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Thinking about throwing your hat in the ring of this year’s Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover? Do it! The trainer application process opened yesterday, Jan. 3, 2022, and will remain open for submission through close of business day on Jan. 21. Trainer approvals will be announced no later than Feb. 15.
For roundabout the cost of a regular horse trial, you could not only jump-start the career of an off-track horse but also be part of the biggest OTTB lovefest of the year. The eighth running of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium takes place October 12-15 at the Kentucky Horse Park and will feature competition in 10 disciplines ranging from eventing to barrel racing and polo.
Horses and their trainers will compete for $100,000 in prize money and the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. The event includes seminars, demonstrations, a sponsor fair, and a livestreamed finale featuring the top five horses in each discipline. Many of the horses are offered for sale, so it’s one-stop Thoroughbred shopping at its finest.
The Thoroughbred Makeover is open to professionals, amateurs, juniors (ages 12 and over), and teams. Applicants are required to provide information about their riding and competition background as well as references, including one from a veterinarian, and video that showcases their riding ability. Competitors do not need to have acquired their horse at the time of application, though they must register their horse no later than July 29, 2022.
Accepted trainers may acquire eligible Thoroughbreds through whatever source they choose, or can ride under contract from an owner. Eligible horses must have raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2020 and must not have started retraining for a second career prior to December 1, 2021 other than a maximum of 15 allowable rides, intended to allow for trial rides.
Detailed information is available at the RRP website’s 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover page. The 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover Rulebook outlines all rules and information relevant to the competition, with changes for 2022 marked in red and clarifying information marked in blue. Interested applicants can start the process now by clicking on the Trainer Portal at tbmakeover.org.