Casey and Alvie missed the Thoroughbred Makeover, but what they gained still made the journey worth the effort.
For the over 400 trainers who made the journey to the Retired Racehorse Project‘s 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover, the competition is now over. Over the training period, three of those trainers blogged their journeys, including their triumphs and their heartbreaks, successes and failures, for Horse Nation readers. Casey French was not able to make it to Kentucky. Here she reflects on the journey and what it means even though she and Alvie were unable to attend the Makeover.
Regrettably, Awesome Choice and I missed the TB Makeover.
Just a few short days before it was time to leave for Kentucky, I went out to the barn to do my daily chores only to find Alvie unsoundly trotting up to the barn. After looking him over, I called my vet right away to thoroughly look over his x-rays we had taken earlier in the week. He confirmed that it looked like there could be a possible bruise or abscess in his right foot.
We have an extremely unavoidably rocky terrain in Tennessee. It’s something that we have battled over the months. We think we may have come up with a solution now, but it’s too little too late, unfortunately. But such is life with horses, or life in general.
We can only prepare for the day and what’s out of our control is just that.
However, even though I was unable to attend the Makeover, I felt as though I was there! I kept in touch with many of the Facebook friends I’ve made since being accepted as a trainer in the program and watched as much as I could through the shared videos and the live-streamed finale.
I have to say that it was nothing short of amazing. People say that the Thoroughbred Makeover is unlike any other competition and they are 100% accurate. It is a glorious mix of riders from professional to junior, English and Western, all showcasing their training and the versatility of their off-track Thoroughbred counterparts.
With it being a training competition, I watched and learned about different disciplines and what the goal was for the horse (not the rider) and I was completely intrigued. What competition can you go to that isn’t just about the end result, but more about the horse’s potential for getting there and staying successful?
I can’t think of any. This is a truly special event and I was so sad to not be a part of it. This event definitely is “for the love of the horse.” It is not intended for fame of the trainer or personal glory. It’s an experience like no other. Even if at the end you don’t get to be a part of the big show, you are part of a mission and common goal. That alone proves itself to be more rewarding than any personal win I’ve ever known!
If this is something you’re considering for yourself, do it. What you’ll get are lessons of a lifetime, revived passion of losing yourself and finding “the horse” again.