396 Trainers Accepted to 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover

February 15, 2024

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announced today that 396 trainers have been accepted to the 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. The world’s largest and most lucrative retraining competition for recently-retired racehorses and broodmares takes place on October 9-12, 2024 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, awarding over $100,000 in prize money.

The flagship event of the RRP, the Thoroughbred Makeover not only provides a showcase competition for the horses participating, but serves as an inspiration point to encourage more equestrians to get involved with the breed. The competition is open to professionals, amateurs, juniors and teams, all competing on an equal footing with racehorses that raced or trained to race within the past two years with no more than 15 retraining rides prior to December 1, 2023. The Former Broodmare division offers competition alongside the Retiring Racehorse division for mares exiting the breeding industry; Former Broodmares compete for a separate pot of prize money.

“Congratulations to all of the trainers accepted into the 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover,” said Erin Halliwell, executive director of TCA. “We sincerely appreciate the time and dedication it takes to transition Thoroughbreds into their next careers. We’re looking forward to October where we’ll see hundreds of Thoroughbreds demonstrating their new skills in many different disciplines.”

L-R: Erin Halliwell, executive director of TCA; Kirsten Green, executive director of the RRP; 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Knockemdown, trained by Alison O’Dwyer.

Competition at the Thoroughbred Makeover is available in ten disciplines, and trainers can choose to compete in up to two per horse: barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunter, polo, ranch work, show hunter, show jumper, and freestyle (a free-form discipline to showcase skills of the trainer’s choice).

While trainers did not need to declare their entry intentions for their individual horses on their applications, they did need to provide a horseman’s resume that detailed their training and competition experience, including riding video in their disciplines of declared expertise. Applicants also furnished letters from their veterinarians stating that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to appropriately care for a horse transitioning from the track. An independent application committee considered each applicant’s ability as described in their application to bring along a recently-retired Thoroughbred and compete at a national venue in a big environment.

Accepted trainers are encouraged to register their horses with the RRP as soon as they acquire them; horse registration closes on July 31, 2024. As horses are registered and approved, they will appear on the entry list at TheRRP.org/entries. Trainers have signed up to bring a total of 416 horses. (Late applications will also be considered through June 28, 2024.)

“Efficient and effective aftercare in North America is dependent on demand for horses from sport and pleasure riders who want to support the transition from racing,” said Kirsten Green, executive director of the RRP. “We’re proud to welcome the Thoroughbred Makeover class of 2024 to the vital community of individuals and organizations who have transitioned more than 4,700 horses since the inception of the event.”

2023 People’s Choice Award winner, multiple graded stakes winner Arklow, trained by Gina Gans.

The 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium is a gathering for North America’s aftercare industry with networking opportunities for both non-profit and for-profit entities. The event includes the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace and ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Barn, offering horse shoppers and adopters the unique opportunity to watch horses compete, trial ride, and complete a pre-purchase exam all in one location. A hands-on seminar series and vendor fair round out the Makeover experience for attendees.

The Thoroughbred Makeover is the flagship event of the RRP, a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to increasing the demand for and value of Thoroughbreds in careers beyond racing. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover: contact mgarlich@therrp.org for more information.

In Other News

April 11, 2024

Erin Gilmore Photography Announced as Official Show Photographer of 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover

Erin Gilmore Photography covers internationally rated equestrian events as official photographer in the Northeast USA and beyond.…
Read More
Featured image for “Erin Gilmore Photography Announced as Official Show Photographer of 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover”
April 5, 2024

Save in the RRP Store in the Spring Fling Sale!

Score seasonal savings in the RRP Store and wear your OTTB pride.…
Read More
Featured image for “Save in the RRP Store in the Spring Fling Sale!”
March 25, 2024

Ask a Trainer: Introducing Lateral Work

Alison O’Dwyer shares her tried and true method to introduce lateral work to the green OTTB.…
Read More
Featured image for “Ask a Trainer: Introducing Lateral Work”
March 14, 2024

RRP Launches 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Fundraising Initiatives

Learn more about the Make the Makeover and Fund-a-Need campaigns!…
Read More
Featured image for “RRP Launches 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Fundraising Initiatives”
March 11, 2024

Building a Nutrition Plan for Your OTTB

How to feed your retired racehorse: Start with high-quality pasture and hay, then look to grain to shore up any deficiencies, consulting experts whenever possible.…
Read More
Featured image for “Building a Nutrition Plan for Your OTTB”
March 7, 2024

2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Vendor Fair Applications Now Open

Reserve your space by April 30 to secure early bird pricing!…
Read More
Featured image for “2024 Thoroughbred Makeover Vendor Fair Applications Now Open”
February 28, 2024

Tendon Injuries in Off-Track Thoroughbreds

If you give an OTTB with a tendon injury the time necessary to recover fully and are diligent about preventing re-injury, the horse can have a long, healthy second career.…
Read More
Featured image for “Tendon Injuries in Off-Track Thoroughbreds”
February 26, 2024

February Trainer Newsletter: Trainer Fundraiser, Marketing Opportunities, & Educational Resources

Earn a refund on your 2024 entry fees by participating in the new “Make the Makeover” fundraiser, find your audience in sharing your horse’s retraining journey, and start the process off right by utilizing RRP’s educational resources! Read the entirety…
Read More
Featured image for “February Trainer Newsletter: Trainer Fundraiser, Marketing Opportunities, & Educational Resources”
February 15, 2024

2024 Trainer Acceptance Letter

Congratulations! You are one of nearly 400 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. Would you like to announce your acceptance on social media?…
Read More
Featured image for “2024 Trainer Acceptance Letter”
February 15, 2024

396 Trainers Accepted to 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover

Accepted trainers have signed up to bring a total of 416 horses.…
Read More
Featured image for “396 Trainers Accepted to 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover”
February 12, 2024

Picking Prospects: Spring 2024

Makeover trainers evaluate sport horse potential based on conformation shots.…
Read More
Featured image for “Picking Prospects: Spring 2024”
January 23, 2024

Strong to the Core: Under Saddle

Apply these techniques to build your OTTB’s second-career strength and agility…
Read More
Featured image for “Strong to the Core: Under Saddle”
January 12, 2024

Budgeting For an OTTB

Breaking down the costs associated with OTTB ownership…
Read More
Featured image for “Budgeting For an OTTB”
January 12, 2024

RRP to Host Aftercare Industry Month Virtual Conference

Aftercare Industry Month is coming in February!…
Read More
Featured image for “RRP to Host Aftercare Industry Month Virtual Conference”
January 12, 2024

Developing the Perfect Foxhunter

Are you inspired to try your hand at hunting? We’ll walk you through the process of finding a hunt and preparing your off-track Thoroughbred for his first outings.…
Read More
Featured image for “Developing the Perfect Foxhunter”
January 12, 2024

First Rides

Confidence, planning and flexibility can set you up for success when retraining a horse directly off the track…
Read More
Featured image for “First Rides”
January 12, 2024

The Rewards of Rehab

Even OTTBs with major injuries can return to the top levels of sport with careful, customized rehabilitation plans…
Read More
Featured image for “The Rewards of Rehab”
January 10, 2024

More Than Fast

Whether dominating professional and high school rodeo or local jackpots, OTTBs are proving they have the athleticism and trainability to excel in barrel racing.…
Read More
Featured image for “More Than Fast”
January 10, 2024

Navigating Thoroughbred Sales

If you know how Thoroughbred sales work, you might just find your next sport horse superstar at one.…
Read More
Featured image for “Navigating Thoroughbred Sales”
January 5, 2024

Training Steeplechase Horses

Learn how these horses’ routines differ from those of flat racers…
Read More
Featured image for “Training Steeplechase Horses”
January 5, 2024

Castrating Male Horses

Many male racehorses retire from the track intact; here’s what to expect if you acquire a colt or stallion and decide to geld him.…
Read More
Featured image for “Castrating Male Horses”
January 5, 2024

Forage-Focused Diets

An increasing number of owners are exploring the benefits of forage-focused — if not forage-only — diets for their retired Thoroughbred racehorses.…
Read More
Featured image for “Forage-Focused Diets”
January 5, 2024

Picking Prospects: Winter 2024

Makeover trainers evaluate sport horse potential based on conformation shots.…
Read More
Featured image for “Picking Prospects: Winter 2024”
January 4, 2024

Picking Prospects: Fall 2023

Makeover trainers evaluate sport horse potential based on conformation shots.…
Read More
Featured image for “Picking Prospects: Fall 2023”