Our week at the Thoroughbred Makeover was a whirlwind. There were laughs and tears, new friends and old, lots of pretty ponies, and a lot of people who love Thoroughbreds, all on the hallowed ground of the Kentucky Horse Park.
Supporting Thoroughbred aftercare, The Real Rider Cup brings riders together from all facets of the Thoroughbred industry to raise funds for aftercare. America’s Best Racing writer Melissa Bauer-Herzog is currently training for the 2020 edition of the event and is documenting her training up to next September’s show.
When I arrived at the Retired Racehorse Project’s (RRP) Thoroughbred Makeover Presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America on Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Kentucky Horse Park was already buzzing that evening.
Though the event didn’t officially start until Wednesday morning, more than 450 recently retired Thoroughbreds had made their way to Lexington, Ky. After passing a mandatory wellness exam upon arrival, show-week preparations began as their riders took them to check out the grounds and prepare for the week ahead.
When retired Grade 1-winning jockey Rosie Napravnik pulled into the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday with her three Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover Presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America horses, she had a feeling she’d be going to Saturday’s Finale.
She was right – she just picked the wrong horse when naming Bethel Wildcat as the horse most likely to get her there.
As racing fans flock to Keeneland later this week to attend the track’s fall meet, across town former racehorses will be showing off the versatility of Thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover on Oct. 2 - 5.