Final Trainer Newsletter: Ride Times, Stabling, and More!

September 28, 2023

The moment you all have been waiting for has arrived: Ride times and stall assignments have been published. BUT PLEASE do not run off just yet. There is so much important information we need to cover. Read (or at least skim) this email in its entirety and save it to use as a reference later. This is the last trainer newsletter that I will be sending out. Nearly everything you need to know to have a successful 2023 Makeover can be found in this email. Do. Not. Skip. It.

Final Webinar

Questions not answered by this email will be asked and answered in tonight’s webinar.

Thursday, September 28th at 7pm EDT: The Makeover is in 10 Days and I’m Freaking Out!

It’s go-time, but there’s no need for panic. Rayna and Molly walk you through everything you need to know to have a great week at the Kentucky Horse Park. Access via Zoom Video Conferencing (passcode: 482442) or live in the RRP TB Trainers Only Facebook group.

We will go over this email in more detail and answer any other questions you may have in the webinar. Please email your questions ahead of time to with the subject line “10 days webinar.” These questions can be about all things 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover such as stabling, scheduling, schooling, parking, etc. There will be a Q&A session at the end for any questions that come up during the webinar and it will be recorded and posted to YouTube for viewing after the fact.

Ride Times and Stall Assignments

Ride times and stall assignments can be found on your horse’s entry profile in the “Makeover Details” box. We also have the stabling chart posted here and ride times here.

This year’s schedule is very tight. If you take issue with your ride times, come to me with solutions only. I will not be taking ride time change requests that do not come with a proposed solution. This means networking with your fellow trainers to see if anyone would be willing to switch ride times with you. If you are able to find a willing and appropriate trainer to swap times with, you must email with the proposed change. Be sure to copy the other trainer on your email. A $75 change fee will be collected if the change can be made.

The same goes for stabling, but you must email with your stabling inquiries.

Contacting RRP

The Maryland office starts packing up this week and will be traveling on Saturday, October 7th. Until then, email remains the best way to get in contact with us at If you need assistance with anything Makeover related after October 6th, call or text Rayna at 410-775-6750. Messaging staff on social media platforms, such as Facebook, is not an appropriate way to get into contact with us. The Facebook group is also not to be used for emergent situations or rule-related questions. There is a pinned announcement in the trainer group about how to properly utilize the group during the Makeover.

Special Award Nominations

Please visit your horse’s profile on the entries list to see which special awards your horse has been nominated for. The special award nominations are shown in the “Makeover Details” box on each horse’s public entry profile. If you don’t have a special award section in that box, your horse has not been nominated for any special awards. Reminder that horses entered in the Broodmare division are not eligible for special awards.

If you believe there has been a mistake with your horse’s special award nominations, you must report the error using the Special Award Inquiry form by 5pm EDT on Monday, October 2nd. Trainers are responsible for ensuring their horse has been nominated for any relevant special awards, and using the form to report any errors, by that date. We will not be accepting inquiries or making changes to a horse’s special award nominations after October 2nd.

Arrival at the Park and Parking

Makeover horses cannot arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park for move-in prior to noon on Monday, October 9th. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on how late or early you may come and go at the Park each day. Note that depending on the time, there may not be anyone available to assist you.

The Horse Park will charge $18 per vehicle for parking for the duration of the event. Please note the identified areas on the linked map for general parking and dropped trailer parking. There will also be signage throughout the park to guide you. Trailers and vehicles are welcome to pull up to the barns to load and unload but are not to remain parked around the barns for extended periods. Parked vehicles around the barns, rings, and Covered Arena risk parking tickets from KHP Police.

The leading number in your stall assignment indicates which barn you’re in (1047= Barn 10, 702= Barn 7, etc). Please take note of your stall assignment and do not put your horse in a stall that is not assigned to you. Your stalls will be tagged with index cards with your name on them. If you arrive at your stall and are unable to put your horse in it for whatever reason, please call or text Rayna Erasmus at 410-775-6750.

Competitor Briefing

Tuesday at 6 PM in the Covered Arena
Tuesday, October 10th: This will be our last opportunity to cover housekeeping issues and any questions you may have prior to the start of competition. Attendance is strongly encouraged. This event will not be recorded for later viewing; please plan your schedules accordingly.

Rider Check-In

Due to our arrival exam protocol, we will not be checking in riders in advance of their horse’s arrival on the grounds.

Rider check-in will be right off Nina Bonnie Blvd. in the Show Office. Rider check-in will be available during the following hours:

  • Monday 12 PM-5 PM
  • Tuesday 8 AM-4 PM

If you will not be arriving by check-in close on Tuesday, you must contact us ASAP to make alternate arrangements for check-in and your arrival exam.

Riders will complete the following at check-in:

  • Review uploaded Coggins, vaccination records, and health certificates. Upload these in advance via the Trainer Portal; see the list of actions next to your horse’s name.
  • Pick up competitor packet, which will include your competitor numbers, schooling tickets (two per horse), and stall card. If you are entered in Barrel Racing, a ticket for the dedicated schooling time in the Covered has been included in your packet as well.
  • Pick up your saddle pad and completion ribbon. You will receive one completion ribbon and saddle pad per horse based on your selection on your entry form back in January (AP, Dressage, or Western). Additional freebies may be provided by our sponsors.
  • Sign up to be included in the stall decorating contest judging and Freestyle prop schooling times.
  • Please upload your Freestyle music in advance via this form. This is the preferred method of music submission. If for some reason this is not an option, we will accept music on USB drives at check-in. Music will not be accepted after 5 PM Tuesday.

Do not bring your horse with you to rider check-in. Horses should remain in the trailer or their stalls during this process.

Course maps will be available online and posted outside of the rings where applicable.

Arrival Exam

The Arrival Exam will be performed in-barn and based on when you complete the rider check-in process. There will be no barn schedule. Instead, your horse(s) will be placed in an online queue as soon as you check-in and the veterinarians will work through that list in order. It is Hagyard’s goal that a veterinarian will be at the horse’s stall within 30 minutes of the rider checking in. This means that you SHOULD NOT CHECK-IN UNTIL YOUR HORSE IS ON SITE AND READY FOR THE ARRIVAL EXAM. If you will not be arriving by check-in close on Tuesday, you must contact us ASAP to make alternate arrangements for check-in and your arrival exam.

It is the rider’s obligation to monitor the queue in the trainer portal and make themselves (or a representative) available to handle their horse once they are next up in the queue to ensure they get the exam done prior to the horse’s first scheduled ride. While you are allowed to school before you complete your arrival exam, it will likely be your turn in the queue before you have time to school. Plan accordingly.

Once the initial exam is completed (vitals, microchip validation, body condition, and assessment of any blemishes or swellings), horses may proceed to the Barn 1-4 area to complete the soundness portion of the exam. Those that are not stabling at the Horse Park should complete rider check-in, park their trailer in day trailer parking, and immediately head over to barns 1-4 to complete both phases of the arrival exam.

Horse Health Requirements

All horses on site during the Makeover must have had their EHV-1 vaccine administered no earlier than April 9th, 2022 and no later than September 25th, 2023. They must also have a current negative Coggins and health certificate. Trainers are required to supply appropriate proof and documentation for these requirements through the trainer portal/before arriving for rider check-in. Horses with insufficient health paperwork will be immediately quarantined and asked to leave the grounds. You may find more information on health requirements on page 33 of the rulebook.

In order to pass the arrival exam, all Makeover horses must have a microchip that is registered with the Jockey Club. Trainers with horses whose microchip status is incomplete should have received an email on Friday, September 22nd. This requires immediate action. If you have any questions about your horse’s microchip status, email

Competitor Numbers

You will receive your numbers in your packet at check-in. Green stickers identify horses that are for sale through the Marketplace. Pink stickers identify horses in the Former Broodmare division. Blue stickers will be issued for your bridle and back numbers once your horse passes the Arrival Exam. You must display a blue sticker on your competition number in order to compete. We are providing hook-style bridle numbers and back numbers. Horses must wear bridle numbers at all times when they are outside of their stalls. All riders should present their horses in competition wearing a back number on their back or pinned to their saddle pad. Dressage riders may present with just a bridle number, as they would traditionally. Eventers and Field Hunters will receive number inserts for pinny holders in their packets as well.

If you have a non-competing (NC) horse with you, and you have registered them ahead of time, their bridle number will be in your packet. If you are bringing a TIP horse with you before TIP check-in opens, please request a NC number for that horse when you check-in. NC horses must also wear a bridle number at all times when outside of their stall.


The schooling schedule identifies what venues are open for schooling at what times. Note that ticketed schooling is only applicable to competition venues. Warm-up arenas are open schooling. Cross country, Field Hunter, and Competitive Trail courses will be open for on-foot inspection only on Tuesday. Non-compete horses are not permitted in the competition venues.

Each Makeover horse is provided with two schooling tickets. Additional schooling tickets are not available for purchase nor are they to be bartered or traded between competitors. There is no circumstance in which more than two schooling tickets should be used for one horse.

The schooling schedule is strictly enforced and competitors in violation of the schedule or who are uncooperative with schooling attendants risk being removed from the event. If an arena is not listed on the schooling schedule, is locked, or otherwise appears closed, it is not available for use.

Hacking around the Park is welcomed as long as horses stay away from outdoor courses. Competitors may consider shipping to Masterson Station Park for cross-country schooling opportunities.

The schooling schedule shows when the courses not available for schooling (Competitive Trail, Field Hunters, and Cross Country) are available for walking. These courses are open for on-foot inspection only; no horses, motors, golf carts, etc.

There is an arena in the stabling area near the Dever office for longeing.

Catch Ride and Scratch Forms

The catch rider nomination and scratch forms are available through the portal. Use the dropdown menu in the Actions column next to your horse’s Makeover entry to select “Request a Catch Rider” or “Submit a Scratch Form.”

If you are no longer able to compete your horse in the event and would like to nominate a catch rider, please read the rules for catch riding at the Makeover on page 15 of the rulebook. We have strict rules regarding the use of catch riders and who is considered an eligible catch rider. Make sure you are fully informed on the rules before nominating a catch rider.

Should you need to scratch for any reason or at any time, you must complete the scratch form via the Trainer Portal. Failure to properly scratch your horse’s entry will result in a $100 no show fee.

Refunds are no longer available, but you may email to request that your horse’s fees be converted to a donation and you be issued a tax receipt.

Farrier and Vet

The farrier is Jeremiah Zimmer (254-595-2700). He is on call for the week of the event and on-site Tuesday-Saturday in the Farrier’s Shelter adjacent to Barns 8-19.

Vets are through Hagyard Equine Medical Institute (859-255-8741). Hagyard is located directly across from the main entrance to the Park and will have vets on-site all week. Call the number above for both emergencies and PPEs.

Horse Park Policies/Dever

Stabling supplies (hay, grain, feed, bedding, and stall mats) and golf carts can be ordered through Dever (859-233-9702).

Note that the Horse Park does not provide any stabling equipment to you. No hoses, wheelbarrows, pitch forks, NOTHING. Plan accordingly! You may bed your stalls with your choice of bedding and do not have to strip your stalls before you leave. Stalls are 10’x10’ on concrete with full, permanent sliding doors. Check your stall thoroughly when you arrive for hardware/debris left behind from previous shows. If there is a problem and you cannot put your horse in your stall, please contact Rayna immediately at 410-775-6750.

A reminder about fire marshal policies:

  • Appliances MUST have three prongs (converters are not acceptable solutions)
  • Don’t daisy-chain power strips
  • Don’t pinch cords in doors or windows
  • Extension cords must be plugged into a wall, not a power strip

The Horse Park allows exhibitors to bring their own golf carts, minibikes, scooters, electric bikes, etc. Drivers must be 16 and observe the speed limit.

Horses are not permitted on the roads around the Kentucky Horse Park. When riding or leading your horse, use the designated horse paths only.

Competitor Party Tickets

Tickets are on sale for the Thoroughbred Makeover Awards Party now! The party will take place in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Big Barn on Friday, October 13th and doors will open at 5:00pm. Anyone wishing to attend the party must purchase their ticket in advance. Each ticket includes one meal and one drink voucher. Tickets are NOT included with your Makeover entry and will NOT be available for purchase at the door. You will not want to miss out on this fun opportunity to celebrate all of your hard work! Purchase your tickets here.

Social Calendar

The symposium and social schedule has been announced. For more information on all the different things you can do during Makeover week, visit the general event information page here.

The ever-popular Stall Decorating Contest returns for 2023! Judging will begin at 2:00 PM on Friday, October 13th in the barns, and all are invited to walk the barns to view the creative displays and enjoy the festive atmosphere as competitors kick back after preliminary competition. This year’s theme is “Your Makeover Movie”: trainers are invited to decorate in the theme of a movie that sums up their Makeover journey. Rules and other information can be found here.

Drug Testing

The winners of each discipline of the Finale Competition will have blood drawn upon exiting the arena from the Finale. Random drug testing will also take place during preliminary competition. You may read up on restricted and prohibited substances here. USEF drug reporting forms are available for download from the Trainer Portal if you need to declare any medications. Once the form is filled out, please upload it to your horse’s entry through the portal (located on the same page as the health documentation uploads).

Scoring & Special Awards

Scoring is “live” in that scores are posted to the website as calculations are processed back in the show office. Results pages will indicate whether or not scoring is still in progress or complete for the day/division, along with a time stamp.

Horses are auto nominated for the special awards which they are eligible for. These awards are determined based on preliminary competition results and presented at the awards dinner. These results will be available online along with discipline results.

Protests to scores must be lodged within 12 hours of scores being marked as “scoring complete” for the day (i.e.; two-day divisions will have separate protest periods for each day). Protests contesting the scores awarded by judges must be submitted via the Protests and Complaints form on the website with a $100 protest fee. The fee will be returned if the judges and stewards rule in favor of the competitor and choose to amend their score. Protests relating to mathematical errors must still be submitted via the Protests and Complaints form on the website within 12 hours of scoring completion, but are not subject to the protest fee. You can read more about the protest policy on pages 25-26 in the rulebook. Scorecards will be available to pick up at the info desk as results are posted. In order to ensure an appropriate and timely response, protests will not be fielded by any other means than the Protests and Complaints form.

Rule Violation Complaints

If you witness another competitor violate competition rules or the competitor code of conduct, you are encouraged to file an official report. Unless we are notified of the incident through a rule violation report, the Thoroughbred Makeover Infractions Committee and RRP staff cannot take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation.

To protect the integrity of the competition, the RRP encourages participants and third parties alike to report possible violations of event policies and rules, especially those related to the code of conduct, horse welfare, and entry eligibility. The RRP will accept reports of this nature at any time; please advise RRP staff by selecting “Makeover Rule Violation” on the Contact Us form on the RRP website whether they occur during the event, or at any period of time before or after. More information on this process can be found on page 26 of the rulebook.

Finale, Awards, and Prize Money

The top five horses in each discipline at the completion of scoring on Thursday will return to compete in the Finale on Saturday and trainers MUST attend the Finale Briefing in the Covered Arena Club Lounge on Friday at 9 AM. We will not be contacting you to remind you to come but will make an announcement if the time of this briefing changes. Please keep an eye on scoring to determine if you will be in the top five. Arena familiarization in the Covered Arena will be available for Finale horses on Friday afternoon, 2:00-4:00PM.

Finale horses will also complete a jogged horse inspection before the ground jury and a panel of veterinarians the morning prior to the Finale (11:30 AM Friday) at the Covered Arena. While this is not intended to be a fashion show, horses and riders should be well-groomed and dressed in tidy attire. Horses will jog in a bridle appropriate for their discipline and riders may carry a dressage whip and use a lead shank (chain shank optional) on the bit in place of reins if desired. Horses must pass this inspection to proceed to the Finale.

Ribbons for the Retiring Racehorse division’s preliminary competition will be awarded for 1-10 overall, 1-10 Junior, 1-10 Amateur, and 1-10 Team in each discipline. Ribbons for the Former Broodmare division will be awarded for 1-10 overall in each discipline. If not staying for the awards dinner, these ribbons may be picked up in the Big Barn once all protest periods close on Friday, prior to the start of the awards dinner. Trainers that are unable to pick up their awards during the Makeover may email by November 30th for an invoice to cover shipping costs and their awards will be sent directly to them.

Ribbons and prizes for each discipline’s preliminary Retiring Racehorse division 1st place winner, junior, team, and amateur, Special Awards, and Best Conditioned will be presented at the Awards Party. We WILL contact you to notify you if you have won one of these awards and confirm if you will be attending the party. We hope you will join us for the presentation of your award at Friday’s awards party.

The winners of these awards, 1st place broodmares, and each discipline’s overall Top Ten are also invited to participate in the Finale ribbons ceremonies at the conclusion of their respective disciplines on Saturday.

Riders participating in the awards dinner presentations and/or parading with their horses in Finale ceremonies should be appropriately dressed/groomed for the occasion. No shorts/flipflops, please.

Following the results of the Finale competition for each discipline, the Retiring Racehorse division winners will return to the Covered Arena for Thoroughbred Makeover Champion and Peoples’ Choice voting to conclude the Finale.

Prize money checks are mailed after the competition once drug test results are returned to the RRP office, a few weeks following the competition. Checks in excess of $600 to US citizens/green card holders will require a completed IRS form W9. The RRP office will send W9s digitally to those who need to complete one.

ASPCA Makeover Marketplace & Right Horse Adoption Barn

The online Marketplace catalog is live and being promoted on social media.

Engaging with potential buyers is based on your schedule and availability. Remember that we have a dedicated trial arena for Marketplace horses adjacent to Barn 7. Buyers must sign a waiver at the Info Desk prior to riding and will be given a red and white wristband indicating that they’ve signed the waiver and are cleared to ride.

If you make a sale at the Makeover, congratulations! Make sure to snap a picture at the photo-op space outside the Adoption Barn (Barn 5). Then report your sale through the portal. Reporting your sale is essential to collecting data that is critical to our charitable mission!

Trainer Fund-a-Need Contest

We thought we would make our Fund-a-Need campaign for directed donations a little more interesting this year: we’re rewarding this year’s Makeover trainer who raises the most money through Fund-a-Need with EITHER a refunded 2023 entry fee (first discipline and one stall — $375 value) or a $375.00 RRP gift card to be used however you like in the RRP Store (including towards next year’s trainer application!).

Fund-a-Need allows donors to directly support the many underlying costs with producing the Thoroughbred Makeover. Get started with your personal fundraising page here. Campaign runs through October 14th!

Show Photographer

This year’s official event photography team is headed by Sarah Schaaf. Photos will be available online within 48 hours of the completion of competition, and Sarah will be available in the Vendor Fair to answer questions about pricing and availability. Official event photography will be available here.

Approved event photographers will be offering additional services at the Thoroughbred Makeover, including ride and event coverage, portrait sessions, and more. A list of approved photographers, and information on how to become one, can be found here. Photographers that have not been approved and do not have credentials will be asked to leave the premises.


As always, it takes quite a bit of manpower to make the Makeover happen. We appreciate any time you (or your willing friends and family) can contribute. More details are available here. You can also stop by the Volunteer office in the Covered Arena on-site to see where you can lend a hand. Volunteer shifts can be scheduled around your ride times too!

Along with a hat, t-shirt, and refreshments, volunteers get 20% off in the RRP booth for the duration of the event and tickets for volunteers-only Yeti Cooler raffles.

Silent Auction Donations Needed

Our Makeover silent auction has become a meaningful fundraiser for the RRP and each year it has expanded its unique and diverse offerings of gifts, experiences, art, memorabilia, and more. We very much appreciate any donations you can offer or solicit from your community. The auction will go live online on October 7th. If you plan to bring an item to donate in-person, please do so at the silent auction booth in the Covered Arena between 10am and noon on October 10th. More details about the silent auction are available here.

Thank You Notes & Best Vendor Display Award

The RRP as an organization always strives to foster a culture of gratitude and recognition for contributions to our community and so we have a few opportunities for competitors to participate:

  • Thank You Cards: Write a thank you card to a sponsor or benefactor, volunteer, staff member, or official who made your Makeover. Cards will be available at the Info Desk throughout the event and we will make sure they get passed out accordingly.
  • People’s Choice Vendor of the Show Award Voting: Cast your vote for the vendor with the best, most engaging booth display at this years’ Thoroughbred Makeover! The winning vendor with the most votes will receive a commemorative plaque and a discount on their booth for the next Thoroughbred Makeover! All vendors are eligible to win. Submit your nominations at the info desk by noon on Friday.
Discipline Specific Notes, Patterns, and Course Maps

It is important to remember that this is a retraining competition and the rules and format for disciplines at the Makeover vary from what you are used to at a traditional horse show of your chosen discipline. Be sure to read the information below thoroughly for the discipline(s) that you are entered in and refer to the discipline sections in the rulebook for more information to avoid any surprises at the in gate.

Some patterns and tests are already posted here and the rest will be added as they become available. Courses will be posted in the Hunter/Jumper Complex for those arenas once they open for schooling. We will not be printing bulk copies of courses to hand out.

Barrel Racing: Horsemanship patterns go at the specified time Wednesday morning. Timed runs run concurrently with TIP Championships Wednesday and Thursday evening. The 5:30 and 6:30 times you see are start times for the whole session, and we will run off an order of go with drags every five runs. Order of go for timed runs can be accessed on the website once they are finalized and posted ring-side. We will run in reverse order on Thursday evening. TIP Awards will be given immediately at the conclusion of runs on Thursday evening.

Competitive Trail: Horses compete one at a time. Maximum course time is seven minutes. Team horses switch riders after obstacle five. The course is open for inspection Tuesday with a walk with officials available at 11 AM and 2 PM. You may ask questions about equipment at either of these walk-throughs or send them to

Dressage: Riders need to be at the Walnut Ring at their scheduled ride time. Riders will perform the test first and then after a ten-minute break, will perform the demo. Team horses switch riders in between. Both rides are in a standard arena. Western Dressage will go first, and Traditional Dressage will run the rest of the day both days. Remember that your demo time of five minutes will start at your first salute. A bell will chime when the five minutes are up and you do not need to salute prior to exiting the arena. Whips no longer than 47.2” may be carried. Bit-check will be performed after the ride.

Eventing: Competitors will jump the same height for stadium jumping as they do for cross country based on the selection made on the final entry form, but everyone does the 2022 USEF Novice Test B regardless of jump height. Those jumping Novice height will have ride times scheduled for Thursday morning. Beginner Novice entries will go all day Wednesday and follow Novice on Thursday. Horses go straight from Show Jumping to Cross Country. Depending on your ride times, you may need to plan to show jump in your cross-country kit as you would at a one-day horse trial. There is a significant gap between each ride time in Show Jumping, but once the person before you has finished their course and the in-gate is ready for you, you may enter the ring as soon as you are ready. Team horses will be presented by at least two different riders and will switch in between phases. The Eventing Dressage test is in a small dressage arena and will be held in the Annex Ring this year. Whips no longer than 47.2” may be carried. Bit-check will be performed after the ride. A pinney number has been provided for you in your competitor packet.

Field Hunters: On Wednesday all entries will do their under saddle test in one of two flights and then have an assigned ride time for their individual test. Entries return to mock hunt in the same flights Thursday morning and all entries are invited for the stirrup cup at 7:30 AM prior to the start of the mock hunt. Riders must wear the pinny number provided in their packet for all phases and all Field Hunter horses will be provided with a saddle towel at check-in that they must wear in the mock hunt. These saddle towels must be returned to RRP staff before scorecards can be retrieved. Failure to return your saddle towel will result in a $100 fine. Team horses will be presented by at least two different riders and will switch in between phases.

If you have to pull up to avoid a pile-up at a fence in the mock hunt, you must circle to the back of the field and this will be assessed as a jumping fault due to following too close.

Freestyle: You get a maximum of eight minutes in the arena with five minutes judged; props must be set and cleared within the other three minutes. You’re judged five minutes and music commences when you signal by raising your hand. If you are using animals, firearms or weapons, loud noise, or any element that would be disruptive/upsetting to other horses or attendees, you must notify the steward when you arrive for warm up. Team horses must be handled by a minimum of two team members during their routine.

Please upload your Freestyle music in advance via this form. This is the preferred method of music submission. If for some reason this is not an option, we will accept music on USB drives at check-in. Music will not be accepted after 5 PM Tuesday. Remember to sign up for private prop schooling when you check-in. Anyone participating in your freestyle routine that is not an accepted 2023 Makeover Trainer must go to the Info Desk in the Covered Arena to sign a liability waiver.

Polo: Polo will use half of the Secretariat Polo field. Horses will perform their short work followed by the stick and ball work at the scheduled time in one go without leaving the arena. Team horses switch riders between short work and stick and ball, the steward will rotate the second rider back in. New for this year: Horses will complete the pre-determined Short Work pattern that can be found here.

Ranch Work: Rides are scheduled to complete the Ranch Riding pattern first. The Ranch Trail course will be built during the arena lunch break with an opportunity for inspection on-foot at approximately 12:30 PM prior to the start of the afternoon schedule. Maximum time for the course will be included on the course map. Team horses will be presented by different riders for the Ranch Riding and Ranch Trail phases.

Show Hunters: Horses are scheduled in groups of twelve or less at the time specified. A rotation will be kept at the gate for each trip over fences and then all horses in the group return for the under saddle portion together. The 3ft competitors scheduled for 11am on Thursday will report to the in-gate by 10:30 and do their under saddle phase with the 10am rotation. Team horses will be presented by at least two different riders who will switch in between trips. All riders must perform a courtesy circle as they wait for the judge to signal (using either a bell or whistle) that they are ready for the rider to begin their course.

Show Jumpers: Horses enter the arena, approach the judges stand to salute and will commence Phase One/their flat work pattern at the sound of the whistle (or other alert sound) then proceed into the flat pattern (Watch a tutorial!). You can start tracking in the direction of your choice and should make LARGE circles, taking up as much of the longside in front of the judges as possible. Following the conclusion of the flat work, horses will proceed (without stopping or waiting for a signal) to complete Phase Two/the gymnastic exercise. Dropped rails or disobediences in the gymnastic will be reflected in the impression scores. Following the gymnastic, trainers will commence Phase Three and will continue without waiting for a start signal after a break of no more than 45 seconds. This course will be ridden for optimum time as posted on the course map. A timer display will be used. Following the conclusion of Phase Three, trainers will wait for the start signal before commencing Phase Four. Phase Four is not timed and will present turning or adjustability questions that will allow the trainer to demonstrate the horse’s suitability for Show Jumping. This round may include fence options. Speed will not be rewarded at the sacrifice of balance, adjustability, or jumping form. A timer will not be displayed. For team horses, the first rider will present the horse for Phases One and Two then exit the arena to switch riders. The steward will rotate the second rider back in to complete Phases Three and Four.

All jumping disciplines: Faults are assessed at four points per occurrence for rails down and disobediences. Four cumulative rails down or disobediences per jumping phase/trip is elimination. If you have an additional jumping phase left to ride (i.e.; second over fences in Hunters, Cross Country in Eventing, or Mock Hunt for Field Hunters), see the steward to see if the judges are permitting you to complete the remainder of your test for no score.

The Retired Racehorse Project staff is here to help you have a successful and positive experience preparing your horse for the Thoroughbred Makeover and beyond. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact RRP Program Manager and Makeover Show Secretary, Rayna Erasmus, by email at

All the best,


Rayna Erasmus
Program Assistant and Show Secretary
3357 Hazelwood Road, Edgewater, MD 21037
Subscribe to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine

In Other News

December 1, 2023

2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Rulebook Now Available

Application season is approaching for the 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium!…
Read More
Featured image for “2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Rulebook Now Available”
November 20, 2023

Make a Difference This Season for Thoroughbreds Beyond Racing

The RRP’s year-end giving campaign starts now. Can you help set us up for a great 2024?…
Read More
Featured image for “Make a Difference This Season for Thoroughbreds Beyond Racing”
November 16, 2023

Retired Racehorse Project Discontinues Publication of Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine

After eight years in print, the Retired Racehorse Project today announced that it will no longer produce its award-winning quarterly publication, Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine. The forthcoming winter issue will be the last.…
Read More
Featured image for “Retired Racehorse Project Discontinues Publication of Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine”
November 10, 2023

Time to Catch Holiday Savings in the RRP Store!

The RRP Store is back online with holiday deals for every Thoroughbred lover on your list!…
Read More
Featured image for “Time to Catch Holiday Savings in the RRP Store!”
October 18, 2023

2023 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium Raises Bar for Thoroughbred Second Careers

Returning to the Kentucky Horse Park for the eighth time since 2015, the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, took place on October 11-14 and welcomed 320 Thoroughbreds taking their first foray into new…
Read More
Featured image for “2023 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium Raises Bar for Thoroughbred Second Careers”
October 14, 2023

Knockemdown Crowned 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion

Trained by Alison O’Dwyer, Knockemdown routed through Dressage to win both preliminary and Finale rounds of competition!…
Read More
Featured image for “Knockemdown Crowned 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion”
October 13, 2023

The Celebration Continues at the Thoroughbred Makeover

The field is now set for the Thoroughbred Makeover Finale Championships.…
Read More
Featured image for “The Celebration Continues at the Thoroughbred Makeover”
October 12, 2023

Preliminary Competition Concludes at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium

Preliminary competition is now complete, setting the stage for the Finale Championships on Saturday.…
Read More
Featured image for “Preliminary Competition Concludes at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium”
October 11, 2023

First Day of Competition Concludes at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover

Over 300 horses are competing at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover!…
Read More
Featured image for “First Day of Competition Concludes at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover”
October 4, 2023

Follow Along With the RRP’s Thoroughbred Makeover, October 11-14

Everyone can participate with our banner event, even from home!…
Read More
Featured image for “Follow Along With the RRP’s Thoroughbred Makeover, October 11-14”
September 29, 2023

Retired Racehorse Project Elects New Board Members and Officers, Establishes Advisory Council

The RRP announced the election of new officers as well as the creation of an advisory council.…
Read More
Featured image for “Retired Racehorse Project Elects New Board Members and Officers, Establishes Advisory Council”
September 28, 2023

Final Trainer Newsletter: Ride Times, Stabling, and More!

The moment you all have been waiting for has arrived: Ride times and stall assignments have been published. BUT PLEASE do not run off just yet. There is so much important information we need to cover. Read (or at least…
Read More
September 25, 2023

September Trainer Newsletter 2: Special Award Nominations

Special award nominations have been finalized! Trainers are required to check their horse’s nominations and report any issues before Monday, October 2nd. Please read the brief newsletter below for more information on special awards, party tickets, and the final 2023…
Read More
September 21, 2023

The Real Rider Cup Wraps Up Milestone Year in Fair Hill

The Real Rider Cup raised over $140,000 this year for Thoroughbred aftercare!…
Read More
Featured image for “The Real Rider Cup Wraps Up Milestone Year in Fair Hill”
September 18, 2023

Thoroughbred Charities of America Returns as Title Sponsor of Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium

TCA has supported the RRP since 2012.…
Read More
Featured image for “Thoroughbred Charities of America Returns as Title Sponsor of Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium”
September 5, 2023

September Trainer Newsletter: Last Chance for Changes and Refunds!

Earn your final entry fees back through fundraising for the fund-a-need campaign, make your final entry edits before it is too late, confirm your horse’s EHV-1 vaccination is in compliance, and know the rules for scratching or nominating catch riders.…
Read More
August 30, 2023

Real Rider Cup Surpasses Major Fundraising Milestone

Join us in congratulating the Real Rider Cup on raising over half a million dollars for Thoroughbred aftercare!…
Read More
Featured image for “Real Rider Cup Surpasses Major Fundraising Milestone”
August 29, 2023

Meet the Horses of the Thoroughbred Makeover Class of 2023

Take a deep dive into the stats and trends we’re seeing in this year’s Makeover class!…
Read More
Featured image for “Meet the Horses of the Thoroughbred Makeover Class of 2023”
August 1, 2023

August Trainer Newsletter: Final Entry OPEN

It is crunch time. The final entry form opens for submission at 10:00am EDT today, August 1st, and closes at 5:00pm EDT on August 15th. This is the last form Makeover trainers need to complete in order to participate in…
Read More
August 1, 2023

Horse Listings Pitfalls… And How to Avoid Them

Crafting the perfect horse listing is true art. Here are a few common pitfalls in writing and producing horse listings, and how to avoid them to make sure your horse stands out from the crowd!…
Read More
Featured image for “Horse Listings Pitfalls… And How to Avoid Them”
July 28, 2023

The Makeover & the Racing Industry

How can you and your horses get involved?…
Read More
Featured image for “The Makeover & the Racing Industry”
July 27, 2023

Understanding EPM

Learn about the signs, treatment and prognosis for horses with the neurologic disease equine protozoal myeloencephalitis…
Read More
Featured image for “Understanding EPM”
July 27, 2023

Training Timelines

How to know when you and your off-track Thoroughbred are ready for the next step…
Read More
Featured image for “Training Timelines”
July 27, 2023

The Significance of Sale Repositories

Repositories at Thoroughbred sales allow buyers to access health information without subjecting horses to multiple exams…
Read More
Featured image for “The Significance of Sale Repositories”