A few raindrops in the afternoon could not dampen spirits on the first day of competition at the Retired Racehorse Project’s 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA): just under 300 horses are competing this week at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington over two days of preliminary competition. Horses and their trainers compete in one or two of ten offered riding disciplines; today’s schedule included Barrel Racing, Competitive Trail, Dressage, Eventing, Field Hunter, Ranch Work, Show Hunter and Show Jumper.
Most disciplines will continue through Thursday, which will also see the addition of Freestyle and Polo. Ranch Work concluded today, with Alice Beckman and Dont Ask Kinmon (Skylord – Trigger Fish Lane, by Petionville), a 2017 IN-bred with $67,700 in earnings, leading the pack after the ranch riding and ranch trail segments of competition. New for 2022, ribbons and special awards will be given based on preliminary competition at Friday’s Awards Banquet; the top five in each discipline will return to the Finale on Saturday on a clean slate.
All competing horses passed the Arrival Exam, a process designed to help horses meet basic standards in health and body condition during their time of transition from racing to second careers. A team of 30 veterinary students, captained by RRP consulting veterinarian Dr. Shannon Reed with additional support from vets from Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and Boehringer Ingelheim, checked vitals and body condition as well as a basic walking soundness exam. The Arrival Exam was sponsored by Keeneland with additional support from After the Finish Line and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
The Thoroughbred Makeover includes not only competition, but educational opportunities as well. On Tuesday, the annual Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit, a joint production of the RRP, TCA, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.), took place, guiding over 30 in-person and virtual participants through a scenario workshop designed to help organizations and individuals identify problem areas in their own programs and prepare for the unexpected.
Wednesday evening’s first round of Barrel Racing ran concurrently with the first round of the T.I.P. Barrel Racing Championships. The T.I.P. Western and Central Dressage Championships are hosted this year by the Thoroughbred Makeover, making the event a true gathering for Thoroughbred enthusiasts of all disciplines.
Standings for individual Makeover events will shift as scoring continues this evening. View current standings at TheRRP.org/makeover-results/.
Horse shoppers and adopters are finding plenty to love at the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace and the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn. The Marketplace is an optional horse sale for Thoroughbreds entered in the Makeover, affording shoppers the unique opportunity to watch horses perform in a large competition environment, take trial rides in a designated arena, and schedule pre-purchase exams with vets on call from Hagyard. The ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn is a new initiative for 2022, with participating Right Horse partner organizations bringing their adoptable Thoroughbreds of all ages and experiences to the Makeover to showcase for potential adopters looking for a horse of their own.
Other ongoing activities at the Thoroughbred Makeover include the Makeover Silent Auction, sponsored by Thor-Bred Stables: items up for bid are on display at the Makeover in the TCA Covered Arena Concourse and bids can be placed online at https://www.32auctions.com/TBMakeover2022. Tickets are still available through Thursday for Friday’s Awards Party at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Big Barn; purchase tickets through https://www.therrp.org/attend.