Horse Stats
Name: Knockout
Barn Name: Rocky
Age: 2008
Gender: Gelding
Height: 16.1 hh
Color: Bay
Adoption Fee: $1,000 plus $200 donation- now $500 plus $200 donation until 6/30
Location: Lexington, KY
Race Stats
Total Starts: 60
Highlights: Winner
Total Earnings: $76,768
Last Race: 7/27/16
Sire: Smart Strike
Dam: Topsom
Other Notable Pedigree: Smart Strike, Mr. Prospector, Nasrullah, Raise a Native, Native Dancer
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Knockout, or “Rocky” is everything you could ask for in a horse: kind, talented, beautiful and built to last! Rocky is also sired by Smart Strike, a multiple graded stakes winner, making him a half brother to Curlin as well! He doesn’t let that get to his head though! Rocky is always a pleasure to have around the barn. He is friendly and loves to get attention, though he’s fine on his own too. He has no stall vices. He is fine on a stall tie or on crossties, and doesn’t mind being groomed, bathed or fussed on. Rocky is also polite for the farrier.

Rocky gets turned out at night with one or two other geldings, and they can be found mostly just grazing at any given time. Rocky’s donor had mentioned that he could be an alpha in the field, so he was turned out alone, but Rocky is turned out with another alpha-type here and we haven’t had any issues with them! Rocky is easy to lead and handle on the ground, and is often walked with another horse (two-at-a-time) to turnout.

Under saddle, Rocky was surprisingly light on his feet and in his mouth, especially for a horse who has had a longer career on the track! While Rocky is still learning to engage his topline, and carry himself longer and lower, he is wonderfully comfortable to ride, with nice, fluid, uphill movement, and an unmistakable presence in a ring. One thing we are working on is balance both directions, as Rocky is stronger going to the left. Rocky has been ridden in our indoor and our outdoor, alone or with other horses in the ring at the same time.

He retired with no known injuries and hasn’t have any lameness issues in his time with us. He has been started over small crossrails and he is brave, though he still needs gentle guidance, as it is all still new to him! Rocky is a very straight-forward ride that could go in just about any direction with time and the right instruction! He would do best with an advanced intermediate  with a trainer or an advanced rider so that he can continue to flourish in training!


New Vocations’ adoption fees are intentionally set lower than the cost of buying most Thoroughbreds or Standardbreds through a private seller. In today’s market, it’s not unusual for horses coming right off the track to be listed for sale at a price between $2,000 and $5,000. At New Vocations, a fee is set for each horse that will ultimately help the horse find a home quickly. The program’s facilities are always at full capacity, which means the program cannot take in an additional horse until one is adopted. Adopters should be encouraged to know that by adopting a horse through New Vocations, they are actually helping two horses transition to careers outside of racing.

Additionally, adopters get great value for their money: The majority of the horses have been in the program for a minimum of 60 days. During that time, horses are rehabilitated (if needed), socialized with other horses, fully evaluated and worked with by a professional trainer. New Vocations fully discloses the history of each horse and provides all available medical records, many of which include X-ray and ultrasounds.

While adoption fees are low, it should be noted that the costs associated with the ongoing care and additional training for each horse post-adoption can be high. New Vocations hopes that by helping an adopter save money upfront that he or she will have more funds available to cover the ongoing costs of properly caring for a horse.