating that the horse in question is who it claims to be; this letter must be provided before the competition begins. (Any horse born after 2001 is eligible to have the Jockey Club perform DNA analysis on it for a fee.)
showjumpinghorse edited 1

How Do You Qualify For The T.I.P Championship?

The T.I.P. championships offer a chance for Thoroughbreds to compete for glory in a variety of disciplines. In order to qualify for the championship competition, a horse must earn performance awards by participating in qualifying events between August and the Declaration Closing Date for the applicable discipline.

Performance Awards are a great way to recognize your horse’s hard work and dedication. The reporting process can be very stringent, but it ensures that all of the riders get credit for their efforts in shows. You might want to click on this link to ensure your hard work gets recognized.

Note: Horse shows do not report performance award results to T.I.P. This is your responsibility. Performance Awards are completely self-reported by horse owners and riders.

What are the qualifications for participation in the Thoroughbred Classic, as well as the rules and regulations that govern it?

The horse must be a true Thoroughbred for it to take part in the competition. Although documentation from the Jockey Club and a lip tattoo number are preferable, there are additional ways to qualify, some of which are as follows:

  • The name of the horse’s father or mother is listed with The Jockey Club as your horse’s sire or dam.
  • The name of the Farm or Breeding Facility from which you obtained your horse is different from the Farm itself.
  • The Name of the Organization That Provides Aftercare Where Did You Get Your Horse From?


The Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P) is an excellent opportunity for off-track thoroughbreds who have retired from racing to find new homes and careers in other disciplines. If you’re looking for a horse with potential, an OTTB may be the perfect fit for you. However, retraining an OTTB does take time and effort, so make sure you’re prepared for the commitment before you apply.

Here is a YouTube video of the 2021 TIP Makeover Finale.

YouTube video

Recent winners of the T.I.P. Championship.


Registered NameShow NameRiderDivision
Smart SaintSimply DevineErika HaltSenior English Pleasure
AcquisitiveAcquisitiveJacqueline NeedleJunior English Pleasure
Registered NameShow NameRiderDivision
UltraslanUltraslanLaura MoquettCrossrails
Gem TwistGem TwistTammy ShiversVery Green Hunter
Meet My BuddyMeet My BuddyKelsey HarbourBeginning Hunter
Erlton QueenExquisiteMorgan MickelSpecial Hunter
Caught Me LookingCaught Me LookingBridget McNeese CumminsSuitable Hunter
FeltonFeltonSusan Sisco
Registered NameShow NameRiderDivision
MilordMilordHeather StarkHopeful Jumper
SligovitzSligovitzSaige BakerSuitable Jumper
Sunday HatSunday HatLaura MoquettSchooling Jumper
Lu E DavorKarismaDevon OliverOpen Jumper


DivisionHorseRiderOverall Average Time (Seconds)Junior AwardAdopted Horse Award (Adoption Facility)
1DFloo PowderLayne Shaffer17.071 secondsLost Shakerof Salt and Kloe McCormickLost Shakerof Salt and Kloe McCormick (Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program) 
2DJust in FlashHadley Jumps17.662Just in Flash and Hadley JumpsN/A
3DNucksMegan Hems18.648Girl Crush and Addyson SzawronskiNucks and Megan Hems (Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc.)
4DJusta JesterChristy Drent19.166Cape Kimbo and Zoey McNeesNoble Hope and Taylor Toris (Thoroughbred Retirement, Rehabilitation and Careers 


Horse NameTJC Registration NameSireDamClass – AwardsShow NameShow DateRider Name
A Horse With No NamePower of the PenMass MediaMiss CherryGreen OTTB High Point Award (all divisions/disciplines)North Texas Hunter Jumper Club2/26/2022Natalie J Richards
A Million Reasons WhyTwo Steping CoyoteTwo Step SalsaLiljessica’scoyoteThoroughbred Hopeful Jumper IFarmers Union Horse Company4/24/2022Jamie L Gilbert Kulp
A Million To OneA Million to OneDon’tsellmeshortSpanks a MillionVery Green Hunter Division (2’0″)NorCal Thoroughbred6/11/2022Natasha M Kaplan
A Wild RunA Wild RunRunning StagDriving WildNovice High Point Thoroughbred AwardMorven Park Spring HT4/2/2022Kasey E Moseley
Abounding AngelAbounding AngelDevil His DueJibber JabberPreliminary High Point Thoroughbred AwardStable View Spring HT4/30/2022Susan Gornall
Absolut MonsterAbsolut MonsterPredecessorCountry QuencherIntroductory High Point Thoroughbred AwardMay WHES5/14/2022Holly Riportella
Aces HighGreat NameAlbert the GreatPrimal FactorLow Score CT High Point AwardWildflower Show at Fox Run6/18/2022Samantha Scigouski
Aces HighGreat NameAlbert the GreatPrimal FactorEquitation High Point Thoroughbred AwardWildflower Show at Fox Run6/18/2022Samantha Scigouski
Aces HighGreat NameAlbert the GreatPrimal FactorHigh Point Dressage Thoroughbred(Overall)Wildflower Show5/21/2022Samantha Scigouski
Aces HighGreat NameAlbert the GreatPrimal FactorHigh Score Dressage Thoroughbred (Overall)Wildflower Show5/21/2022Samantha Scigouski
ActiumActiumEmpire MakerSweepstake (IRE)High Point Dressage Thoroughbred(Overall)Spring Fever4/9/2022Merrell G Waggoner
ActiumActiumEmpire MakerSweepstake (IRE)High Score Dressage Thoroughbred (Overall)Spring Fever4/9/2022Merrell G Waggoner
ActiumActiumEmpire MakerSweepstake (IRE)High Point Dressage Thoroughbred(Overall)Southern Comfort3/5/2022Merrell G Waggoner
ActiumActiumEmpire MakerSweepstake (IRE)High Score Dressage Thoroughbred (Overall)Southern Comfort3/5/2022Merrell G Waggoner
Adam N TonyAdam N TonyMahie GoldPrincess LoriHigh Point Dressage Thoroughbred(Overall)Indiana Dressage Society May Schooling Show5/7/2022Molly E Weiler
Adam N TonyAdam N TonyMahie GoldPrincess LoriHigh Score Dressage Thoroughbred (Overall)Indiana Dressage Society May Schooling Show5/7/2022Molly E Weiler
Aiken on TapAiken On TapAikeniteTatum CreekIntroductory High Point Thoroughbred AwardCDCTA Spring Horse Trials4/10/2022suzannah l cornue
AlfredWhole Lotta RunKafwainWhole Lotta LoveThoroughbred English Pleasure W/T/C Division (Senior)WaterGap Stables6/11/2022Sarah Benner
Alive After FiveAlive After FiveStay ThirstyMoshe DianeBeginner Novice High Point Thoroughbred AwardStable View Eventing Academy3/12/2022Margo A Luke
All Gussied UpGata RulerRoman RulerGata SecretaOpen Thoroughbred Hunter DivisionFun In The Sun Hunter Jumper Series6/5/2022Gigi s Goble
Picture of a four year old Thoroughbred that is eligible for TIP program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I receive a Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) Number?

Visit this website and then select the T.I.P. Number menu option and follow the instructions from there.

Is it okay if I bring a horse that isn’t a Thoroughbred to a T.I.P show?

Yes. A restricted number of horses who were not thoroughbreds compete in unjudged rounds. The non-Thoroughbred horses are often required to be stabled in the same barn as the Thoroughbreds that are entered in the competition. 

How do I get information about my horse’s tattoo number?

You can use the Jockey Club’s free Tattoo Identification Services, which are accessible via the registry homepage at

What are the requirements to participate in the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P. )?

Jockey Club Foal Registration Certificate, original or copy, depending on request (or any document of a similar nature from a foreign stud book).