Four California Riders To Vie for Title of “America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred”

Four California riders will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, on October 5-8 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 just how much life these horses have left once they leave the track, the 2017 event will be the biggest event to date, hosting 578 trainers from 46 states and three countries. These trainers will be working with retired racehorses that have less than 10 months of retraining for new careers.

Madison Sigmon 17, of West Hills, will compete Charlie Monkey, a horse owned by CANTER California, in the Show Hunter and Freestyle divisions. (Freestyle is a category of competition that allows trainers to present horses in disciplines other than the nine offered, or to perform in any manner that demonstrates the trainability and talent of the horse.)

Savannah Ranes 16, of Murrieta, will compete Afternoon Ghost in the Dressage division. Ranes competed in the 2015 U.S. Pony Club championships in dressage and was the 2014 Temecula Valley CDS chapter Dressage Training Division Series Champion.

Jessica Pierce (, 23, of Ramona, will compete Learoyal in the Show Hunter and Dressage divisions. Pierce was the 2016 3’6″ open jumpers GSDHJA year-end champion and Galway Downs series 3’6″ open jumpers champion. She has also earned her U.S. Dressage Federation silver medal.

Amanda Gomez 14, of Norco, will show Quick Louder in the Show Jumping division. Amanda shows in the high children’s jumpers on her own personal horses, and frequently catch-rides for others. She is the daughter of the late jockey Garrett Gomez, and has already retrained six retiring Thoroughbreds for new careers.

“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 fifth year and each year the event has become exponentially larger and more competitive; 2017 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

About Retired Racehorse Project:
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 at