This 12 months, America’s Finest Racing and the Retired Racehorse Venture will likely be sharing diaries from a number of trainers getting ready for the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover competitors, scheduled for Oct. 11-14 on the Kentucky Horse Park. Meet grownup beginner rider Julianne Pangal and her RRP hopeful, Funnee, as they gear up for his or her maiden voyage to the Thoroughbred Makeover.
Simply this weekend, Funnee and I attended a neighborhood education occasion (her first actual horse trials expertise). Whereas we had been warming up for our dressage check, one other native rider complimented us and requested how lengthy I had owned her. It took me a couple of minutes to comprehend it’s been LESS THAN A YEAR since we began working collectively.
It’s wild how main as much as this 12 months’s Thoroughbred Makeover, time appears to have a thoughts of its personal. Whereas now we have crammed a lot into the final 10 months, there may be concurrently not sufficient time left to organize. We’re becoming in our final hunts, the final run throughs of our dressage check, and nonetheless studying new abilities that may — fingers crossed — assist us on the massive occasion. I’m making closing checklists of what we have to buy or pack, and Funnee is becoming in a number of further meals to bulk her up for the lengthy trailer journey.
It’s all coming all the way down to the wire.
And with the hustle and bustle and cramming that comes because the competitors looms, I’ve to take moments to remind myself that each one of that is only the start. I’ve a 3-year-old horse who’s already doing wonderful issues. She has already had a whole racing profession and “switched careers” – studying TWO fully new disciplines this 12 months alone. I couldn’t think about having a profession change at 33 and turning into a health care provider or a lawyer in 10 months – that may be insane.
And but, that’s precisely what we ask the wonderful and numerous Thoroughbred breed to do on a regular basis. And what greater than 400 Thoroughbred Makeover hopefuls have finished this 12 months alone. To all these entered, give yourselves (and your horses) a pat on the again.
Whereas I don’t suppose Funnee and I will likely be tremendous aggressive at this 12 months’s makeover, she has had a gradual, regular, and optimistic journey to get there. I do know we are able to lay down an honest dressage check. And I do know that she will likely be calm and relaxed within the subject hunters – though, I’m not planning to push her over any jumps that will overface her. We’re not in it to win it this 12 months however to have a very good time.
At any time when I tackle a younger or inexperienced horse, I think about all the chances of what that animal would possibly turn out to be. Sooner or later we could be flying round a training-level cross-country course, or present leaping at Vermont, Lake Placid, or the Hampton Basic – who is aware of?! Or perhaps, the horse is a resale venture and after a number of years of coaching and having fun with our partnership, the horse will go on to make one other rider completely happy. Or, perhaps that horse will simply stick with me eternally as a path buddy and weekend warrior.
For Funnee and me, our story is simply firstly. After the Thoroughbred Makeover, she is going to get a number of weeks of a lot deserved day without work. Then, I plan to take her to some very low-key hunter/jumper reveals over the winter. Hopefully, come spring, we are able to begin our eventing profession and plan to compete in a number of intro-level occasions over the summer season. Regardless that this will likely really feel just like the homestretch, it’s actually only the start. The longer term is vibrant for us.
Good luck to the entire fellow Thoroughbred Makeover rivals! I’m trying ahead to our week on the Kentucky Horse Park, making recollections and new connections. I’ve a sense that after this primary RRP journey I will likely be tempted again for 2024. I would even have already got a hopeful horse …
The Jockey Membership helps many aftercare initiatives together with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the one accrediting physique in aftercare, and Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.), which inspires the retraining of Thoroughbreds into different disciplines upon completion of careers. View the entire initiatives supported by The Jockey Membership.