05/23/2013 1:59PM

RRTP selects trainers for Thoroughbred Makeover challenge

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The Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) has selected 26 participants for the RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover training challenge, which runs from now through October.

Each trainer will work with a Thoroughbred that has raced and condition the horse for a second career, and will also keep an online journal of the horse’s progress. The participants will appear at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., on the first weekend of October to demonstrate what the horse has learned. The demonstration is part of an event called the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium and will include seminars, demonstrations, entertainment, and vendors.

RRTP, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing demand for Thoroughbreds off the track, received 142 applications for the training challenge from 29 states and Canada. The applicants were professionals, amateurs, and juniors and specialized in 10 different equestrian disciplines.

“We were overwhelmed not only by the number of applicants, but also by the high quality, the diversity, and the passion of these trainers,” RRTP President Steuart Pittman said. “These are the people who work hard every single day educating these magnificent animals to ensure that their futures are secure.”

Among this year’s participants are Nuno Santos, a former assistant trainer to Robert Frankel; Billie Rae Croll, the granddaughter of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Croll; Mark Powers, who has worked as both a trainer and a farrier at Mountaineer Race Track for 35 years; and four riders who competed at this year’s prestigious Rolex Kentucky three-day event at the Kentucky Horse Park, including Erin Sylvester, who placed 13th.

For more information and for complete bios of all participants, click here.