Thoroughbred Makeover: Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Over the past six years, the Thoroughbred Makeover has grown from a breed showcase to a world-class competition. Join us as we learn about the program’s evolution and how it’s help rev the market for OTTBs.
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Thoroughbred Makeover: Growing by Leaps and Bounds
Moving the event to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2015 meant the RRP could expand its capacity and division offering, which attracted more riders and Thoroughbred enthusiasts who endeavoured to participate or at least spectate. | Photo: Courtesy Anne Litz

Six years. That’s nearly 313 weeks and precisely 2,190 days. And when the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America begins on Oct. 2, in Lexington, Kentucky, it’s exactly the amount of time that will have passed since the inaugural Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium wrapped up in 2013.

Besides having moved from one iconic location to another — Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, Maryland, to the Kentucky Horse Park — the event has transformed markedly, from a showcase of 26 off-track-Thoroughbreds’ (OTTBs’) performance after 90 days of retraining to a competition featuring nearly 500 with 10 or fewer months of retraining.

With the Makeover, Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) launched a movement that has both increased demand for OTTBs as pleasure and sport horses and facilitated their placement after retirement from racing. This year, in its seventh iteration, organizers expect more than 4,000 Makeover attendees, who will have the opportunity to watch three days of exciting and diverse competition, learn from seminars and the Master Class and review an elite collection of OTTBs for sale in one place. Thousands more will watch the competition and seminars via livestream

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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