Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover Accepts 794 Trainers for 2018

One of the fastest-growing competitions in the country, the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover spotlights the ability of the off-track Thoroughbreds. Horse Nation’s own Kristen Kovatch and Meagan DeLisle are among the accepted trainers!

The Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover is an annual competition taking place in October at the Kentucky Horse Park, welcoming accepted trainers and their Thoroughbreds, off the track in the previous two years, to compete for $100,000 in prize money as well as network, meet other trainers, buy or sell horses and attend educational seminars and clinics. The Makeover has grown from a mere competition into a celebration of the OTTB and a “bucket list” item for many OTTB enthusiasts to attend with their horses; the RRP has helped to spotlight the Thoroughbred as a sporthorse as well as enhance the market for horses coming off the track.

Trainer applications closed back in January, and hundreds of OTTB enthusiasts around the country waited on tenterhooks for the official announcement on February 1. A record 794 trainers were accepted for the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover — a full list can be found here.

The demographics of the 2018 Makeover “class” are impressive: the Retired Racehorse Project put together this representative look at this year’s trainers.

2018 Thoroughbred Makeover By The Numbers

Congratulations to the Thoroughbred Makeover Class of 2018! We've accepted a record 794 trainers to join us in Kentucky this October.You can view the entire entry list on our BRAND NEW Thoroughbred Makeover website,

Posted by Retired Racehorse Project on Thursday, February 1, 2018

It’s a long road to Kentucky in October, and the Retired Racehorse Project takes into account that some trainers will likely drop out along the way, given the nature of the time-limited competition. However, by all accounts, 2018 looks like it’s going to be an amazing year for the Thoroughbred Makeover, and we’re excited to see how the competition develops!

Trainers do not yet need to declare the horse(s) they are bringing, but many trainers have already selected and begun working with their mounts. Eligible horses need to be Jockey Club registered, have posted a workout or race after July 1, 2016 and could not have had more than 15 post-track retraining rides before December 1, 2017.

Horse Nation is proud to have two staff members on the accepted trainer list, both of whom have already started sharing their Makeover journeys:

Kristen Kovatch Bentley & Jobber Bill: professional from New York in Working Ranch & Freestyle

Kristen and Jobber are aiming for the working ranch division and also hope to put on a cow horse demonstration via the freestyle division. So far, Kristen and Jobber are getting to know each other via lots of walking around the farm, slowly pushing cows around the pasture and building the foundation that will allow them to be a useful working pair on the family beef cattle operation. Follow Jobber Bill on Horse Nation.

Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

Meagan DeLisle & Flashback Justice: amateur from Missouri in Show Jumping

Meagan and Flash are pointed towards the show jumping division, and will select a second discipline when Flash makes it more evident where he’d like to go! Meagan is spending plenty of time on the basics with Flash with groundwork and flatwork and looking forward to his baby show debut this spring. Follow Flashback Justice on Horse Nation.

Photo courtesy of Meagan DeLisle

Learn more about the Retired Racehorse Project at the organization’s website, and follow all of the accepted trainers at the Thoroughbred Makeover website! Go OTTBs, and go riding.

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