New TAA Graduate Award to be Offered at Thoroughbred Makeover

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New TAA Graduate Award to be Offered at Thoroughbred Makeover

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will introduce a new award to honor the highest-placing TAA graduate and the TAA-accredited organization affiliated with that horse at the Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America.

The award, which will be a $1,500 cash prize and other gifts, will be divided between the rider of the highest-placed TAA horse and the TAA-accredited organization that rehomed or is in the process of retraining that horse. The 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover takes place Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

“TAA-accredited organizations have been sending their graduates to and have been participating in the Thoroughbred Makeover with much success since its inception,” said TAA operations consultant Stacie Clark Rogers. “The TAA wants to showcase those graduates and to reward the accredited organizations that are successfully transitioning horses off the racetrack and into new careers.”

More than 500 horses are training toward this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover and will be competing in 10 equestrian disciplines. Trainers invest an average of $8,000 in their Thoroughbred Makeover horses in preparation for the competition, giving them a solid foundation through training and care that will serve them well throughout their post-racing careers.

“A key focus of the Retired Racehorse Project, and especially at the Thoroughbred Makeover, is to showcase horses who are making the transition from racehorse to riding or show horse, many of which are doing so through non-profit aftercare facilities,” said RRP executive director Jen Roytz. “Everything RRP does is aimed at increasing demand for Thoroughbreds after racing and expanding the secondary non-racing market for these equine athletes, which in turn allows aftercare facilities to increase the number of horses they’re able to rehome. It’s a symbiotic relationship in the best possible way.”

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The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that accredits, inspects, and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain, and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Funded initially by seed money from Breeders’ Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association Inc., the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals, and other industry groups. Since 2012, the TAA has granted more than $10.8 million to accredited aftercare organizations.

Retired Racehorse Project is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to facilitate placement of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in the marketplace and inspiring equestrians to provide the training that secures their futures. RRP offers online directories, educational resources, and publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine.