Is the Thoroughbred Makeover
For Me?


The Thoroughbred Makeover is a one-of-a-kind experience:

  • A big show atmosphere at a premier venue in the heart of the Thoroughbred industry
  • The largest and most lucrative Thoroughbred retraining competition in the world 
  • The marquee event in support of the RRP’s charitable mission of increasing demand for Thoroughbreds after racing
  • A unique first-year-off-the-track goal for you and your OTTB
  • A welcoming and supportive community
  • A week of networking, education and fun with those new-found friends
  • And the country’s premier shopping opportunity for Thoroughbred sport horse prospects
It is for these reasons and more that over 3,000 trainers have entered this competition since 2015 and whole lot of them keep coming back.
But it’s also a big commitment of all kinds of resources: money, time, and emotion. The fees you pay to the RRP to participate are reasonable for an event and venue of this nature and are probably the smallest part of the investment you’ll make over the course of the year. You’re acquiring a horse and paying to board, train, and care for that horse through its transition to post-track life. You’ll experience highs and lows, training breakthroughs and possible soundness hiccups -- and that’s just the road to Kentucky in October. The week of the event is a week away from work and family with the expenses of travel. The tests asked of your horse at the Makeover are not for beginner or casual riders and require talent, tact, commitment, and patience from you. You need to be your horse’s (and your own) biggest advocate. Because of the realities of training horses, you could put in all this work and your horse might tell you they’re not ready come October, or you might have something happen in your personal life and not make it to the Makeover at all.
Our advice? Familiarize yourself with the event policies and competition formats. Don’t buy a horse JUST for the purposes of competing -- find a prospect that you want to hang on to, or that fits into your business model. Consider if you have all the resources so do right by your horse, Makeover or not. If this all still seems realistic to you, do it! Because there’s nothing more gratifying than the horse you will have produced by the end of it.

Ready to apply?

The purpose of the application process is for the RRP to make the best possible determination that you are capable of safely and competently restarting a Thoroughbred in your primary discipline of experience. The application asks for basic information about you, your experience riding and training horses, your competition history (if applicable), video of your riding, a letter of recommendation from your vet, and contact information for peers who will give you a positive recommendation. This information helps our application committee form an accurate assessment of your abilities. Below are some resources to help you put together a complete and comprehensive application.

For 2023, the application can be viewed and worked on as a draft starting on December 15th, 2022 through January 2nd, 2023. You'll be able to work on your application and gather your materials, and save your work during this time. From January 2nd through the 20th, you'll be able to submit your application (with vet recommendation, video, references, and competitor agreement).

Please note that registration and entry fees have changed; this is the first adjustment to fees since 2019. Learn more about the updated fee schedule here.

Registration fees due at time of application:

  • $200 one-time annual trainer application fee, regardless of trainer status (individual, team captain, or team member)
  • $150 horse registration fee per horse, billed to individuals and team captains

Understanding Makeover Fees

The RRP has instituted fee changes that will go into effect starting in the 2023 competition year. This is the first time the RRP has raised Thoroughbred Makeover fees since 2019. The updated fee schedule is intended to better reflect the paperwork and processes that go into the Makeover throughout the year separate from the live event, and to address the rising costs of running the event.

Registration fees, which support the year-round administration associated with the event as it relates to the charitable mission of the RRP, will be billed at the time of trainer application submission. Registration fees will be collected between January 2nd and 20th for those submitting their applications during the standard submission period and will include two charges:

  • $200 one-time annual trainer application fee, regardless of trainer status (individual, team captain, or team member)*
  • $150 horse registration fee per horse, billed to individuals and team captains

New for 2023, all accepted trainers will receive a free print subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine.

*Late trainer applications (received after January 20th, 2023) will require a $300 trainer application fee, plus the $150 per horse the trainer intends to enter.

Entry fees are those associated with the live competition in October and billed at the time of final entry August 1st through 15th, will include the following changes:

  • First discipline, including schooling and drug testing fees: $150 per horse
  • Second discipline: $100 per horse
  • Stalls (horses or tack, flat rate for the week): $225 per stall
  • Ship-ins (no stall): $60 per horse
  • Non-compete horse fee: $50 per horse
  • ASPCA Makeover Marketplace listing per horse
    • Standard: $60
    • Featured: $95
    • Premium: $110

All participating horses that complete a final entry will require a first discipline fee and stall (or ship-in) fee at minimum. The rest of the fees are optional. These fees and paperwork deadlines, along with all other event policies and discipline formats, apply to the new former broodmare division the same as they do the original retiring racehorse division. Details on fees, refund policies, deadlines, discipline formats, and event policies are fully outlined in the rulebook. Please keep in mind that this only breaks down the fees that will be collected by the RRP in order to participate in the Thoroughbred Makeover. The costs associated with purchasing, caring for, and retraining a horse leading up to the event will vary greatly.


Have questions or need help?

Contact us via or 410-798-5140. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM and our staff are always happy to help!