July 24, 1987, the Idaho Thoroughbred Breeders Association was recognized by Idaho Secretary of State with President Dr. Chris Christian leading the association, and a mission to support the Thoroughbred breeders who run their horses in Idaho.
In 1990, the ITBA sponsored the Idaho Centennial races, celebrating Idaho’s 100th birthday as a state. The success of this event highlighted the need for Idaho to establish a “racing program” that the horsemen could look forward to from year to year, and that would support and grow the Idaho Thoroughbred industry.
In 1993, the Idaho Cup Program was born. It was created to offer horsemen a special day dedicated to Idaho bred horses and labeled the “Richest Race Day in Idaho”. It was based on the same premise as the Breeder’s Cup, only for Idaho bred horses that had been paid into the program. The race day would consist of seven races with purses ranging from $10,000 to as much as $50,000. As an incentive to nominate to the Idaho Cup Program, breeders would be eligible to earn 10% of the earnings for their nomination throughout the racing career of the nominated horse.
Since its inception, Idaho Cup Program has been a successful venture for the Idaho Thoroughbred Breeders Association. The ITBA realized in 2003, that in addition to the breeders, the owners, trainers, and other horsemen involved in racing needed the support of such an organization. So with that goal in mind, the association filed a new name as the Idaho Thoroughbred Association - effective 2004.