Nearly 500 trainers apply to TB Makeover show

2015 winner Lindsey Partridge is hoping for a repeat performance in 2016. Photo by Megan Stapley Photography

2015 winner Lindsey Partridge is hoping for a repeat performance in 2016. Photo by Megan Stapley Photography

The Retired Racehorse Project announced today the results of a four-week effort to recruit experienced horse trainers for the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover.

The event requires each trainer to acquire a Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work after October 1, 2014 and had no second career training before this year. Trainers will ship to the Kentucky Horse Park on the last weekend of October to compete in ten equestrian disciplines for $100,000 in prize money and the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.

Here are some statistics about who entered.

  • Some 488 trainers applied. And, 253 of those hope to bring two horses, for a total applicant pool of 741 horses.‬
  • They come from 45 states, four Canadian provinces, and England.‬
  • Their primary disciplines of expertise are eventing (132), show hunters (98), show jumpers (64), dressage (61), barrel racing (34), working ranch (22), freestyle (21), field hunter (20), competitive trails (18), and polo (17).‬
  • There are 271 professionals, 162 amateurs, and 55 juniors, and they range in age from 10 years old to 71 years young.‬
  • Some 350 have already acquired an eligible Thoroughbred to train for the event. 138 have not.‬
  • The ten states or provinces with the largest numbers of entries are Pennsylvania (44), Kentucky (37), Maryland (30), Ohio (28), Virginia (27), Michigan (24), New York (22), Ontario (20), California (19), and Florida (18).‬

RRP established a maximum capacity of 500 horses for the event. The list of accepted entries will be announced at on February 15.

“We were thrilled by the number of entries, but ecstatic about the quality,” said RRP President Steuart Pittman. “We complain that Americans buy horses in Europe because we lack good trainers here. Reading the stories of these 488 applicants convinced me otherwise. These are very experienced trainers, some of whom have trained horses to the pinnacles of their respective sports. Watching their progress through the year and then seeing them at the Kentucky Horse Park in the fall will make better horsemen of all of us.”

“These trainers are my new heroes,” said Dan Rosenberg, president of Thoroughbred Charities of America. “Each will invest hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into showcasing on a national stage just how special these horses can be. This event is the formula we need to effectively transition large numbers of racehorses to new careers while promoting them as a breed to the huge marketplace of American horse owners.”

The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium takes place October 27-30 at the Kentucky Horse Park. It includes the Thoroughbred Makeover competition as well as educational seminars and demonstrations, a trade fair, and the Makeover Horse Sale, an opportunity for buyers to evaluate horses from the Makeover that are available for sale.

Rules and Information about the Thoroughbred Makeover are online at Thoroughbred Makeover Rules and Information:

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