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For Immediate Release

May 11, 2018

Contact: Erin Harty
(410) 798-5140

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) has announced that 15 teams have been accepted to take part in the new Team Competition, presented by Starting Gate College Consulting, at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover, to be held Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

The team competition is a pilot program, allowing members of Pony Clubs, show stables, and collegiate and high school teams to collaborate in transitioning a horse off the track, under their coach or trainer’s guidance.

Teams must have a minimum of four members, with one designated as team captain, and each team can enter one horse. All participants must be RRP members, and all can take part in retraining the horse. Two of the team riders will be submitted by the team captain to compete the horse at the Makeover.

“We wanted to make training and competing at the Thoroughbred Makeover more accessible to more people. With this new team competition, team members can share the cost and time commitment of preparing a horse for the Makeover, and collaborate on his or her training,” said RRP Executive Director Jen Roytz. “So many off-track Thoroughbreds find their niche as lesson horses. Being trained and shown by multiple riders for the Team Competition will not only be an additional showcase of the versatility and adaptability of off-track Thoroughbreds, but will give them added value in their second careers.”

The team horses will be scored and placed separately from those in the main competition and are not eligible to compete in the Makeover Finale. This year’s team competition will offer Show Hunter and Show Jumper divisions only and is tentatively scheduled to be held Sunday, Oct. 7.

The accepted teams include two representing collegiate equestrian programs (Georgetown College and State University of New York—Morrisville State College), while the rest are comprised of members from private show and training barns. Four teams are based in Kentucky; the others come from Washington, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Indiana, North Carolina, and Delaware. You can find the list of accepted teams here.

A limited number of team spots are still available; visit the Thoroughbred Makeover website for additional information, rules, and the application.

The team competition is sponsored by Starting Gate College Consulting, which is owned and operated by Carolyn Karlson, vice chair of the RRP board of directors. Karlson owns racehorses through Bourbon Lane Stables and is a trustee of the University of Maryland. Her company, based in Saratoga Springs, NY, helps students and their families through all aspects of the college transition process.

“I’m thrilled to do this because I’ve worked in higher education for 25 years, but have also loved all things Thoroughbred for as long as I can remember,” said Karlson. “Sponsoring the team competition at the Thoroughbred Makeover combines both passions in one special day.”


Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds and build the bridges to second careers. It publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, maintains the Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, manages the online Bloodline Brag, and presents programs at major horse expos across the country. Visit RRP online

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Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue was founded in 2008 when we took in our first donkey. Since then they have taken in over 450 horses, ponies, mules, and donkeys.

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