The final entry list for the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, is complete! View individual entries with a filtered search feature at theRRP.org/entries to look for specific horses; we’ve taken a look at trends and statistics for the entire class here.
With an initial round of trainer acceptance combined with wait list acceptance over 2022, a total of 484 trainer applications were accepted to this year’s event, representing 559 possible horse entries (trainers are permitted to participate with up to three horses including both individual and team entry). Ultimately, 516 horses were registered for the 2022 competition, and 377 made a final entry — that’s about two-thirds of the initially-registered field, which represents the highest retention rate to date for the Makeover.
Let’s take a closer look at the class of 2022!
The average age for a Makeover participant has gradually been trending younger in recent years, indicating that racing connections may be choosing to retire horses from racing somewhat earlier.
We have one proper pony entered in 2022: Dance With Bode, coming in at 14.1hh. The majority of the class of 2022 comes in at the 15.3 to 17hh range.
Mares make up a little under a third of entries, while geldings make up the vast majority of the field. Five stallions are currently entered to compete.
Some trends stay the same… such as the coat colors represented at the Makeover this year. Bays and dark bay/browns will make up more than half of all horses!
On average, our 2022 Makeover entries made about 18 starts with 2 wins and an average of $71,088. That’s fewer starts than previous Makeover years but a higher average of earnings — while we’ll take a closer a look at this trend, initial data may suggest that racing connections may be retiring horses somewhat earlier from higher classes of racing, rather than dropping horses in class and racing them longer.
In total, this year’s class of Makeover entries made a total of 9,018 starts with 1,061 trips to the winner’s circle. In total, they earned $36,113,138. Our highest earner is fan favorite Whitmore, who retired with over $4.5 million!
To be eligible for the Thoroughbred Makeover, a horse must have been in training to race and must have at least one published work — and for about 8% of our entries, that’s as far as their race careers ever went. Others, including the top 10 listed below, achieved “war horse” status, making over 50 career starts.
We always love seeing former stakes winners embarking on their journeys to second careers: here are the stakes horses you can plan on seeing in person at the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover!
BREEDING AND SALES
Kentucky traditionally breeds a little over a third of our entries each year, but Florida and New York each bred 10% or more of the class as well. Here are the top ten states represented:
We always love to look at the bloodlines of Makeover horses and see which of the industry’s stallions are represented: many of those we see over and over again are racing’s top sires, but some lesser-known names often crop up annually which can indicate both regional popularity as well as recognition of ability of offspring in sport. Here are sires represented by multiple offspring:
Top 10 Sire Representation
It’s fun to see which of the leading sires of 2022 (as reported by Bloodhorse as of press time) are represented by Makeover entries:
We won’t be seeing any full siblings this year, but we will have two sets of half siblings: Rise Up Redhawk and Permit out of Best Credentials, and Spots Appeal and Maria Rose out of Mariastheboss. Interestingly, both Spots Appeal and Maria Rose are coming to the Makeover under the guidance of the same trainer, Karyn Wittek!
Over a third of Makeover entries went through at least one sale, including Keeneland, Fasig Tipton and OBS in North America as well as Tattersalls in the UK.
The acquiring of Makeover horses represents the crossroads between racing and sport, and can provide valuable information for how these industries are interacting and working together.
Following the trend in recent years, a little over half of this year’s entries were acquired directly from their racing connections. Other sources for horses include non-profit aftercare organizations as well as for-profit resellers or listing agents. Four horses this year were true rescues, coming via auction or kill pens.
Interestingly, we observe that horses sourced directly from racing connections have less time elapsed from their last start to their acquisition by Makeover trainers — only 70 days on average, down from 114 days in 2020 and 85 days in 2021. That same timeframe is on the rise somewhat for non-profit aftercare facilities, with horses spending an average of 168 between last start and adoption.
The overall price paid by Makeover trainers for their horses continues to tick upwards: for 2022, trainers spent an average of $2,863 (including adoption fees as well as direct purchase).
While over half of entries came direct from racing connections, both non-profit aftercare organizations as well as listing agents/resellers remain popular sources for horses.
Looking at the tracks from where horses retire offers insight into where rehoming programs and aftercare organizations are making an impact, as well as what tier of racehorse tends to be retiring into second careers.
Come see these horses perform in person at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium on October 12-15! Former connections are invited to stop by the Connection Corner in the TCA Covered Arena for assistance finding their former horses.
Thanks to the continued generous support of the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announced today that the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, will include for the first time the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn, in addition to the returning ASPCA Makeover Marketplace. The ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn, open through the Makeover on October 12-15 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, will include Thoroughbred horses of varying ages and backgrounds who are up for adoption from partner organizations of the ASPCA Right Horse program.
“Our continued partnership with the Retired Racehorse Project has been a fantastic avenue to support placing retired racehorses in new careers and loving homes,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of ASPCA Equine Welfare “We are thrilled to launch the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn this year to help even more Thoroughbred enthusiasts find their right horse through equine adoption.”
Participating horses will be identified closer to the event and a list of participating organizations will be published in the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace catalog, available both digitally and printed as an insert to the Fall 2022 issue of the RRP’s award-winning publication, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine. The Fall magazine issue also doubles as the Thoroughbred Makeover program. Leading up to the event, prospective adopters can visit www.myrighthorse.org, the ASPCA’s online adoption platform for equines, to search for adoptable Thoroughbreds.
In addition to the horses available through the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn, the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace catalog is expected to include over one hundred transitioned, restarted and competition-experienced Thoroughbreds who will compete at the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover. Interested shoppers and adopters have the unique opportunity to watch horses perform, take a trial ride in a designated arena, and vet prospects on-site, all in one location, in one weekend. The trial arena and ability to schedule pre-purchase exams are also open to the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn participants, as well.
“We’re grateful for the ASPCA’s continued support of the Makeover Marketplace and their commitment to the RRP’s work,” said RRP executive director Kirsten Green. “Through their Right Horse program, the ASPCA has fostered a new level of collaboration and innovation within the equine welfare community. The ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn is just one example of that, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to expand the scope of the Marketplace to serve more Thoroughbreds.”
The ASPCA Makeover Marketplace has become an adopter’s or buyer’s trusted source for Thoroughbreds for sport and pleasure. Makeover graduates available through the Marketplace have undergone extensive preparation for the event, with emphasis placed on a healthy transition from the track and appropriate training and exposure to a big show environment. Past ASPCA Makeover Marketplace graduates have gone on to successful careers in eventing, hunter/jumper, field hunter, western performance, pleasure, and trail riding.
Organizations wishing to participate in the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn are encouraged to sign up by August 15th, 2022, as space is limited. More information is available on the RRP website.
Sign up to receive your free copy of the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace catalog, including the list of organizations participating in the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn as well as Makeover graduates available for sale and adoption. The digital catalog will be released at theRRP.org after August 15 and the print version will be mailed in late September.
About the Retired Racehorse Project
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds in the equestrian world. In addition to producing the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, the world’s largest and most lucrative retraining competition for recently-retired racehorses, the organization also publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, produces the Master Class retraining clinic series, and presents programming at major horse expos and events around the country. The RRP maintains an educational library of content to empower more equestrians to ride a Thoroughbred.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today serves as the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA assists animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources. For more information, visit www.ASPCA.org, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Thoroughbred Makeover will take place Oct. 12-15 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announces today the acceptance of 482 trainers, including both individuals and team members, to the 2022 class of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA).
The Thoroughbred Makeover is the world’s largest and most lucrative retraining competition for ex-racehorses, awarding over $100,000 in prize money annually since 2015. The Makeover returns to its single-year format in 2022 after the postponement of the 2020 event led to a “double” Makeover in 2021, with two competition years running simultaneously. The 2022 Makeover will take place on October 12-15, 2022 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Open to professionals, juniors, amateurs, and teams, the Thoroughbred Makeover is a retraining competition for recently-retired ex-racehorses. Competition is available in ten disciplines, with trainers choosing to compete in up to two: barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunter, polo, ranch work, show hunter, show jumper, and freestyle (a free-form discipline to demonstrate skills of the trainer’s choice).
All horses compete in preliminary rounds in their respective disciplines, with the top five in each discipline returning for the Finale Championship on Saturday to determine final placings. A panel including all discipline judges will determine the overall Thoroughbred Makeover Champion and a $10,000 cash prize; a popular vote by in-person and online spectators will determine the People’s Choice Award who wins the right to direct a donation to an equine charity of their choosing.
“TCA has been a supporter of the Makeover since the beginning because we believe strongly in the mission of the RRP,” said Erin Halliwell, executive director of TCA. “The RRP and its programming have made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of Thoroughbreds over the years. We congratulate the trainers accepted into the 2022 Makeover and appreciate your dedication to Thoroughbreds.”
Accepted trainers are encouraged to register their horses at TBMakeover.org as soon as they acquire them; horse registration closes on July 29, 2022. As horses are registered, they will appear on the entry list at tbmakeover.org/entries-2022. Trainers have signed up to bring a total of 505 horses.
The application process for the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover required trainers to complete a “horseman’s resume” that detailed their training and competition experience and included riding video, allowing the application committee the best possible look at applicants’ experience levels and their ability to bring along a recently-retired Thoroughbred and compete at a large venue with a big environment. Applicants also furnished letters from their veterinarians stating that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to appropriately care for a horse transitioning off the track.
The Makeover has historically attracted a broad cross-section of the horse industry, represented by junior, amateur and professional equestrians, as well as teams (allowing families, stables, or collegiate teams the opportunity to prepare a horse together). The great equalizer at the Makeover are the horses: eligible Thoroughbreds competing in 2022 will all come from similar backgrounds, with no more than 10 months of retraining for a second career and all having raced or trained to race within the past two years.
This format allows all trainers to all categories to compete side-by-side on equal footing. Juniors, amateurs and teams routinely enjoy great success at the Makeover and have earned top-five finishes; the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Old Tavern was trained by junior Charlie Caldwell.
With the uncertainty of training green horses, the length of time between acceptance of trainers and final entry, and the fact that some horses sell before the Makeover, the RRP is once again offering a waitlist. Individuals who missed the initial round of applications are welcome to apply to the waitlist and can do so at TBMakeover.org/trainer-portal. The waitlist does not guarantee final entry into the competition, but does widen the impact of the Makeover and helps more horses transition to second careers.
New for 2022, the Makeover will also play host to The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) Western Championships and Central Region Dressage Championships. After a successful implementation of the inaugural T.I.P. Barrel Racing Championships in 2021, the RRP and T.I.P. are expanding on their working relationship to add more opportunities for Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred enthusiasts to make the most of the week at the Kentucky Horse Park.
For riders seeking a well-started off-track Thoroughbred for competition or pleasure, the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace will return in 2022, offering buyers and adopters the unique opportunity to watch a horse compete, trial ride, and complete a pre-purchase exam all in one location. New for 2022, the Makeover will offer the ASPCA Future Prospects barn, including recently-retired Thoroughbreds available for adoption from participating aftercare organizations.
“Although we’re back to our ‘normal’ Makeover schedule at the Kentucky Horse Park in October, we’re pleased to expand other aspects of the event to reach more Thoroughbred lovers and serve a broader portion of the aftercare industry,” said RRP executive director, Kirsten Green. “Hosting additional T.I.P. Championship classes and the pilot year of the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace Future Prospects barn is broadening the scope of the Thoroughbred Makeover and making it a true cornerstone event for Thoroughbred enthusiasts.”
The Makeover also provides ample opportunities for education for both trainers and the public, including the Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit, the seminar series, and the Makeover Master Class (a retraining demonstration featuring three trainers with their own unique approaches to initial training sessions with recently-retired Thoroughbreds). A vendor fair provides plenty of shopping opportunities for attendees as well.
The Thoroughbred Makeover is the flagship event for the RRP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to increasing the demand and value of Thoroughbreds in their careers after racing. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover: contact email@example.com for more information.
Thoroughbred Makeover fast facts:
- The 2022 competition is open to any Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work after July 1, 2020 and did not start retraining for a second career before December 1, 2021
- Trainers indicate their primary discipline(s) of expertise on their applications, but are free to change disciplines as the competition approaches and they learn their horses’ strengths. A horse can compete in up to two disciplines, and a trainers can compete a maximum of three horses
- Trainers do not need to have obtained the horse they intend to compete at the time of application. Horses can be registered through July 31
- Participation in the Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace sale is entirely voluntary, but many trainers take advantage of the extra exposure to market their horses. All sales are private contracts between individual trainers and buyers; the RRP is not involved and receives no commissions
We’ve got an action-packed week ahead! Here’s the schedule of our activities and opportunities in celebration of what would have been the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America.
ONGOING ALL WEEK
While the in-person horse shopping and adoption experience at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium may no longer be possible this year with the postponement of the event to 2021, the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA, will continue to produce the Makeover Marketplace and promote transitioned Thoroughbreds as premier sport horse prospects online.
Expected to feature dozens of restarted Thoroughbreds, the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace catalog will once again be offered in print as well as digitally. Sign-ups are now open to receive the catalog, which will be printed in the Fall 2020 issue of Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, the RRP’s award-winning quarterly publication. The catalog will be printed in color and feature each horse’s Jockey Club name and basic details, price or adoption fee, home location, description and photo, as well as trainer contact information. Each advertisement will also include a QR code that will direct smartphone users to the horse’s full online listing, which may include additional information and video.
“The ASPCA Makeover Marketplace has become one of the country’s premier horse shopping and adoption opportunities for equestrians looking for well-started sport horse prospects,” said Jen Roytz, Executive Director of the RRP. “Traditionally, horse shopping includes extensive travel, often going to multiple farms in different states in order to consider horses, but changing mandates and travel restrictions during the pandemic are limiting those opportunities. The Marketplace lets you browse from the comfort of your couch and peruse dozens of photos, videos and descriptions of equine athletes for adoption or sale who have had the proper care, nutrition and training to make a successful transition to a competitive or recreational career after racing.”
The ASPCA Makeover Marketplace has become an adopter’s or buyer’s trusted source for Thoroughbreds for sport or pleasure. Though the Thoroughbred Makeover competition will not be taking place this year, each horse entered in the Marketplace catalog will have undergone preparation for the event, with emphasis placed on a healthy transition from the track and training for a big show environment. Past ASPCA Makeover Marketplace graduates have gone on to successful careers in eventing, hunter/jumper, field hunter, western performance, pleasure and trail riding.
“Creating opportunities for more equine enthusiasts to find their Right Horse is a vital component of our work,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, Vice President of ASPCA Equine Welfare. “The RRP continues to support us in shifting the perspective of who a retired racehorse is and showcasing the incredible potential they will bring to their next homes. While we will miss seeing all the event-goers and talented competitors this year, we celebrate this innovative virtual Marketplace experience that will help transition more great horses to their next chapter.”
The digital catalog will be released at tbmakeover.org the week of August 10, and individual horses will be featured on the RRP’s social media. Watch the RRP’s Facebook page for additional virtual spotlights of Marketplace horses this fall.
Sign up now for the print catalog at tbmakeover.org/catalog. Catalogs will be printed and mailed in mid-September.
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds in the equestrian world. In addition to putting on the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, the organization also publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts off-track Thoroughbred retraining clinics and programming at major horse expos and events around the country, and maintains the online Thoroughbred Sport Tracker (the internet’s only user-driven database tracking second career talent and accomplishments of registered Thoroughbreds). Visit the RRP online at RetiredRacehorseProject.org.
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
After extensive information gathering, research and consideration, the board of the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) has made the difficult but unanimous decision to postpone the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), until 2021. The RRP plans to host an expanded Thoroughbred Makeover on October 12-17, 2021 that will offer separate classes in all ten disciplines for both 2020 and 2021 entries.
Put on each year by the RRP, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Thoroughbred Makeover typically draws hundreds of competitors from 40+ states and multiple Canadian provinces, each of whom has taken on the challenge of bringing along a Thoroughbred in his or her first year of retraining post-racing. In a normal year, the event also includes the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace (a large-scale horse shopping experience), a vendor fair with more than 70 on-site retailers and other equine businesses, seminars, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit and various social and networking events.
To comply with COVID-19 pandemic event guidelines as recommended by US Equestrian and the Kentucky Horse Park, many of these aspects, which monetize a significant portion of the event, would have to be eliminated or heavily modified.
“This was a decision that was not entered into lightly,” said the RRP’s executive director Jen Roytz. “We went to great lengths to look at the feasibility of putting on the event from various perspectives, including preparedness of our competitors, current sponsorship commitments, the cost and steps necessary to implement COVID-19 risk management protocols for an event like ours, and what changes we would need to make to the event to comply with state and venue regulations. We also explored various ‘what if’ scenarios with our legal counsel, insurance company, and board, and what their impacts could be on not only the event, but our organization as a whole.”
With the Thoroughbred Makeover being a competition for horses in their first year of training after racing, the organization sent out two surveys to its competitors, one in April and one in June, to better understand how the pandemic was affecting its competitors’ ability to prepare their horses. Questions in the survey also aimed to gauge how their competitors would feel about the changes to the event that would have to be made in 2020 in order to put it on.
Trainers expressed concern through these surveys about having their horses adequately prepared for the show environment, as well as financial concerns due to lost income during shutdowns. In some cases, horses could not receive necessary maintenance care or undergo elective veterinary or therapy procedures. Furthermore, every state’s pandemic guidelines were different which had, and continues to have, an impact on competitors.
“We worked hard to identify what the best course of action would be, not only for our constituents and horses, but for the long-term viability and stability of our organization,” continued Roytz. “Our competitor survey responses showed us not only that a significant percentage of our competitors were behind on their training due to a variety of factors, but also that if we were to implement the changes that the pandemic would force us to make, it would not only put our organization in a precarious position financially but would negatively impact our competitors’ enjoyment of the event.”
A critical aspect of the Thoroughbred Makeover on the part of participating trainers is having recently retired racehorses, all of which are relatively green in terms of their show career, adequately prepared for a big show environment at the Kentucky Horse Park. Typically, this is achieved by trainers exposing their horses to various competitive environments in the ten-month training period prior to the Makeover.
“The Thoroughbred Makeover at its core is designed to serve the mission of the RRP as a showcase of the versatility and trainability of the breed,” said Managing Director and Event Organizer, Kirsten Green. “Much of the feedback we’ve received, as well as the results of our surveys, tell us that the majority of our competitors are not feeling as confident as they typically would about their ability to showcase their horses as well as they otherwise would have. Furthermore, the Makeover typically draws entries from more than 40 states, as well as a significant Canadian contingent, and we’re still contending with a continually changing landscape over the coming months. We don’t yet know when the Canadian border will reopen, we’re seeing states re-implementing quarantine mandates for travelers, trainers having their income impacted, and more. That is only compounded by the financial challenges we and other nonprofits have faced in recent months and changes we would have to make in order to move forward with the event. By postponing the competition until next year and expanding the Marketplace virtually for this year, we felt it was the best way to create the most opportunities for all involved, while also doing what is in the best interest of the horses and our organization.”
Several aspects of the 2020 TCA Thoroughbred Makeover will be run virtually this year in October, including a virtual vendor fair, webinars in place of seminars, and the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace. The Marketplace will transition into an expanded online showcase of transitioned Thoroughbreds who were intended to compete in October and be offered for sale or adoption at the Makeover.
“I know I speak on behalf of the entire RRP board and staff when I say this was an incredibly difficult decision, but we feel it’s the right one,” said RRP board president Carolyn Karlson. “The challenges presented by the pandemic are unprecedented. The RRP expanded its online educational offerings this year to better support those retraining horses amid all of the travel and shelter-in-place restrictions, like our Five-Minute Clinic series and webinars, and we have several more exciting initiatives to roll out as the year goes on. We are steadfast to our commitment to our competitors, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, supporters and, most importantly, the horses we and they serve.”
Trainers who entered this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover will have the opportunity to retain their registered 2020 horses to compete in a special 2020 division at the 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover. They also have the option to withdraw their 2020 horses and roll their entry fee to the 2021 competition with a new 2021-eligible horse. In some cases, some 2020-entered horses will be able to retain their eligibility for the 2021 division as long as they do not exceed the maximum of 15 retraining rides before December 1, 2020.
“It’s been a priority for us to make sure that we found a solution that was flexible for our trainers and their horses and give them options to suit whatever their goals might be,” said Green. “We look forward to working with everyone to offer content and activities to honor the Makeover this October, and to welcome everyone back to the Bluegrass for a knockout event in 2021.”
Added Roytz, “We are incredibly grateful to the TCA, ASPCA and our other major sponsors and donors for being exceedingly understanding and supportive of this decision. Many of them have also been affected by this pandemic and anticipate feeling the effects well into the coming year, but were eager to help us find ways to support both this year’s and next year’s classes of Makeover competitors in meaningful ways.”
For more information and updates about the Thoroughbred Makeover, please visit tbmakeover.org. More announcements about virtual activities and events will be released throughout the summer and early fall. Sign up to receive the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace catalog at tbmakeover.org/catalogsignup.
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds in the equestrian world. In addition to putting on the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, the world’s largest retraining competition for recently retired racehorses, the organization also publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts off-track Thoroughbred retraining clinics around the country, maintains the Thoroughbred Sport Tracker(the internet’s only user-driven database tracking second career talent and accomplishments of registered Thoroughbreds) and presents programing at major horse expos across the country. Visit RRP online at retiredracehorseproject.org.
The Retired Racehorse Project announced today that applications are open for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2020, and accepted trainers will be announced on February 15, 2020.
Now in its sixth year, the Thoroughbred Makeover features competition in ten disciplines for recently-retired Thoroughbreds in their first year of retraining for a second career after racing. Disciplines include barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumper, and ranch work.
Horses and trainers will compete for more than $125,000 in total prize money, plus the coveted title of Thoroughbred Makeover Champion, at the Kentucky Horse Park on October 7-10, 2020. The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium includes not just the competition, but educational seminars, a vendor fair, the Makeover Marketplace horse sale and the Makeover Master Class featuring demonstrations and insight from leading trainers. The Finale features the top five horses in each discipline and will be livestreamed for viewers at home.
“The Retired Racehorse Project was created to drive demand for Thoroughbreds after racing as sport horses, and the Thoroughbred Makeover is one of the most successful executions of this mission,” describes the RRP’s executive director Jen Roytz. “Each year the event has grown in both size and scope and we’re seeing more and more Makeover graduates representing the breed on the national stage.”
The Thoroughbred Makeover is open to professionals, amateurs, juniors (ages 12 and older) and teams. Applicants are required to provide information about their riding and competition background as well as references, including one from a veterinarian. Applicants are encouraged to provide links to riding video, which is a requirement for first-time competitors. Competitors do not need to have acquired their horse at the time of application, though must declare their horse no later than July 31, 2020.
Approved trainers may acquire eligible Thoroughbreds through whatever source they choose, or can ride under contract for an owner. Eligible horses must have raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2018 and must not have started retraining for a second career prior to December 1, 2019 other than a maximum of 15 allowable rides. The 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover Rulebook outlines all rules and information relevant to the competition, with changes for 2020 marked in red and clarifying information marked in blue.
The Thoroughbred Makeover, produced by the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Retired Racehorse Project, is made possible each year by the generosity and support of sponsors and donors. In addition to the Makeover, the RRP publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, maintains the Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, the online Thoroughbred Sport Tracker (the only user-driven database for Thoroughbred bloodlines in second careers), and a library of educational materials online, and produces educational demonstrations around the country at clinics and expos, all with the goal of increasing demand for Thoroughbreds in second careers.
Thoroughbred Makeover Links:
2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Recap
The 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 the RRP online at RetiredRacehorseProject.org.
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.