This year’s Thoroughbred Makeover challenge is seeking 500 horse trainers to compete in an array of disciplines for prizemoney totaling $100,000.
Application close on January 31 and those selected will be announced in mid-February.
The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium from October 27 to 30 at the Kentucky Horse Park offers prize money of $100,000 including a $10,000 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred prize and a $5,000 Thoroughbred Ambassador Award. Those taking part will show their skills in a range of disciplines, including eventing, barrel racing, dressage, polo, show jumping, working ranch, show hunter, field hunter, and competitive trail, as well as a freestyle competition.
Run by non-profit organisation Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), the Thoroughbred Makeover promotes off-track Thoroughbreds for multiple equestrian sports.
Each trainer must select a Thoroughbred who raced or had published work after October 1, 2014, and who did not begin training for a second career before the start of 2016.
Owners can choose to keep their horses at the end of the process or offer them for sale. The Makeover Horse Sale is not an auction, but an opportunity for buyers and sellers to do business in a setting that allows trial rides, pre-purchase exams, and observation of horses in competition. Owners are encouraged to price their horses based on estimated market value and screen potential buyers. Sale contracts must include notification of resale and anti-slaughter provisions.
Racing owners who want their eligible horses entered in the event may seek out trainers and encourage them to apply or list horses as “Makeover Eligible” in the online Horse Listings at RetiredRacehorseProject.org.
“Last year’s Makeover created what was described as ‘a run on retired racehorses’ at about this time of year,” said RRP founder and president Steuart Pittman. “It comes as a shock and a thrill to folks at the tracks when they discover that their retiring horses are no longer what the industry calls ‘unwanted horses.’
“With increased demand comes higher prices, giving racing owners an incentive to retire horses sound and taking pressure off of aftercare facilities so that they can help the horses in most need. That’s why we do this.”
Retired Racehorse Project encourages both sellers and buyers of these horses to use its online and printed Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, listing 300 farms, organizations, and racetracks with guidelines for “acquiring, selling, placing, and serving the off-track Thoroughbred.” RRP also offers an online listing service in which hundreds of these horses are marketed each month.