616 Entries Accepted to the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover

February 14, 2020

2020EntriesFBCover

The Thoroughbred Makeover is a retraining competition open to professionals, juniors and amateurs to compete side-by-side. Ten disciplines of competition are offered, including 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). Horses can compete in one or two of those disciplines.

The five top-placed horses in each discipline after preliminary competition will return for the Finale on Saturday, where they will compete once more to determine final placings. A panel consisting of all of the judges from the ten disciplines will determine the overall Thoroughbred Makeover Champion, selecting the best-trained horse from the ten discipline winners. A popular vote placed by spectators watching both in-person and online via live stream will determine a People’s Choice winner, who wins the right to direct a donation to an equine charity of their choosing.

FallonPress2

2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Cowboy Swagger, trained by Fallon Taylor. Photo by CanterClix

Accepted trainers are encouraged to register their horses at www.tbmakeover.org as soon as they acquire them. Horse registration closes on July 31, but registration upon acquisition allows the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) to better gather data on horses in the Makeover process.

The application process for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover required trainers to demonstrate their skills and expertise through competition results, videos and references, as well as a letter from a vet stating that the applicant had the necessary skills and knowledge to appropriately care for a horse transitioning off the track. The RRP’s selection committee took into consideration both candidates’ ability to effectively retrain an off-track Thoroughbred and candidates’ commitment to the RRP mission of promoting off-track Thoroughbreds in second careers.

“Every year that we run this event, we learn more about how to make it that much better of an experience for those involved, and 2020 will be no exception,” states Kirsten Green, Managing Director. “Our staff continue to devote themselves to providing resources to our trainers and fostering a community of like-minded equestrians that support one another throughout the year on the road to Kentucky — and beyond. This year, while we welcome strong numbers of first-time applicants to the community, we also cheer on alumni trainers who are developing their Makeover graduates as recreational or competitive partners.”

355RememberGizmo 6154 1

2019 competitors Remember Gizmo and Kendal Lehari. Photo by CanterClix

The Makeover has historically attracted a broad cross-section of the horse industry, represented by junior, amateur and professional equestrians, as well as teams. The great equalizer at the Makeover are the horses: eligible Thoroughbreds competed in 2020 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 — the juniors, amateurs, professionals and teams preparing the horses — to compete side-by-side on equal footing. Juniors and amateurs routinely enjoy great success at past Makeovers with multiple top-five finishes; the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Old Tavern was trained by junior Charlie Caldwell.

Accepted trainers for 2020 include 5 Star Parelli Master Instructor John Baar, Extreme Cowboy Racing World Champion Tammy Botsford, FEI Grand Prix Dressage Champion Emily Brollier Curtis, $4 million earning jockey Katie Crews, multiple World Champion in Extreme Cowboy Racing and breed showing Jeff Damphouse, partner relations for Twin Creeks Racing Kim Gullat, four- and five-star eventing coach and national-level Pony Club coach Richard Lamb, four-star eventer Emma Lomangino, international rider for Jamaica Isabelle Mann, retired Breeders’ Cup-winning jockey Rosie Napravnik, and five-star eventers Sally Cousins, Katie Ruppel, Erin Sylvester, and Cathy Wieschhoff.

Trainers for 2020 have signed up to bring a total of 670 horses. The full list of accepted trainers for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover can be found at the event website: https://www.tbmakeover.org/entries-2020

Chukker AL

Harry Caldwell and Silken Lady (grey) and Buck Schott and Great Reward (chestnut) in the polo chukker on Finale Saturday. Photo by Anne Litz

New for 2020, the RRP has added a wait list for entry into the Thoroughbred Makeover: 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 listened to trainer feedback to develop a wait list process that allows late applicants a chance at competing. While the wait list does not guarantee final entry into the competition, it widens the impact of the Makeover and helps more horses transition into second careers. Trainers interested in applying to the wait list should contact the show secretary at secretary@tbmakeover.org.

“The entry process for the Makeover has always been ten months prior to the event for a number of reasons, including simple logistical purposes and to chronicle the training journeys of our competitors and their horses to the public,” said Jen Roytz, executive director of the RRP. “Just as we know that situations can change over the course of a year that could prevent someone from bringing a horse to the event, we understand that opportunities can also arise in which a trainer could gain the opportunity to train a horse for the Makeover that they could not have foreseen at the time of application. The waitlist will be based on a combination of scratches and entries in the various disciplines, and hopefully will allow more horses and riders the chance to participate in the Thoroughbred Makeover.”

market

The Makeover Marketplace allows buyers to watch, try, vet and buy in one location in one weekend. Photo by Giulia Garcia

For riders seeking a well-started off-track Thoroughbred for competition or pleasure, the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace will return, offering buyers the unique opportunity to watch a horse compete, trial ride and vet all in one location. Over 100 horses are expected to be entered in the Marketplace.

In addition to a weekend of Thoroughbred competition and celebration of what makes the off-track Thoroughbred great, the Makeover also offers ample opportunity for education for both trainers and the public: educational seminars and panel discussion will take place on Friday, October 9, as well as the Makeover Master Class. Structured similarly to popular colt-starting competitions but without the competitive aspect, the Makeover Master Class offers spectators the opportunity to watch experienced off-track Thoroughbred trainers assess a prospect’s conformation and movement, as well as demonstrate their process for initial training and first rides. A vendor fair provides plenty of shopping as well!

“The Thoroughbred Makeover is much more than a competition. It’s a coming together of the Thoroughbred aftercare community,” said Roytz. “We are incredibly thankful to our sponsors, who not only make this event possible, but who encourage us to expand it every year in ways that will further serve those who love and serve our horses after racing. It is thanks to our sponsors, competitors, volunteers, staff and others that the Thoroughbred Makeover is touted as one of the key drivers for the resurgence of Thoroughbreds in the sport horse world.”

The Thoroughbred Makeover is the flagship event for the 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 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover.

The RRP is a membership-based organization and an engaged membership base is key to furthering the organization’s mission. Individual membership is $45 annually and includes a subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, discounts on merchandise and Thoroughbred Makeover tickets and more. For more information or to join, go to www.retiredracehorseproject.org.

Things to know:

  • The competition is open to any Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work after July 1, 2018, and did not start retraining for a second career before Dec. 1, 2019.
  • Trainers indicate a primary (and optional secondary) discipline 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 trainer can compete a maximum of two horses.
  • Trainers do not need to have obtained the horse they intend to compete at the time of their application. Some trainers have already obtained their Thoroughbred Makeover mounts, but many are still searching. Trainers may begin registering their horses today, but have through July 31 to complete horse registration.
  • Participation in the Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace sale is entirely voluntary, but many trainers take advantage of the extra exposure to market their prospects. All sales are private contracts between individual trainers and buyers; the RRP is not involved and receives no commissions.

For editorial photos, please contact Jen Roytz at jroytz@retiredracehorseproject.org.


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.

In Other News

July 28, 2022

“Good Vibes Only” Contest Winners

How did your horses enjoy the Equine Relax Trax? Take a look for yourself!…
Read More
Featured image for ““Good Vibes Only” Contest Winners”
July 19, 2022

Retired Racehorse Project Partners With Ride iQ App

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announces today that is has partnered with Ride iQ, the innovative app that gives its members access to hundreds of on-demand audio lessons taught by world-class equestrians.…
Read More
Featured image for “Retired Racehorse Project Partners With Ride iQ App”
July 18, 2022

The Amateur Owner Lifestyle

How working adults balance busy lives and OTTB ownership. SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVEYou’re reading an Off-Track Thoroughbred Subscriber Exclusive.A collaboration of the Retired Racehorse Project and Horse Media Group, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine is the only publication focused on the Thoroughbred in equestrian sports. Winner…
Read More
Featured image for “The Amateur Owner Lifestyle”
July 18, 2022

Local Leanings

Regional differences in Thoroughbred breeding are evident in the types of horses that hail from certain states and provinces. SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVEYou’re reading an Off-Track Thoroughbred Subscriber Exclusive.A collaboration of the Retired Racehorse Project and Horse Media Group, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine is the…
Read More
Featured image for “Local Leanings”
July 15, 2022

Enter Our “Good Vibes Only” Contest with Equine Relax Trax!

One grand prize winner will earn $100 in RRP Store credit!…
Read More
Featured image for “Enter Our “Good Vibes Only” Contest with Equine Relax Trax!”
July 11, 2022

Real Rider Cup Lexington Raises Over $90,000 for Thoroughbred Aftercare

Rain Stops and Stars Come Out for Real Rider Cup Lexington, Raising over $90,000 for Thoroughbred Aftercare Real Rider Cup welcomed 30 horse and rider combinations along with hundreds of spectators to New Vocations at Mereworth Farm Saturday, July 9th…
Read More
Featured image for “Real Rider Cup Lexington Raises Over $90,000 for Thoroughbred Aftercare”
July 1, 2022

Picking Prospects: Summer 2022

Makeover trainers evaluate sport horse potential based on conformation shots SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVEYou’re reading an Off-Track Thoroughbred Subscriber Exclusive.A collaboration of the Retired Racehorse Project and Horse Media Group, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine is the only publication focused on the Thoroughbred in equestrian sports.…
Read More
Featured image for “Picking Prospects: Summer 2022”
July 1, 2022

Biosecurity Tips for Traveling OTTBs

How to reduce your horse’s risk of picking up pathogens at clinics, trail rides and horse shows. SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVEYou’re reading an Off-Track Thoroughbred Subscriber Exclusive.A collaboration of the Retired Racehorse Project and Horse Media Group, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine is the only publication…
Read More
Featured image for “Biosecurity Tips for Traveling OTTBs”
July 1, 2022

The Claiming Game

Understand this unique type of race, its benefits and its specifications. SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVEYou’re reading an Off-Track Thoroughbred Subscriber Exclusive.A collaboration of the Retired Racehorse Project and Horse Media Group, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine is the only publication focused on the Thoroughbred in equestrian…
Read More
Featured image for “The Claiming Game”
July 1, 2022

Forever’s Not For Everyone

Giving a Thoroughbred his ‘forever home’ is a romantic notion, but is it always realistic? SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVEYou’re reading an Off-Track Thoroughbred Subscriber Exclusive.A collaboration of the Retired Racehorse Project and Horse Media Group, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine is the only publication focused on…
Read More
Featured image for “Forever’s Not For Everyone”
July 1, 2022

Both Sides of the Wire

Learn about horse people who own Thoroughbreds for racing and for sport.…
Read More
Featured image for “Both Sides of the Wire”
June 30, 2022

Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace Expands in Partnership With ASPCA’s Right Horse Initiative

Thanks to the continued generous support of the ASPCA, the RRP announces 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…
Read More
Featured image for “Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace Expands in Partnership With ASPCA’s Right Horse Initiative”
June 28, 2022

Retired Racehorse Project Unveils New Website

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announced today that it has unveiled a new website at TheRRP.org, combining its previous two sites for the organization and the Thoroughbred Makeover back under one umbrella.…
Read More
Featured image for “Retired Racehorse Project Unveils New Website”
June 23, 2022

Star-Studded Lineup for Real Rider Cup Ahead of Fasig-Tipton July Sale

The Real Rider Cup, a charity show jumping event created by Anita Motion to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare, is bringing the racing and equestrian worlds together in Lexington, Kentucky just ahead of Fasig-Tipton’s July Sale.…
Read More
Featured image for “Star-Studded Lineup for Real Rider Cup Ahead of Fasig-Tipton July Sale”
June 10, 2022

The Makeover & the Racing Industry

The Retired Racehorse Project’s banner event, the Thoroughbred Makeover, increases demand for horses after racing. Here’s how the Makeover can fit into your aftercare plan.…
Read More
Featured image for “The Makeover & the Racing Industry”
June 9, 2022

Real Rider Cup Returns for 2022 With New In-Person Format

The charity show jumping event is back for 2022, to benefit the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, and the Retired Racehorse Project.…
Read More
Featured image for “Real Rider Cup Returns for 2022 With New In-Person Format”
June 1, 2022

Competitor Newsletter 2022: Vol 2

Greetings 2022 Makeover Trainers! Hopefully you all are enjoying the early stages of the retraining process and have fun outings planned with your Makeover horses as the weather warms up! The RRP staff is in the middle of a busy…
Read More
May 12, 2022

Researching Your OTTB

One of the coolest things about OTTBs are the readily-available records of their breeding and racing careers. Here’s how to research your horse!…
Read More
Featured image for “Researching Your OTTB”
May 12, 2022

Incentive Programs & OTTB Competitions

Several incentive programs and Thoroughbred-only competitions provide plenty of options for your OTTB in his or her second career!…
Read More
Featured image for “Incentive Programs & OTTB Competitions”
May 11, 2022

When to Work With a Trainer

Transitioning a Thoroughbred to a new career is rewarding, but also a massive challenge. Don’t be afraid to work with a professional!…
Read More
Featured image for “When to Work With a Trainer”
May 11, 2022

How to Acquire an Off-Track Thoroughbred

You know you want to put a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse in your barn… but how?…
Read More
Featured image for “How to Acquire an Off-Track Thoroughbred”
May 11, 2022

How to Place a Retiring Thoroughbred

You’ve decided it’s time to retire your horse — where do you start?…
Read More
Featured image for “How to Place a Retiring Thoroughbred”
May 10, 2022

Competitor Newsletter 2022: Vol 1

Congratulations!  You are one of nearly 500 talented trainers and team members who are on track to show the world what a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse can do at this year’s Makeover.  DON’T STOP READING HERE! What follows is all the essential information…
Read More
May 10, 2022

Keeping Track of Your Former Racehorse

The majority of second-career owners would love to stay in touch with you about your former horse!…
Read More
Featured image for “Keeping Track of Your Former Racehorse”