More Than 125 Eventers Entered in 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover

Emily Daignault-Salvaggio and Gin Joint, winners of the Field Hunter division at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover. Photo by Heather Benson. Emily Daignault-Salvaggio and Gin Joint, winners of the Field Hunter division at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover. Photo by Heather Benson.

The Retired Racehorse Project has released the list of trainers that registered for this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover, which will be held October 27-30, 2016, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The list is highlighted by 13 Advanced level event riders, including names such as Tik Maynard (who won the 2015 Freestyle in this competition), Kendal Lehari, Dorothy Crowell, Cathy Wieschhoff, Jane Sleeper, Elisa Wallace, Selena O’Hanlon and Denny Emerson.

A total of 129 entrants selected eventing as their primary discipline for the Thoroughbred Makeover, with an additional 50 selecting eventing as their secondary discipline. Based on those 179 total potential entries, eventing is the second most prominently represented sport within the Makeover, just behind show jumping with 181 total potential entries.

All 10 of the discipline winners from last year’s Makeover applied to return to defend their titles, along with 73 other Makeover alumni on new horses. The remaining group of nearly 400 trainers will be entering the Makeover for the first time, making it what “may be the most diverse group of accomplished horse trainers ever to gather in one place,” RRP President Steuart Pittman said.

“Reading through the applications of these 480 trainers was like opening Christmas presents. Off-track Thoroughbreds dominated the horse show world in this country when they were in the barns of our very best riders and trainers. We believe that a key to restoring demand for these horses is matching some of them with the best trainers. Doing so not only increases their chances of winning, but it encourages those trainers’ clients and fans to consider an off-track Thoroughbred,” Steuart said.

“With the carrot of $100,000 in prize money, lots of promotion and a buzz among the horse industry too loud to ignore, we have recruited trainers who are leaders in their sports. Many of these trainers have barns full of warmbloods and Quarter Horses. Some grew up on Thoroughbreds and feel like this is coming home. Others are trying something completely new.”

The Makeover offers divisions in barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunter, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumping and working ranch. In total, 480 trainers from 45 states will compete in this year’s Makeover for prize money totaling $100,000.

You can view much more information on the Thoroughbred Makeover here, and check out the video below for more details on this year’s Makeover applicants. We’ll keep you posted on the eventing trainers’ progress with their horses and look forward to seeing how the field shakes out in October.