Are You Training America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred?

Think Thoroughbreds can do it all? The Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover wants  you to prove it.

Can you retrain an off-the-track Thoroughbred in five to nine months? Can you get to the Kentucky Horse Park this October 23-25? Well, you’d better sign up quick for the Retired Racehorse Project’s 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover, which will culminate in a competition with up to $100,000 in prize money across ten disciplines: dressage, show jumping, show hunter, eventing, trails, barrel racing, working ranch horse, foxhunting, polo and other/freestyle. The event also features the America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest and a world-class horse market.

“We are thrilled to be showcasing the talent and trainability of these animals in the state where so many are bred,” said Steuart Pittman, president of the Retired Racehorse Project, “Doing it on the weekend before Keeneland hosts Breeders’ Cup spreads the message worldwide. It is the right event at the right time in the right place.”

Pittman’s Retired Racehorse Project created the Thoroughbred Makeover in an effort to rejuvenate the market for OTTBs and recognize the amazing equine athletes that come from the racing world. Last year’s RRP Thoroughbred Makeover in Maryland showcased 48 Thoroughbreds for sale or adoption and 14 different riding disciplines. Phillip Dutton’s Icabad Crane won the America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest.

Preview the Competition

As anyone who has trained horses knows, just as much (or even more) of the satisfaction comes from the journey rather than the destination. You can follow each competitor via their blog posts on the Retired Racehorse Project website. Already posts are coming in from riders representing all of the disciplines of the competition.

Here’s a sampling of a few of the competitors so far:

Most delicious name: Nutello

Best dressage prospect name: T for Tempi (even though they plan to compete in show hunters)

A+ student: Junior Elissa Ogburn, who trains with Steuart Pittman and competed at the 2013 Thoroughbred Makeover

The moody mare with a heart of gold: All Biz

Snowman, the Sequel? Harry de Leyer is one of the trainers who will be helping Stacey Fitzgerald with Lovin’ Life

New to OTTBs: Naomi Minardi has never worked with a horse straight off the track but hopes to retrain Ask Marlene to be a barrel racer

How Do I Enter?


Anyone, amateur or professional, can enter a horse in the Makeover, so long as the horse has a Jockey Club tattoo and has raced at least once or been in race training after January 1, 2013. Horses are not allowed to have had prior training in a non-racing discipline before January 15, 2015, other than a maximum of fifteen allowable rides.  If you would like to participate, the first step is to find a Thoroughbred that meets these criteria through resources like the RRP’s Resource DirectoryHorse Listings, and Direct From Racing sources, including CANTER USA affiliates. You can find all the specifics about entering at the Retired Racehorse Project website.

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