The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) and Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) jointly announced today that TCA will be the title sponsor of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 4-7.
The TCA Thoroughbred Makeover features trainers from across North America who are working throughout the year to prepare recently retired Thoroughbred racehorses to compete for more than $100,000 in 10 equestrian disciplines. Between 400 and 500 horses are expected to compete, an increase in entries of about one-third over 2017. Fifteen teams will also be taking part in the new Starting Gate College Consulting Team Competition pilot program at this year’s event.
“We are very pleased to be the top supporter of the Thoroughbred Makeover for the sixth consecutive year,” said TCA Executive Director Erin Crady. “Thoroughbred Charities of America believes strongly in not only supporting approved aftercare organizations but also in supporting organizations working to create a market for Thoroughbreds. Over the last six years, the Makeover has not only successfully increased the demand for retired racers but has also given them skills in a new discipline thereby increasing their value.”
TCA’s support for the Makeover is part of its annual grant-making activity. The organization announced earlier this month that grants totaling $689,414 were awarded to 69 approved organizations that provide Thoroughbred aftercare, equine-assisted therapy, equine research, and health and human services for backstretch and farm workers.
“The Thoroughbred Makeover has experienced record-breaking growth each year since its inception and has quickly developed into the premier racehorse retraining competition in the world,” said RRP Executive Director Jen Roytz. “Putting on a competition of this scope and caliber each year would not be possible without the support and generosity of our sponsors, especially TCA, who recognized the potential of such an event early on and worked alongside us over the past six years to help it grow into the movement it is today. Trainers spend an average of $8,000 to prepare each horse for the Thoroughbred Makeover. They’re not only putting a solid foundation of training on these horses, which will give them value for the long term, but they’re also becoming better trainers in doing so, especially considering that so many of our competitors are junior or amateur riders.”
The Thoroughbred Makeover includes trainers and horses from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces. Each will perform in one or two disciplines and be scored on performance. Barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunter, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumper, and ranch work will be featured. Top scorers will compete in a Saturday finale, and an overall champion will be crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.
The weekend includes a full schedule of seminars, a sponsor fair to include both organizations and vendors, and special demonstrations. Many of the horses will be available for sale by their owners at the end of the weekend. Horse shoppers are encouraged to attend and to take time on Sunday for trial rides and veterinary pre-purchase exams.