Your Guide to Eventing at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover

Allison Thompson and Cactus Willie, 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover eventing champions. Photo courtesy of Retired Racehorse Project.

Today kicks off the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, taking place Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park! With somewhere between 400 and 500 horses competing there’s a lot going on over there, so we put together a handy guide to following your favorite discipline (eventing, we presume? lucky guess!) at this year’s competition.

Thoroughbred Makeover links: WebsiteScheduleEntriesStall Assignments, Eventing Ride TimesMarketplaceSeminarsFinale Live Stream, Live Scores

Thursday & Friday, October 4-5

The preliminary eventing competition place across these two days.

Dressage: Horses will perform USEF 2018 Beginner Novice Eventing Test A in a small (20m x 40m) arena in the Rolex Stadium.

Cross Country: Horses will be judged over a cross country course of approximately 12 obstacles in the Steeplechase Infield. Each obstacle will have at least two options, one at Beginner Novice dimensions (2’7”) and the other at Novice (2’11”), and optional “bonus” fences may be offered to demonstrate a higher level of training. Riders should jump the obstacle choice that best demonstrates the quality and level of their horse’s training, and need not jump all fences at the same level.

Show Jumping: Show jumping takes place immediately following cross country in the Murphy Ring. Horses will be judged over a course set at dimensions for USEA Beginner Novice (2’7” maximum), Novice (2’11” maximum), or Training (3’3” maximum). Trainers may select their level.

Read a breakdown of the scoring here, as well as additional rules concerning format and attire.

EN #ProTips:

  • This year’s eventing entry list is huge (100+ strong), diverse and includes some star-studded names. Keep an eye out for an assortment of three- and four-star riders, jockey Rosie Sharp Napravik, show jumping coach Richard Picken, 2017 eventing reserve champion Alison Wilaby, and of course EN’s very own Kate Samuels with her infamous “Turkey”!
  • The seminar schedule is worth checking out. The Trainers’ Forum, moderated by Advanced level eventer Tik Maynard, sounds particularly interesting — check it out on Friday at 10 a.m. in the Club Lounge. Other seminar topics include “Leaky Gut Syndrome: How Every Equine Athlete Can Be Affected and Novel Nutritional Solutions,” “Racing Injuries and Outcomes” and “When Selling Doesn’t Go as Planned.”
  • Did you hear that there’s a new team competition this year as well?

Saturday, October 6

The top five scoring eventing horses will compete for additional points in the finale, demonstrating basic work on the flat and jumping a course that includes show jumps and cross country portables in TCA Covered Arena. Following this final test a 2018 Eventing Makeover Champion will be crowned. After the other nine disciplines have completed their finales, the crowd favorite (determined by text message voting) from among all 10 will be crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred and earn a $10,000 check!

Eventing is the first discipline of the day to go. The Finale will be live streamed — click here. It is a ticketed event; tickets may be purchased here.

EN #ProTip:

  • Don’t forget the shopping! Have an extra spot in your trailer? Peruse a list of for-sale Thoroughbreds that could help you out with that here. If you’d rather stick with inanimate objects, there’s a shopping village with over 80 vendors, AND a silent auction.

Sunday, October 7 

The Makeover Masterclass is an interactive session of demonstrations and discussions with four leading trainers and four adoptable, 2019 Makeover eligible prospects relatively fresh off the track. The trainers will discuss the horses’ conformation, how they move, and how they navigate a jump chute with some small fences. Then the trainers will select the horse they want to work with, and after an acclimation period, will come back and demonstrate how they would approach their first few rides or training sessions. The Master Class is free to attend for all and begins at 10 a.m. in the TCA Covered Arena.

EN #ProTips: Feel inspired? Throw your hat in the ring for 2019! Check out the rules, which will soon be updated for next year, here.

Go OTTBs. Go Eventing!