Applications now being accepted for 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover

Posted: Dec. 7, 2016

It’s already time to start planning for the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover, which this year attracted about 2,500 attendees and was viewed via web streaming by more than 10,000 people.

The Retired Racehorse Project Dec. 7 announced the opening of trainer applications for next year’s $100,000 event. Approved trainers will acquire recently retired Thoroughbred racehorses and introduce them to second careers; the disciplines offered at the Thoroughbred Makeover are barrel racing, competitive trails, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumper, and working ranch.

Horses and their trainers will compete for $100,000 in prize money and the title of “America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred” on the first weekend of October at the Kentucky Horse Park. The event includes seminars, demonstrations, sponsor fair, and a livestreamed finale featuring the top three horses in each discipline.

Professional, amateur and junior trainers may apply whether they have acquired an eligible horse or not. Applicants must demonstrate expertise in at least one of the 10 Makeover disciplines through competition highlights, references and optional video links.

This year’s America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred was Fairway King, ridden by Lauren Turner.

“This event is about the trainers,” RRP President Steuart Pittman said. “They are the key to securing the futures of these horses, and they are the ones who create the performances that inspire our audience.

“We spent the weeks since this year’s event reviewing evaluations and interviewing judges, volunteers and competitors. We believe that our updated formats for each discipline will be popular.”

The RRP said 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 workout after July 1, 2015, and must not have started training for a second career before Dec. 1.

(Photo of Fairway King and Lauren Turner by Sarah Andrew/Retired Racehorse Project)