New Scholarship Offsets Trainer Fee for Thoroughbred Makeover

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

When the Retired Racehorse Project raised the trainer application fee for the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover to $300 — a $100 increase — not everyone took the changes in stride. Following heated debates on social media, Emily Daignault-Salvaggio decided to step in and create the Give Back to Go Scholarship to refund the application fee for one lucky trainer.

“Paying it forward has always been huge for me,” she describes. “We were the kind of family where our parents took us to soup kitchens at the holidays and taught us that it was our responsibility to help. My parents led with a really good example.”

Describing herself as “lucky in life and lucky in horses,” Emily has always made it a point to give back, selecting charities including CANTER Pennsylvania as an annual recipient of funds from her family’s foundation.

Emily is no stranger to the Thoroughbred Makeover, having won the field hunter division with Gin Joint in 2015, and knows the journey to the Kentucky Horse Park is an expensive one. With that in mind, Emily launched the Give Back to Go Scholarship, which will refund the Thoroughbred Makeover trainer application fee for one deserving individual.

Keeping in line with Emily’s philosophy of paying it forward, each scholarship applicant must make a donation to a horse-related charity as part of the application process.

“I hope that by encouraging others to pay it forward, I can help people realize how awesome it can be to help change the world positively,” Emily said.

Full details for the scholarship are on the scholarship’s website. Here’s a breakdown of the application process:

  • Scholarship applicants should apply to the Thoroughbred Makeover first. The Retired Racehorse Project will refund the entry fee of the winning scholarship applicant.
  • The scholarship should be applied for separately from the Thoroughbred Makeover — there is no automatic entry for the scholarship.
  • Scholarship applications must include either a written description or a two-minute video of what it would mean to the applicant to receive the scholarship, plus proof that the applicant has made a donation to a horse-related charity.
  • Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of other 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover division winners, with one winner selected by a group of well-known Thoroughbred-related individuals.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Give Back to Go Scholarship’s website and follow the scholarship’s Facebook page.

Go Eventing.