Did you, too, find yourself thoroughly inspired by last month’s Thoroughbred Makeover finale? Featuring a huge variety of disciplines, from eventing to barrel racing to polo, freestyle, field hunters, dressage — you name it, and the Thoroughbred Makeover probably offers it — it’s an incredible showcase of what off-the-track Thoroughbreds are capable of, and a seriously fun challenge for the trainers who take it on. And at the end of it all? One overall champion will be awarded $10,000 — and everyone can take home the pride of knowing they’ve contributed to advertising OTTBs as the remarkable sport horses they are. If all that sounds, well, pretty great, you’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s very nearly time to get the ball rolling again, with applications for the 2024 program opening in exactly one month.
Here are some of the key dates you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Applications open for drafting: December 18, 2023
- Applications open for submission: January 2, 2024 – January 19, 2024
- Late applications open for submission: January 19, 2024 after 5 PM EST, until June 28, 2024 (late entries will be subject to an additional fee)
The 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium will take place October 9-12, 2024 at the Kentucky Horse Park, and to be eligible to take part, horses must not begin training before December 1, 2023. They may be ridden up to fifteen times before that date, and since leaving racing, in order to assess for suitability — but to keep this competition fair and to truly chart each horse’s progress over nine-ish months, that December starting gate is key.
Costs for entry are as follows:
- $200 one-time annual trainer application fee, regardless of trainer status (individual, team captain, or team member)*
- $150 horse registration fee per horse, billed to individuals and team captains
*Late trainer applications (received after 5 PM EST January 19th, 2024) will require a $300 trainer application fee, plus the $150 per horse the trainer intends to enter.
Final Entry fees: billed at the time of final entry August 1st through 15th
- First discipline, including schooling and drug testing fees: $150 per horse
- Second discipline: $100 per horse
- Stalls (horses or tack, flat rate for the week): $225 per stall
- Ship-ins (no stall): $60 per Final Entry form
- Non-compete horse fee: $50 per horse*
- ASPCA Makeover Marketplace listing per horse*
- Standard: $60
- Featured: $95
- Premium: $110
*All participating horses that complete a final entry will require a first discipline fee and stall (or ship-in) fee at minimum. The rest of the fees are optional.
Sounds like a great excuse to start browsing the CANTER listings, right? While you’re doing so, it’s always a smart idea to familiarise yourself with the rules of the competition and some of the frequently asked questions. We also recommend a YouTube deep dive, starting with this hugely insightful webinar on what to expect from your Makeover experience:
And this one, which takes you behind the scenes at the arrival examination:
Happy watching, and happy Makeover-ing!