Heather Clower, of Parsons, will travel to Lexington, Ky. on October 4-7 to compete in the Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover. The event, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), is an international competition that focuses on retraining retired racehorses and the bond formed between rider and mount.
Designed to showcase just how much life these horses have left once they leave the track, the 2018 event will be the biggest event to date, hosting 794 trainers from 40 states and Canada. These trainers will be working with retired racehorses that have less than 10 months of retraining for new careers.
Clower will be competing her horse in two categories; the Competitive Trail division, which focuses on obstacles which may involve opening of gates, backing, side-passing, bridges, water, dismounting, mounting, and any other test deemed appropriate by the course designer and steward, and the Freestyle division, which is a competition that allows trainers to present horses in disciplines other than the nine offered, or to perform in any manner that demonstrates the trainability and talent of the horse.
Missy Mouse, barn name Immy, is a six year old thoroughbred mare who has retired from racing from California to New York, earning over $142k in winnings. Clower brought her to her home at Hickory Orchard Farm in Tucker County in November of 2017 to let her adjust from a strict racing career to being a pleasure horse until they begin their training for the makeover as soon as the weather breaks. This will be Clower’s first of a hopeful many trips to the Thoroughbred Makeover event, assisting in rehabilitating ex-racehorses and preparing them for a successful second career.
“We’re thrilled to welcome such a sizable and diverse group of horses and trainers to the Kentucky Horse Park this year. The Thoroughbred Makeover is in its sixth year and each year the event has become exponentially larger and more competitive; 2018 will be no exception,” said Steuart Pittman, founder and president of Retired Racehorse Project. “The impact this is having on Thoroughbreds retiring from racing is remarkable; we estimate nearly 600 horses were acquired for the purpose of competing in the 2017 Makeover, with trainers making an average investment of $8,000 in each horse. Even those who do not make it to the competition will be well-positioned for successful post-racing careers in quality homes.”
The Retired Racehorse Project exists to facilitate placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in equestrian sports. The creation of the Thoroughbred Makeover, which offers $100,000 in prize money, is designed to showcase their equine athletes in second careers. For more information and statistics, visit www.TBMakeover.org.