Retired Racehorse Project Adds Western Dressage to 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover: Apply Now!

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Retired Racehorse Project Adds Western Dressage to 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover: Apply Now!

Contact: Kristen Kovatch Bentley
(215) 589-0993 |

Retired Racehorse Project announced in December 2018 that western dressage would be a new addition to the popular Thoroughbred Makeover competition for 2019. The inclusion of western dressage has been met with great support from past Makeover competitors, with hopeful trainers currently applying through January 15th to compete in the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover.

Dressage and western dressage will compete side-by-side in the Dressage division at the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover in a standard arena before one judge; western dressage competitors will ride the Western Dressage Association of America 2017 Basic Level Test 1 and be scored with the WDAA scoresheet. Competition also includes a five-minute demonstration ride before a second judge to show the level and quality of their training, including walk, trot/jog, and canter/lope in both directions. The top five scorers will come back for the Finale and perform a five-minute demonstration ride which may be set to music. Find full rules for the dressage division here.

The $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, is a training competition designed to showcase the trainability and talent of off-track Thoroughbreds, and inspire equestrians across a variety of disciplines to consider the Thoroughbred as a competitive or recreational partner. To be held in 2019 on October 2-5 at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Thoroughbred Makeover will welcome trainers from ten disciplines to showcase the training of their horses who have come off the track in the last 18 months, with ten months or less of retraining for a second career. (Click here for more information about horse eligibility.) Professionals, juniors and amateurs are welcome to compete, and new for 2019, entries may also compete as a team. (Click here for more information about trainer eligibility.)

The application period is currently open through January 15, and interested trainers should visit to review the full rulebook and prepare their applications. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on February 1; applicants do NOT need to have acquired their horse at the time of application. Applicants need to be Retired Racehorse Project members in good standing; membership includes a subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, discounts at the RRP store, the Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, discounts from sponsors and more!

“We’re so pleased to offer western dressage at this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover,” describes Kirsten Green, RRP Director of Operations. “Both of our dressage judges last year enthusiastically encouraged the idea and it’s been incredibly well received by our competitors as well. Of course, we’re also thrilled about the opportunity to see even more Thoroughbreds in western tack!”

The Thoroughbred has long been admired for its speed on the racetrack but had fallen from fashion in the show ring. Once again, riders in disciplines ranging from eventing and jumping to barrel racing and ranch riding are recognizing the athleticism, versatility and heart of the ex-racing Thoroughbred and finding their perfect partner in these wonderful horses.



•   2019 Thoroughbred Makeover rule book

•   2019 Thoroughbred Makeover trainer application (must be logged in with active membership to access)

•   Thoroughbred Makeover website

•   Retired Racehorse Project website

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