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Thoroughbred Makeover & National Symposium Begins

Thoroughbred Makeover & National Symposium Begins: Watching Thoroughbreds compete on the track doing what they love and were born to do is as thrilling to watch as it is beautiful. But with the majority of their racing careers ending by ages four or five, these animals still have a lot left to offer long after their racing days are behind them. On October 23-25 nearly 200 recently retired racehorses will come to Lexington from all parts of North America and even Europe to compete in the featured event of the TCA Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by the Retired Racehorse Project.

Breeders' Cup Festival Week

Fan favorite Dewey Square, pictured above at Churchill Downs, will compete at the Thoroughbred Makeover during Breeders’ Cup Festival week.
Photo: David Stephenson

The horses are scheduled to compete in a variety of disciplines. According to the official website, horses “will perform before the judges on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning in Dressage, Show Jumping, Show Hunter, Eventing, Competitive Trail, Barrel Racing, Fox Hunting, Polo, Ranch Work, and Freestyle.” No one can say Thoroughbred horses are not versatile, just by looking at all the events on tap. Keep checking the site for the exact schedule and venue map.

Observers might fall in love with one of these competitive horses and want to buy one. It is possible, if the owner chooses to sell. A catalog of horses will be offered by the Retired Racehorse Project in advance of the event and during its course. Interested buyers can possibly ride the prospective new purchase on Sunday. Of course, all horses for sale will undergo an inspection and buyers will be made aware of anything they need to know about the horse.

Expect to see well-known people within the horse racing and equestrian sport industries, such as Rosie Napravnik! One of the most talented jockeys around, she retired last year after a successful riding career. On the website is a picture of her and Dare Me, Rosie’s Makeover horse. Dare Me is a gelded son of Oatsee, the dam of Lady Joanne, Shackleford and Stephanoatsee.

The event is free, except for the finale on Sunday afternoon which costs $15. Also, attendees will need to pay the normal fee of $5 a day to enter Kentucky Horse Park. In addition, there will be various seminars for $25 each in the Visitor Center and Covered Arena’s Club Lounge. If that is not enough, there is a magazine launch party for Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine for $25 as well. The party is scheduled for Friday night at 6:30 to 9:30 p.m EST in the Visitor Center.

For those traveling from a far distance, book a hotel room now. There will be people flying in for next weekend’s big Lexington event early. What is that other event? The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium is an official part of the Breeders’ Cup Festival, an entire week in Lexington centered around the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland on Oct. 30 and 31.

To help out Retired Racehorse Project, become one of their members at the price of $45, and they will provide a $10 discount for the competition.

Besides the competition and helping out retired horses, Kentucky Horse Park is a wonderful place with a lot of great attractions and retired horses of their own, such as 2003 dual-crown winner Funny Cide. No one will go home disappointed with their visit, whether they came for the retired horses, the park or to see Rosie Napravnik. Come be part of the action.

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