Applications for the $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, close on January 15 — but there’s still time to apply!

The Retired Racehorse Project’s mission is to facilitate placement of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in equestrian sports and serving the farms, trainers, and organizations that transition them. To that end, the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, is a training competition designed to showcase the trainability and talent of off-track Thoroughbreds, and inspire equestrians across a variety of disciplines to consider the Thoroughbred as a competitive or recreational partner.

Polo has enjoyed great success at Makeover: Old Tavern, trained by Charlie Caldwell, won 2017 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred as selected by audience vote. In 2018, the addition of a seven-minute chukker in the Finale got the crowd cheering and was immensely popular with competitors and spectators alike.

The 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover will be held on October 2-5, at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington. Kentucky, welcoming trainers from 10 disciplines to showcase the training of their horses who have come off the track in the last 18 months, with 10 months or less of retraining for a second career. (Click here for more information about horse eligibility.) Professionals, juniors and amateurs are welcome to compete, and new for 2019, entries may also compete as a team. (Click here for more information about trainer eligibility.)

The application period is currently open through January 15, and interested trainers should visit to review the full rulebook and prepare their applications. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on February 1; applicants do NOT need to have acquired their horse at the time of application. Applicants need to be Retired Racehorse Project members in good standing; membership includes a subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, discounts at the RRP store, the Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, discounts from sponsors and more!

The Thoroughbred has long been admired for its speed on the racetrack, but had fallen from fashion in the show ring. Once again, riders in disciplines ranging from eventing and jumping to barrel racing and ranch riding are recognizing the athleticism, versatility and heart of the ex-racing Thoroughbred and finding their perfect partner in these wonderful horses.

•   2019 Thoroughbred Makeover rule book
•   2019 Thoroughbred Makeover trainer application (must be logged in with active membership to access)
•   Thoroughbred Makeover website
•   Retired Racehorse Project website

Charlie and Harry Caldwell in the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover.

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