Keeneland to Sponsor Makeover Initiatives


A horse's vital signs are checked at the 2019 Arrival Exam. | Giulia Garcia

Keeneland will be a sponsor of prominent equine safety and welfare initiatives at the Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover this year: the Arrival Exam and the Finale Jog.

The Arrival Exam was instituted last year at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, and required each horse to have proof of current vaccinations, vitals within a normal range, be scanned for a microchip that has been registered with The Jockey Club, pass a walking soundness exam and score a four or higher on the Henneke Body Condition Scale.

This year, RRP will institute a jog for all Thoroughbred Makeover Finale qualifiers, with te top five finishers from each of the 10 disciplines offered will be asked to present their horses in-hand at the jog for a ground jury consisting of at least two veterinarians and the chief steward the day prior to competing in their respective discipline championships.

“So much time, effort, patience, skill, money and more goes into bringing a young Thoroughbred, whether it's leading up to their first race or after their final start as they are being retrained for a new career,” said Jen Roytz, executive director for the RRP. “Keeneland and the Retired Racehorse Project are committed to setting the standard for equine welfare and safety of these athletes in their on-track careers and off, and initiatives like these will continue to help us raise the profile of Thoroughbreds in the sport horse world.”

Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason added, “Keeneland is pleased to support the outstanding work of the Retired Racehorse Project and the Thoroughbred Makeover in showcasing these talented horses. Keeneland is committed to the safety and welfare of horse and rider, not just on the race track but in all disciplines. We applaud the Arrival Exam and the Finale Jog, two industry-leading initiatives that promote healthy second careers for these equine athletes.”

The 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium is scheduled for Oct. 7 through Oct. 10 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

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