Dec 01, 2017

Applications Open for 2018 $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover

By Retired Racehorse Project - Press Release
Image courtesy of the Retired Racehorse Project website.

Retired Racehorse Project announced today the opening of trainer applications for the 2018 $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover. Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2018, and trainer approvals will be announced on February 1, 2018.

The Thoroughbred Makeover features competition in 10 different disciplines among recently-retired racing Thoroughbreds with less than 10 months of retraining for a second career. Disciplines offered are barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumper, and ranch work.

Horses and their trainers will compete for $100,000 in prize money and the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred (determined by audience vote) at the Kentucky Horse Park on October 4-7, 2018. The event includes seminars, demonstrations, sponsor fair, and a livestreamed finale featuring the top five horses in each discipline. Many of the horses competing will also be offered for sale.

Professional, amateur, and junior trainers are welcome to apply, and do not need to have acquired their horse at the time of application. Applicants must demonstrate expertise in at least one of the Makeover disciplines through competition highlights, references, and optional video links.

Approved trainers can acquire eligible Thoroughbreds through whatever source they choose, or can ride under contract with an owner. Horses must have raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2016 and must not have started training for a second career before December 1, 2017.

Thoroughbred Makeover Links:

Rule Changes for 2018

Working Ranch is now referred to as Ranch Work and incorporates elements from the American Quarter Horse Association Ranch Riding and Ranch Trail classes to test the skills required of a working ranch horse. We will no longer be utilizing cattle in this division. We believe this format change will help attract more western entries, as many riders do not have access to work cattle on a regular basis in preparation for the Makeover.

In the Polo division, we have added a 7-minute chukker to the Finale. All five qualifying riders and one volunteer rider will play as if in a game, with the competitive nature and speed being determined by the players and the judges prior to the Finale.

The Competitive Trail division has adopted the rules and scoring guidelines of the International Mountain Trail Challenge Association. The course distance will be condensed to an area that can be observed by two judges. Competitors will continue to negotiate the trail course in small groups that will be randomly chosen.

2017 Thoroughbred Makeover Recap

  • 578 trainers were accepted to compete during the initial application process, and 509 horses were registered by the July 1 deadline.
  • 305 horses actually made it to Kentucky to compete, coming from 38 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
  • The most-raced horse in the competition had 85 starts. The highest money-earner had career winnings of almost $1.2 million.
  • Total number of horses in each discipline: barrels, 18; competitive trail, 64; dressage, 78; eventing, 90; field hunter, 30; freestyle, 38; polo, 11; show hunter, 84; show jumper, 75; working ranch, 12. (A horse can compete in up to two disciplines.)
  • 100 horses were entered in the Makeover Sale, and 22 were confirmed sold within a month of the competition. The high price was $21,000; average price was $8,800.
  • More than 115 volunteers helped staff the competition.
  • 72 companies were Makeover sponsors.
  • 71 vendors took part in the vendor fair.
  • Over 1,200 ticketed spectators watched the Finale.
  • The Finale livestream had more than 7,200 viewers, and 62,000 viewers watched on Facebook Live.
  • 899 votes were cast for America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. 
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