Eventers Dominate 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover Trainer List

Lindsay Gilbert, shown here competing Rebel Annie in the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover, has a 2017 entry as well! You can follow the journey of Lindsay and her new OTTB, Hot Java, via their Lindsay Gilbert, shown here competing Rebel Annie in the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover, has a 2017 entry as well! You can follow the journey of Lindsay and her new OTTB, Hot Java, via their "Making It to the Makeover" blog on EN's Bloggers Row. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Gilbert.

A total of 578 trainers will contest the 2017 $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, including a hefty contingent of eventers, according to a list released today by the Retired Racehorse Project.

Of that 578, 182 trainers cited eventing as their primary discipline, with another 40 listing it as their secondary discipline, for a potential total of 222 entries. Eventing was followed by show hunter (126), show hunter (126), show jumper (77), dressage (63), barrel racing (31), competitive trails (27), field hunters (20), polo (19), working ranch (17) and freestyle (16).

The event, which this year will take place Oct. 5-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park, had a huge number of trainer applications. Approval was based on skill, experience and demonstrated ability to introduce a fresh-off-the-track Thoroughbred to a new career.

“We were overwhelmed, not only by the number of applications, but also by the quality,” said RRP President Steuart Pittman. “The performances on the first weekend of October could be more awe-inspiring than what we saw last year, and the selection of carefully chosen, well-started Thoroughbred sport horses for sale will be vast. People should pencil this weekend in on their calendars now.”

The eventing entry list ranges from talented young riders to four-star eventers and stars from other disciplines, such as top female jockey Rosie Napravnik. The field of trainers is comprised of 49% professionals, 39% amateurs, and 12% juniors hailing from 44 states, two Canadian provinces and England.

A few upper-level competitors and trainers that jumped off the list: Cathy Wieschhoff (KY), Mandy Alexander (KY), Jessica Bortner-Harris (NC), Jennifer Coleman (KY), Dorothy Crowell (KY), Elissa Gibbs (KY), Brittany Kart (GA), Emily Kocubinski (PA), Nick Larkin (KY), Clare and Tom Mansmann (VA), Julie McElhaney (OH), Susan Moessner (MI), S. Kelly Plitz (ON), Tate Reynolds (PA), Ian Roberts (ON), and Elisa Wallace (GA).

Two hundred-thirty trainers have registered their horses already, which means there are still more than 300 trainers shopping for horses to use in the competition.

“Everybody should attend the Makeover,” said Lauren Turner, 2016 winner on Fairway King of the dressage division and overall title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. “It is the most diverse gathering of horse trainers in the competition industry. I learned so much last year from trainers in other sports and am looking forward to reuniting with them and their new horses this October.”

[$100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover Launched with 578 Trainers]

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