Applications for the retraining competition will open for preview and drafting on December 15; applications will open for submission on January 3, 2022 through close of business day on January 21. Accepted trainers will be announced no later than February 15, 2021. Interested applicants can learn more about the process at the “Want to Apply?” page at TBMakeover.org, and attend a webinar on December 6 at 7 PM ET.
Notable rule changes for 2022:
- All applicants, regardless of past Makeover experience, must submit video no more than two years old demonstrating riding ability on the flat as well as any discipline-specific skills, such as a barrel pattern, cattle work, stick and ball work, or obstacle work. All applicants declaring expertise in a jumping discipline should furnish video demonstrating a course at 2’6” or higher. All video should be submitted on a more finished horse, not current Makeover hopefuls
- All team members must submit an application. The application fee for team captains remains at $300; the application fee for team members is $150
- Ribbons (1st-10th) and special awards will be awarded at a Friday night competitors’ party based on preliminary competition. The top five in each discipline will return for Saturday’s Finale, which will be judged on a blank slate and placed as separate championship event
The 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover Rulebook outlines all rules and information relevant to the competition, with changes for 2022 marked in red and clarifying information marked in blue.
Entering its eighth year at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, the Thoroughbred Makeover features competition in ten disciplines for recently-retired Thoroughbreds in their first year of retraining for a career after racing. Horses and their trainers may compete in one or two disciplines of their choice, including Barrel Racing, Competitive Trail, Dressage, Eventing, Field Hunter, Polo, Ranch Work, Show Hunter, Show Jumper, and Freestyle (a freeform discipline showcasing skills of the trainer’s choosing).
Horses and trainers will compete for more than $100,000 in total prize money, plus the coveted title of Thoroughbred Makeover Champion at the Kentucky Horse Park on October 12-15, 2022. The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium includes not only 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 Thoroughbred Makeover Finale features the top five horses in each discipline based on preliminary competition and will be live-streamed for viewers at home.
The Thoroughbred Makeover is open to professionals, amateurs, juniors (ages 12 and over), and teams. Applicants are required to provide information about their riding and competition background as well as references, including one from a veterinarian, and video that showcases their riding ability. Competitors do not need to have acquired their horse at the time of application, though they must register their horse no later than July 29, 2022.
Accepted trainers may acquire eligible Thoroughbreds through whatever source they choose, or can ride under contract from an owner. Eligible horses must have raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2020 and must not have started retraining for a second career prior to December 1, 2021 other than a maximum of 15 allowable rides, intended to allow for trial rides.
2021 Thoroughbred Makeover Fast Facts:
- The 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover was a unique “Mega-Makeover” format, with two separate competition years running side-by-side to accommodate horses from the postponed 2020 competition as well as the regular 2021 class. The week of competition culminated in two separate Finales crowning their own champions
- 400 horses competed between the two competition years
- Over $29 million has been invested into the future of horses participating in the Makeover since its inception in 2013, including health care, training, and more
- A total of 4,048 trainers have been accepted since 2013, representing 46 states and four Canadian provinces
- A total of 3,641 horses have been directly impacted since 2013
- High-profile contenders from 2021 included Breeders’ Cup participants Imperative and Ashleyluvssugar, as well as MGSW Page McKenney