The Thoroughbred Makeover features competition in 10 different disciplines among recently-retired racing Thoroughbreds with less than 10 months of retraining for a second career. Disciplines offered are barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumper, and ranch work.
Horses and their trainers will compete for $100,000 in prize money and the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred (determined by audience vote) at the Kentucky Horse Park on Oct. 4-7, 2018. The event includes seminars, demonstrations, sponsor fair, and a livestreamed finale featuring the top five horses in each discipline. Many of the horses competing will also be offered for sale.
Professional, amateur, and junior trainers are welcome to apply, and do not need to have acquired their horse at the time of application. Applicants must demonstrate expertise in at least one of the Makeover disciplines through competition highlights, references, and optional video links.
“This is an exciting time of year for RRP,” said Steuart Pittman, the founder of the organization. “We compile the input from competitors, judges, and spectators, and we roll out changes in format that make the event better for the horses and better for the trainers. Then we open the flood gates to hundreds of applications from inspired trainers all across the United States and Canada. Knowing that so many juniors, amateurs, and professionals are out there buying Thoroughbreds and beginning their new careers is thrilling for all of us.”
Approved trainers can acquire eligible Thoroughbreds through whatever source they choose, or can ride under contract with an owner. Horses must have raced or had a published work after July 1, 2016 and must not have started training for a second career before Dec. 1, 2017.
Thoroughbred Makeover links:
Recap of the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover:
- 578 trainers were accepted to compete during the initial application process, and 509 horses were registered.
- 305 horses actually made it to Kentucky to compete, coming from 38 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
- The most-raced horse in the competition had 85 starts. The highest money-earner had career winnings of almost $1.2 million.
- Total number of horses in each discipline: barrels, 18; competitive trail, 64; dressage, 78; eventing, 90; field hunter, 30; freestyle, 38; polo, 11; show hunter, 84; show jumper, 75; working ranch, 12. (A horse can compete in up to two disciplines.)
- 100 horses were entered in the Makeover Sale, with 22 horses being confirmed as sold within a month of the competition. The highest price paid for a Makeover horse was $21,000; the average price was $8,800.
- More than 115 volunteers helped staff the competition.
- 72 companies were Makeover sponsors.
- 71 vendors took part in the vendor fair.
- Over 1200 ticketed spectators watched the Finale.
- The Finale livestream had more than 7,200 viewers, and 62,000 viewers watched on Facebook Live.
- 899 votes were cast for America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.