Edited Press Release
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) has welcomed 484 accepted applications, representing 480 unique trainers and teams, to the 2021 class of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. The Thoroughbred Makeover is the world's largest and most lucrative retraining competition for ex-racehorses, and the 2021 class combined with 322 trainers from the postponed 2020 competition year will make this the biggest Makeover yet.
“After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover, it was important to us to preserve the opportunity for our 2020 class to compete, and thanks to so many loyal sponsors and donors from the racing, breeding and sport horse worlds, we are going to be putting on the largest retraining competition in history,” said RRP executive director Jen Roytz.
The application process for the 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover required trainers to demonstrate their skills and expertise through competition results, videos and references, as well as a letter from a vet stating that that the applicant has the necessary skills and knowledge to appropriately care for a horse transitioning off the track. The RRP's selection committee took into consideration both candidates' ability to effectively retrain an off-track Thoroughbred and candidates' commitment to the RRP's mission of promoting off-track Thoroughbreds in second careers.
Accepted trainers are encouraged to register their horses at TBMakeover.org as soon as they acquire them. Horse registration closes July 31, but registration upon acquisition allows the RRP to better gather data on horses undergoing the Makeover process.
Accepted trainers for 2021 include Becky Huestis, assistant rider and manager for John Madden Sales; Darby Mazzarisi, champion hunter trainer; and Natalie (Voss) Nevills, a two-time Eclipse Award-winning turf writer for the Paulick Report. They join a diverse class of trainers hailing from 46 states and four Canadian provinces. Trainers range in age from 11 (will be 12 at the time of the Makeover as per rules) to 74.