Cowboy Swagger is 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion With Fallon Taylor
Cowboy Swagger, 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion with Fallon Taylor. Photo by CanterClix
Champion barrel racer Fallon Taylor takes on a new challenge every year: in 2018, she took up show jumping. This year, she took on the Thoroughbred Makeover. Already a champion — she was the 2014 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion and 2018 AQHA World Champion — Taylor can add one more line to her deep resume: trainer of the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion, Cowboy Swagger.
Much like winning the average in a rodeo, Taylor and Cowboy Swagger’s consistent, steady performances earned them victory in the Barrel Racing discipline at the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. Taylor didn’t lead after the horsemanship component, nor did she set the fastest times in the two daily barrel runs, but through those consistent performances she maintained the best overall scores in the division. After clinching the championship in Barrel Racing, Taylor’s fan base rallied behind her to vote her to the overall title.
In the TCA Covered Arena for the voting and award presentation, Cowboy Swagger stood quietly as the other horses circled around him, with just a set of reins around his neck and a massive blanket of roses that Taylor had made specially for her Thoroughbred barrel horse. A casual bystander might not guess that this horse just a few hours ago had been agilely turning barrels and sprinting for home flat-out in the same arena.
Fallon Taylor and Cowboy Swagger in the Finale in front of a packed house. Photo by CanterClix
“I think the coolest thing about these Thoroughbreds is their demeanor,” Taylor commented. “This is a special, unique horse. I’m just sitting here with no bridle on, people all around, all these cameras pointed at him, and he’s completely unaffected. The Thoroughbreds want to please. And these guys are made to run — they’re made for this job. It’s our job to be kind, be patient and help these horses learn the pattern and learn their new job. We need to go out and get these horses and scoop them up!”
Taylor acquired Cowboy Swagger based on the advice of a friend who knew the horse on the track and loved his personality. He was bred in Oregon by Dr. and Mrs. Jack B. Root Jr., and as of his last start on January 8, 2019 at Portland Meadows he was trained by Sam Dronen. By Grindstone out of the Baquero mare One Fast Cowgirl, Cowboy Swagger made 16 career starts with three wins and total earnings of $20,299.
As a savvy social media personality, Taylor understands how to lever that fan base for a good cause. She’s documented her journey to the Makeover with Cowboy Swagger over the past few months, but that turned out to be just the beginning. “I documented every single ride that I took on this horse so that I can keep sharing that next year with my following and help more people try this competition,” she detailed.
Fallon Taylor and Cowboy Swagger. Photo by CanterClix
“The horsemanship pattern was a challenge for me,” Taylor admitted earlier in the week. “But I like knowing that the horses are leaving the Makeover with a good foundation, especially if they’re selling at the Marketplace, to know that the next rider is going to have a really cool horse to play with later.”
And as for what this particular personal challenge has taught Taylor that she’ll take away to apply to her other barrel horses? “I’ve had to really be patient with this horse, and that’s going to help me on my other horses as well.”
2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Discipline Champions:
Competitive Trail: Belfast Cowboy, trained by Toni Harmon
Dressage: Fifth Ace, trained by Alison O’Dwyer
Eventing: Sanimo, trained by Rosie Napravnik
Field Hunter: Diplomat, trained by Sara Katz
Freestyle: Grande Warrior, trained by Amy Bowers
Polo: Great Reward, trained by Buck Schott
Ranch Work: Silence Is Awesome, trained by Amber Jacobson
Show Hunter: Furaha, trained by Susan Deal
Show Jumper: Tenpin Sugar, trained by Katherine Deichmann
For full results from the Thoroughbred Makeover, please visit www.tbmakeover.org.
Tenpin Sugar, a 2013 bay mare by Tenpins out of Storm Cat mare, Hurricane Amy won the show jumper division of the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover with trainer Katherine Deichmann. Bred in Louisiana by Emile J. Barras Farm Stables LLC., Tenpin Sugar earned $7,586 in her racing career.
Thank You to Our Supporters!
|On October 1, 2019, the Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), Thoroughbred Incentive Program and Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) will join together to present the inaugural Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit, a conference focused on education and networking among those with a professional interest in the retraining and rehoming of Thoroughbreds after racing. The conference will be held the day before the start of preliminary competition at the Retired Racehorse Project’s annual Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit will focus on topics such as finance, business management, board governance and grant and sponsorship-seeking best-practices. There will also be a roundtable session for individuals and organizations to discuss and idea-share on challenges affecting them.
“The Thoroughbred Makeover is the perfect opportunity to convene aftercare advocates for a couple hours to learn, discuss and share some best business practices,” said Erin Crady, executive director of TCA. “The session may be particularly helpful for grant-seeking nonprofit aftercare organizations, however most topics will be generalizable to for-profit retraining and rehoming operations as well.”
Featured speakers will include Mike Meuser, TAA president and a Lexington-based attorney with the law firm of Miller, Griffin & Marks whose specialty includes equine law and civil litigation and Jen Shah, TAA treasurer and a CPA who serves as the head of equine services for Dean Dorton, a Lexington-based financial consulting firm, as well as representatives from grant-funding organizations, including the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Thoroughbred Charities of America, ASPCA and The Right Horse Initiative.
“We at the TAA are thankful for Mike Meuser and Jen Shah’s leadership and knowledge about both the nonprofit sector and the equine industry, and we think this will be a great experience for TAA-accredited organizations and those wanting to become accredited to learn from these experts,” said TAA operations consultant Stacie Clark.
The conference is a collaboration of the four presenting organizations in an effort to bring together the Thoroughbred aftercare community.
“Whether we work in the for-profit sector, for a non-profit organization or work to rehome or otherwise advocate for Thoroughbreds after racing as private individuals, we all often face similar challenges as both horse people and as professionals,” said Jen Roytz, executive director of the Retired Racehorse Project. “We worked hard to curate a collection of topics and speakers for this inaugural Summit that will offer valuable insight to those in all sectors of Thoroughbred aftercare, and we look forward to expanding the subjects broached in future years.”
Tickets for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit are free, however limited seating is available, so those planning to attend are asked to register. Parking at the Kentucky Horse Park is $5 per car without a Kentucky Horse Park or Thoroughbred Makeover parking pass.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit will be held in the Covered Arena Lounge at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky on October 1 from 3:00 to 5:00. It is held in conjunction with the $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, a training competition for horses in their first year of retraining after retirement from racing. This year’s Makeover will feature approximately 450 Thoroughbreds coming from 40 states and 4 provinces to compete across ten disciplines, including barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, ranch work, show hunter and show jumping. The full schedule of events can be found at tbmakeover.org.
For more information on the Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit, go to the designated webpage at TBMakeover.org.
Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds and build the bridges to second careers. It publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, maintains the Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, manages the online Thoroughbred Sport Tracker, and presents programs at major horse expos across the country. Visit RRP online at RetiredRacehorseProject.org.
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announced today that a new special award will be offered at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America and taking place Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) is sponsoring a $2,500 cash prize for the top-placed Louisiana-bred at the competition. Ten Louisiana-breds took part in the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover, competing in eventing, dressage, show jumpers, show hunters, and polo. Louisiana was ranked eighth among states and Canadian provinces for the most horses entered.
“The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association continues to make an investment in the future of our Thoroughbreds by helping our former runners secure a beautiful life after their time on the racetrack is done,” said Roger Heitzmann III, secretary-treasurer of LTBA. “We believe that by assisting the Retired Racehorse Project, former racers have the ability to show to others the true beauty of the Thoroughbred, as well as their continued usefulness.”
The LBTA award will be presented to the Louisiana-bred that earns the highest percentage of the total possible score in any of the 10 disciplines offered. Almost 800 trainers have been accepted to compete in the 2018 event. Many trainers have not yet purchased the horse they intend to compete, and the cash award will offer an extra incentive to shop for an eligible mount bred in the Pelican State.
“I am very excited about multiple awards being added to the Makeover this year. I’m especially enthusiastic about the LTBA providing an award for Louisiana-breds,” said retired jockey and RRP board member Rosie Napravnik, who is based in New Orleans and markets retiring Thoroughbreds for second careers. “This will boost the market for horses in Louisiana, considering that there are currently no organizations in the state for retraining or adopting Thoroughbreds.”
Any Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2016, is eligible to compete in the Makeover, as long as the horse did not start retraining for a second career prior to Dec. 1, 2017.
The Thoroughbred Makeover is the flagship event for RRP, a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to increasing the demand for and value of Thoroughbreds in their careers after racing. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover.
Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds and build the bridges to second careers. It publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, maintains the Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, manages the online Bloodline Brag, and presents programs at major horse expos across the country. Visit RRP online at RetiredRacehorseProject.org.