The Thoroughbred Makeover is hard to ignore; $100,000 in prize money, some 200 freshly re-trained ex-racehorses from 33 states, three Canadian provinces and England showcased in a choice of 10 different sports, all to prove to the public that Thoroughbreds off the track are some of the most trainable, generous, and talented four-legged animals on the planet.
The brainchild of the Retired Racehorse Project, the Thoroughbred Makeover held in October at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is now in its fifth year and growing.
The horses, retrained and shown by professionals, amateurs and juniors, competed for the title of Most Wanted in events such as Barrel Racing, Competitive Trail, Dressage, Eventing, Field Hunter, Freestyle, Polo, Show Hunter, Show Jump and Working Ranch.
The whole shebang was won by a girl from Ontario. Lindsey Partridge, a professional trainer and owner of Partridge Horse Hill from Pontypool, Ont., (near Oshawa) entered two Thoroughbreds she bought in 2015 in both competitive trail and freestyle.
She credits the calm demeanour of her Thoroughbred, Soar, with the victory, as the Ontario-bred eight-year-old mare was crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.
To compete in 2015, horses had to have a Jockey Club tattoo, raced, or at least been in race training after Jan. 1, 2013, and must not have had any significant training in any other discipline before Jan. 15, 2015.
Partridge isn’t short on praise for her grey mare. “She’s easy, she’s safe and she’s calm. She can do any discipline. She’s not a one-trick-pony.”