Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover Going On Now at KHP

Hundreds of off-track Thoroughbreds are strutting their stuff right now at the Kentucky Horse Park in a variety of second-career disciplines, hoping to earn the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred!

One of Horse Nation’s spotlight trainers working her OTTB at a dressage show. Photo provided by Savannah Ranes

The Retired Racehorse Project’s banner event of the year, the Thoroughbred Makeover, showcases the versatility of the off-track Thoroughbred and his ability to succeed in a second career. While the Thoroughbred was once the breed of choice for American performance riders in a variety of disciplines, the breed has struggled in more recent years to overcome a reputation that labeled it hot, reactive and unsuited to serious use as a riding animal. The Retired Racehorse Project seeks to increase demand for the OTTB in sporthorse homes by demonstrating their versatility and increasing their value to equestrians.

The Thoroughbred Makeover is the culmination of months or years of effort by trainers in preparing a Thoroughbred for his second career: horses compete in their designated disciplines over three days at the Kentucky Horse Park, with top performers coming back to compete in a finals. Spectators at the finale, including both those attending in person and those watching the live stream at home, vote for the ultimate title: America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.

Horses eligible for this year’s Makeover were required to have posted a workout on the track after July 1, 2015 and could not have had any training rides prior to December 1, 2016. The Makeover includes a venue for trainers to sell their horses, making the event a great place to shop as well as compete and observe. For spectators and those interested in learning more about retraining the off-track Thoroughbred, the weekend is packed full of clinic sessions and presentations both general and discipline-specific.

The 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover is taking place right now! Every single horse and trainer combination competing has a story — some of which we’ve been following all spring and summer as part of our trainer spotlight series. Here’s how you can follow the action:

We’ll also have reflections from our spotlight trainers after the Makeover concludes!

Go OTTBs, and go riding!

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