2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and Symposium Postponed

The 2021 event will include classes for 2020 participants.
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2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and Symposium Postponed
The Thoroughbred Makeover typically draws hundreds of competitors from 40-plus states and multiple Canadian provinces, each of whom has taken on the challenge of bringing along a Thoroughbred in his or her first year of retraining post-racing. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse
After extensive information gathering, research, and consideration, the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) board has made the difficult but unanimous decision to postpone the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), until 2021. The RRP plans to host an expanded Thoroughbred Makeover Oct. 12-17, 2021, that will offer separate classes in all 10 disciplines for both 2020 and 2021 entries. (Click here for a video message from the RRP.)

Put on each year by the RRP, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Thoroughbred Makeover typically draws hundreds of competitors from 40-plus states and multiple Canadian provinces, each of whom has taken on the challenge of bringing along a Thoroughbred in his or her first year of retraining post-racing. In a normal year, the event also includes the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace (a large-scale horse-shopping experience), a vendor fair with more than 70 on-site retailers and other equine businesses, seminars, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Summit, and various social and networking events.

To comply with COVID-19 pandemic event guidelines as recommended by U.S. Equestrian and the Kentucky Horse Park, many of these aspects, which monetize a significant portion of the event, would have to be eliminated or heavily modified.

“This was a decision that was not entered into lightly,” said Jen Roytz, RRP executive director. “We went to great lengths to look at the feasibility of putting on the event from various perspectives, including preparedness of our competitors, current sponsorship commitments, the cost and steps necessary to implement COVID-19 risk management protocols for an event like ours, and what changes we would need to make to the event to comply with state and venue regulations. We also explored various ‘what if’ scenarios with our legal counsel, insurance company, and board, and what their impacts could be on not only the event but our organization as a whole

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