Healing Arenas to vie for title of "America's most wanted Thoroughbred"

Julie Baker, of Escalon, CA traveled to Lexington, KY, the heart of horse country, on October 4-7, 2018 to compete in the Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover. The event, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), is an international competition that focuses on retraining retired racehorses and the bond formed between rider and mount.

Designed to showcase how successful off the track thoroughbreds can be after racing, the 2018 event was one of the biggest events of the Makeover to date, hosting 794 trainers from 40 states and Canada. These trainers worked with retired racehorses that had less than 10 months of retraining for new careers.

Julie Baker competed with “Slycy” in both the Freestyle and the Ranch Horse division. Formerly trained and owned by Matthew Troy, “Sly” was retired by Troy and rehomed to Healing Arenas specifically for this competition.  Julie worked on re-training “Sly” for Mounted Police work and promoted her work with Police horses during her Freestyle class.

Slycy” is an 11 year old California bred gelding, who claims “war horse” status by running 52 times and earning over $230,000.  Racing all over California until age 10, he is a prime candidate for this competition, showing the versatility of the off the track thoroughbred, and the ability of these horses to succeed in new careers.  “Sly” is ready for this competition with his demeanor, and exhibits the stamina and bravery it took for such a racing career!  

The Retired Racehorse Project said “We’re thrilled to welcome such a sizable and diverse group of horses and trainers to the Kentucky Horse Park this year. The Thoroughbred Makeover is in its sixth year and each year the event has become exponentially larger and more competitive; 2018 will be no exception,” said Steuart Pittman, founder and president of Retired Racehorse Project. “The impact this is having on Thoroughbreds retiring from racing is remarkable; we estimate nearly 600 horses were acquired for the purpose of competing in the 2017 Makeover, with trainers making an average investment of $8,000 in each horse. Even those who do not make it to the competition will be well-positioned for successful post-racing careers in quality homes.”

The Retired Racehorse Project exists to facilitate placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in equestrian sports. The creation of the Thoroughbred Makeover, which offers $100,000 in prize money, is designed to showcase their equine athletes in second careers. For more information and statistics, visit www.TBMakeover.org.

 About Retired Racehorse Project:

Retired Racehorse Project (www.retiredracehorseproject.org) 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, and presents programs at major horse expos across the country.

Photo taken during the 2018 Thouroughbred Makeover competition

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Healing Arenas, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
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