RRP Seeks 500 Trainers for 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), a nonprofit organization that promotes off-track Thoroughbreds for multiple equestrian sports, has opened an online application for participation in the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover.

The 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium will take place Oct. 27-30 at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington. It will feature competition in 10 disciplines—freestyle, eventing, barrel racing, dressage, polo, show jumping, working ranch, show hunter, field hunter, and competitive trail—with prize money totaling $100,000, including a $10,000 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred prize and a $5,000 Thoroughbred Ambassador Award. The event also includes educational demonstrations, seminars, a Makeover Horse Sale, and a sponsor fair.

The Makeover process begins Jan. 4 with a four-week application period in which professionals, amateurs, and juniors who can demonstrate competence in at least one of the 10 disciplines submit an application to include competition highlights, references, and videos of their riding skills. Applications close Jan. 31 and selections will be announced in mid-February.

Each trainer must select a Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work after Oct. 1, 2014, and that did not begin training for a second career before the start of 2016. Some trainers will already have horses identified and others will begin a search after they are approved. Trainers can contract with owners or acquire the horse themselves. The RRP does not take ownership of horses.

Owners can choose to keep their horses at the end of the process or offer them for sale. The Makeover Horse Sale is not an auction, but an opportunity for buyers and sellers to do business in a setting that allows trial rides, prepurchase exams, and observation of horses in competition. Owners are encouraged to price their horses based on estimated market value and screen potential buyers. Sale contracts must include notification of resale and anti-slaughter provisions.

“Last year’s makeover created what was described as ‘a run on retired racehorses’ at about this time of year,” said RRP founder and president Steuart Pittman. “It comes as a shock and a thrill to folks at the tracks when they discover that their retiring horses are no longer what the industry calls ‘unwanted’ horses.

"With increased demand comes higher prices, giving racing owners an incentive to retire horses sound and taking pressure off of aftercare facilities so that they can help the horses in most need.” he said. “That’s why we do this.”

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners