First Annual Give Back to Go Scholarship Awarded to TB Makeover Trainers

March 12, 2019

Always a lifelong believer in the concept of “paying it forward,” Daignault-Salvaggio had enjoyed great success at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. Believing wholeheartedly in the mission of the Retired Racehorse Project, she wanted to provide a scholarship opportunity that would refund an applying trainer’s entry fee — with a twist. In applying for the Give Back to Go Scholarship, each trainer had to make a donation, however large or small, to a horse-related charity of their choice.

Twenty-four applicants donated over $1,000 to a total of 19 different 501(c)3 charities across the United States and Canada, surpassing Daignault-Salvaggio’s hopes for the inaugural year of the scholarship. “The applicants really did embrace the concept of giving back to their communities,” she shared. “Through this scholarship I’ve been privileged to be introduced to some truly amazing horsemen who are already walking the walk and giving back.”

In their applications, trainers had to describe — either in writing or in video — what it would mean to them to receive the scholarship. A first round of judges, consisting of Tik Maynard, Isabela de Sousa, Kasey Evans, Sarah Hepler, Lindsey Partridge and Nicole Valeri, had their work cut out for them, narrowing the pool of 24 applicants to a final round of three. A final round of celebrity judges, including retired champion jockey Ramon Dominguez, award-winning Thoroughbred photographer Barbara D. Livingston and World Equestrian Games and Olympic-level eventer Boyd Martin, placed the top three.

The winner of the 2019 Give Back to Go Scholarship is Ali Dacher, founder of CANTER’s California division. “Ali is a testament to anyone who believes that with some hard work, determination and belief in yourself that anything can be accomplished,” described Daignault-Salvaggio. “She truly does embody the spirit of giving back to go.”

Said Livingston, “Ali has obviously put so much of her heart, and no doubt resources, into the care and placement of OTTBs for more than a decade now. Imagine the number of Thoroughbreds who now have good and productive lives, partly or largely due to Ali’s efforts.”

“She also recognizes that, regardless of receiving recognition for her efforts, her life will be spent in this pursuit,” Livingston added. “Paying it forward seems only right, in granting her this scholarship.”

With such a pool of deserving applicants who embraced the “give back to go” spirit, however, Daignault-Salvaggio couldn’t stop at awarding just one scholarship. “This idea, this result, these people and their stories touched me quite a lot. Because of this I have made the decision to give my own entry fee to our runner-up Megan Waelti.”

Waelti described how she would use her scholarship to attend more eventing competitions in her equestrian community and displayed a strong commitment to raising awareness of off-track Thoroughbreds as sport horses. Dominguez was impressed by Waelti’s story: “I, as well as anyone who loves horses and riding, can relate to the way she beautifully describes her experiences with her horse.”

Lauren Nethery stepped forward to donate an additional $300 to the Retired Racehorse Project as part of the Give Back to Go Scholarship, ensuring that all three trainers in the final round would have their entry fees refunded. This allowed third-place applicant Kallie Zeinstra to receive her entry fee back.

“Kallie’s story — she runs an equine non-profit and uses horses to provide therapy for seniors and youth — is inspiring enough but adding to it her mother who is fighting breast cancer and who attended the 2018 Makeover one week after being diagnosed, well that’s an awful lot of stuff that a little bit of good karma could help give back to!” Daignault-Salvaggio described.

“I love that this experience of applying for the scholarship encourages others to pay it forward, keeping the roots of the Retired Racehorse Project in the forefront of our minds,” Ali Dacher shared. “I found the experience to be both inspirational and motivating!”

“I’m really proud to be a part of all of this. I’m grateful for the reminder to keep paying it forward when you can!” Meagan Waelti detailed.

Kallie Zeinstra shared, “I think it is easy at times for us equestrians to lose perspective on what or why we are doing something when faced with unexpected challenges. Writing my essay to apply for this scholarship encouraged me take a step back and look at the larger picture.”

“We cannot thank the RRP staff and board enough for listening to and being receptive to this idea,” Daignault-Salvaggio added. “Our hope is that the path we have cut this year will lead others to want to give back with their own efforts, funds or items in their sphere of the horse world in the future. I look forward to being at the Makeover and cheering on all who applied to this scholarship. I hope that in 2020 we can do this again and look forward to seeing what those applicants look like and what they have done to give back in their own lives.”

For more information about the Give Back to Go Scholarship: https://givebacktogo.wixsite.com/home.

EmilyScholarship

In Other News

December 5, 2022

Reasons for Optimism

Improvements in aftercare help add even more opportunities. Shared with permission from Bloodhorse.…
Read More
Featured image for “Reasons for Optimism”
November 21, 2022

How Will You Make an Impact For the Breed?

Help the RRP continue its meaningful work in Thoroughbred aftercare by contributing now to the year-end campaign!…
Read More
Featured image for “How Will You Make an Impact For the Breed?”
November 20, 2022

Racehorse Vacations

Many owners and trainers give their runners mental and physical breaks from the racetrack routine. 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 “Racehorse Vacations”
November 20, 2022

From the Racetrack to the Ranch

The transition for an OTTB from the track to the Western disciplines isn’t about speed but patience. 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 “From the Racetrack to the Ranch”
November 20, 2022

How To OTTB-Shop

What to know about the various avenues for adopting or buying a recently retired racehorse. 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 “How To OTTB-Shop”
November 20, 2022

Make Me a Match

What goes into a perfect match between an OTTB and a rider? Two seasoned pros share their tips. 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…
Read More
Featured image for “Make Me a Match”
November 20, 2022

Picking Prospects: Winter 2023

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: Winter 2023”
November 16, 2022

Retired Racehorse Project Announces 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover Dates, Fee Changes

The Retired Racehorse Project announced today that the Thoroughbred Makeover will return to the Kentucky Horse Park for its eighth year October 11th-14th, 2023.…
Read More
Featured image for “Retired Racehorse Project Announces 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover Dates, Fee Changes”
November 11, 2022

2023 Thoroughbred Makeover to Include Pilot Broodmare Division

Recently-retired broodmares will compete alongside traditional Makeover entrants in all ten offered disciplines.…
Read More
Featured image for “2023 Thoroughbred Makeover to Include Pilot Broodmare Division”
October 21, 2022

2022 Thoroughbred Makeover & National Symposium Showcases Thoroughbreds in Second Careers

The event championed the trainability and athleticism of the recently-retired Thoroughbred.…
Read More
Featured image for “2022 Thoroughbred Makeover & National Symposium Showcases Thoroughbreds in Second Careers”
October 15, 2022

She’s A Bold One Crowned Thoroughbred Makeover Champion

Congratulations to junior trainer Jenna Denver!…
Read More
Featured image for “She’s A Bold One Crowned Thoroughbred Makeover Champion”
October 14, 2022

Education & Competition Continue at Thoroughbred Makeover & T.I.P. Championships

The third day of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium saw plenty of action!…
Read More
Featured image for “Education & Competition Continue at Thoroughbred Makeover & T.I.P. Championships”
October 13, 2022

Preliminary Competition Concludes at the #TBMakeover

Full results and scores are now available.…
Read More
Featured image for “Preliminary Competition Concludes at the #TBMakeover”
October 12, 2022

Day One In the Books at the 2022 #TBMakeover

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Thoroughbred Charities of America!…
Read More
Featured image for “Day One In the Books at the 2022 #TBMakeover”
September 21, 2022

Fourth Annual Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit to Take Place at Thoroughbred Makeover

The Summit takes place on October 11.…
Read More
Featured image for “Fourth Annual Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit to Take Place at Thoroughbred Makeover”
September 19, 2022

Real Rider Cup Comes Home to Fair Hill, Triples Previous Fundraising Record

Following a record-setting turnout in Lexington in July, the Real Rider Cup returned to its home in Fair Hill to complete the 2022 series of events, welcoming 32 horse and rider combinations along with hundreds of spectators to Fair Hill…
Read More
Featured image for “Real Rider Cup Comes Home to Fair Hill, Triples Previous Fundraising Record”
September 15, 2022

From Stakes Races to Second Careers

Even racehorses that succeed at the highest levels of the sport need rehoming. 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…
Read More
Featured image for “From Stakes Races to Second Careers”
September 15, 2022

Horse Racing Safety Initiatives

Learn about proactive horse welfare and safety measures in place and on the horizon. 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…
Read More
Featured image for “Horse Racing Safety Initiatives”
September 15, 2022

Picking Prospects: Fall 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: Fall 2022”
September 15, 2022

OTTB for Hire

The pros, cons and particulars of leasing out your horse. 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 “OTTB for Hire”
September 15, 2022

Understanding EIPH

A high percentage of Thoroughbred racehorses experience EIPH episodes; here’s what to expect after the track 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…
Read More
Featured image for “Understanding EIPH”
September 8, 2022

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

The RRP and Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) jointly announce today that TCA has returned as the title sponsor of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium!…
Read More
Featured image for “Thoroughbred Charities of America Returns as Title Sponsor of Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium”
August 29, 2022

Real Rider Cup Returns to Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show in MD With Strong Lineup of Horses & Riders

The Real Rider Cup, a charity show jumping event created by Anita Motion to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare, is once again bringing the racing and equestrian worlds together in Fair Hill, MD.…
Read More
Featured image for “Real Rider Cup Returns to Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show in MD With Strong Lineup of Horses & Riders”
August 25, 2022

Meet the Horses of the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover

Each Thoroughbred Makeover class offers valuable insights into aftercare: learn more about this year’s entries!…
Read More
Featured image for “Meet the Horses of the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover”