First Day of Competition Concludes at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover

October 11, 2023

Lots of smiles at the Show Jumper ring. Photo by Captivation Photography.

The first day of preliminary competition has concluded at the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. The banner event of the Retired Racehorse Project, the Thoroughbred Makeover is the largest and most lucrative retraining competition in the world, showcasing the athleticism and trainability of the Thoroughbred beyond racing.

Over 300 horses are competing over two days, with competition beginning today in eight of ten offered disciplines: Barrel Racing, Competitive Trail, Dressage, Eventing, Field Hunter, Ranch Work, Show Hunter and Show Jumper. Horses may compete in one or two of these disciplines.

Most of these disciplines will continue through Thursday, with the exception of Ranch Work which concluded today. Topping the standings in Ranch Work is Into Magarayquaza, trained by Amber Jacobson, who holds more than a 20-point lead in the discipline. Into Magarayquaza (Into Mischief – Boss Barney’s Babe, by Street Boss) is a 2017 gelding bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm; he made 12 starts and never broke his maiden, retiring with $2,468 in earnings after his last race on September 29, 2021 at Mountaineer.

Preliminary winners (discipline winners, first place amateurs, juniors and teams, and all special award winners) will be honored at Friday night’s awards banquet. The top five in each discipline will return on a clean slate for the Finale Championships on Saturday, which is available to view for free from home via livestream. The 2023 livestream is generously sponsored by Maryland Jockey Club.

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 veterinarians from official veterinary partner Hagyard Equine Medical Institute as well as RRP sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim, assisted by 30 veterinary students, checked vitals and body condition as well as a basic walking soundness exam. The Arrival Exam is sponsored by Keeneland, with additional support from After the Finish Line.

Dr. Reed talks seminar participants through the neurological exam process. Photo by Captivation Photography.

The Thoroughbred Makeover includes not only competition, but educational and networking opportunities as well. Today’s seminar was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and featured Dr. Steve Reed of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Dr. Sarah Reuss of Boehringer Ingelheim, demonstrating neurological exams on a healthy horse as well as a horse already diagnosed with wobblers. Refreshments were sponsored by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services.

Aftercare Afterhours also took place on Wednesday, welcoming all with an interest in aftercare both on the non-profit and direct market sides of the industry to Secretariat Center for an evening of networking. Aftercare Afterhours was produced in cooperation with Secretariat Center and New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

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 return this year to be hosted by the Thoroughbred Makeover, making the event a true gathering for Thoroughbred enthusiasts of all disciplines.

The scoring team at work in the TCA Covered Arena. Photo by Captivation Photography.

Scoring is now complete for Day 1 and can be viewed 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 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 includes adoptable Thoroughbreds from all stages of life from participating Right Horse partner organizations. Potential adopters looking for a Thoroughbred of their own can take a look at adoptable horses in Barn 5.

Other ongoing activities at the Thoroughbred Makeover include the vendor fair as well as the Makeover Silent Auction, sponsored by Thor-Bred Stables. View items on display in the TCA Covered Arena concourse, and bid online at https://www.32auctions.com/TBMakeover2023.

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