Trainers Needed for Thoroughbred Makeover

DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. (May 3, 2013) -- Retired Racehorse Training Project, an organization dedicated to increasing demand for Thoroughbreds off the track, is celebrating Derby weekend by accepting applications from trainers for its Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium.

The Makeover will feature twenty-six trainers who select and train twenty-six Thoroughbred ex-racehorses throughout the summer in preparation for a public appearance at the RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium on October 5 and 6 at Pimlico Racecourse. Application forms are to be filled out online at this link, and must be completed no later than Friday May 17 at 5pm Eastern Time on the eve of the Preakness.

Applications
Applicant trainers may enter as professionals, amateur adults, or juniors. They will identify the equestrian disciplines in which they have achieved recognition, list experience working with racehorses and ex-racehorses, list references, describe the facilities where training will take place, share videos of themselves riding on horses they have trained, and identify any organizations, farms, or institutions that will be a part of their team. The RRTP Board of Directors will consider the need for diversity of discipline, diversity of trainer background, experience and reputation of applicants, connections of applicants to respected organizations and institutions, and skill level of applicants. The Board will conduct its own research to supplement the information provided in the applications and will not share or publicize its deliberations.

Horse Selection
Within two weeks of applications being received, RRTP will announce the list of 26 approved trainers. Each will be given a web page and be asked to undertake a search for a Thoroughbred that has raced but had no training for a second career. If evidence emerges that a horse had second career training before the start of the Makeover the RRTP Board of Directors may choose to disqualify the horse and trainer.

Trainers can acquire the horse by any legal means from any source, and can either take ownership of the horse or contract with an owner to keep the horse in training for the duration of the makeover at whatever training rates and terms the parties approve. RRTP will not be a party to contracts between owners and trainers.

The horse must have a tattoo and be positively identified with pedigree and a race record. RRTP will encourage trainers to utilize its online Sources For Horses, which includes nonprofit placement organizations, racetracks, and farms. Trainers will be asked to chronicle their horse search on their Thoroughbred Makeover web page with narrative, photographs, and video links.

Trainers may begin work with their new horse as soon as they acquire it. If during the Makeover a horse becomes unsound and cannot continue its training, the trainer may replace it with another horse as long as the original horse is being cared for appropriately.

Promotion
Trainers are encouraged to involve a team of supporters who can contribute financially to their costs or otherwise assist in their work. Sponsors can be recognized on the trainer's Makeover web page. Trainers are also encouraged to share their experiences on their Makeover web page with narrative, photographs and video links.

RRTP will monitor the trainer's web pages and highlight in press releases and regular reports notable developments throughout the summer. At various times throughout the process RRTP will poll online fans about their opinions to encourage broad public involvement and to generate excitement for the National Symposium. RRTP's goal is to educate and inspire as many people as possible.

Horse Sales
Trainers will inform RRTP in advance of the Symposium whether their horse will be offered for sale and at what price. Buyers will be encouraged to attend and to inspect the horses that interest them. Space will be made available on the second day of the symposium for horses to be ridden by potential buyers in cases where sellers choose to allow it. RRTP will not be a party to any transactions that take place before, during, or after the symposium, but does encourage owners who sell horses as a result of the Makeover and Symposium to consider a donation from their proceeds to support RRTP's work on behalf of Thoroughbreds off the track.

The Symposium
The Thoroughbred Makeover is not a Trainer Challenge. There will be no single winner and there will be no losers. Each trainer will, however, do a demonstration on the Saturday of the Symposium that will be viewed by a large audience and a panel of judges. Judges will comment on the rides and trainers will be given an opportunity to speak about the progress of their horse. There may be prizes for excellence in categories to be announced later based on online opinion polls and/or the opinions of our judges.

Each trainer who appears with a horse at the Symposium will be presented with a check for $1,000 to recognize the work that they have done. These funds were gifted by a member of the RRTP Board of Directors as her response to the national call for 26 Acts of Kindness in response to the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.

The National Symposium will also feature demonstrations, educational seminars, and discussions on topics relevant to the farms, individuals, and organizations across the country that provide the bridge for racehorses to move into second careers.

How To Be Involved
To apply to participate as one of the 26 trainers, click here for the online application form.

Thoroughbred aftercare organizations can either select a trainer to represent them or can provide a horse to one of the trainers after they have been selected. RRTP will encourage those trainers to promote the organization. RRTP will also involve aftercare organizations in presentations at the Symposium and hopes to raise enough funds to offer scholarships for representatives of these organizations to travel to the Symposium.

Racing stables, farms, and owners can also select a trainer to represent them and/or provide a horse to one of the 26 trainers once they are selected. RRTP will provide the names and backgrounds of the selected trainers so that horse owners can contact them directly.

Pony Clubs, associations, and any businesses can be a part of a trainer's team as a sponsor, horse owner, or service provider. RRTP will encourage the trainers to acknowledge their own sponsors on the Makeover Web Pages.