How to Buy at the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace

Horse shoppers! Instead of spending multiple weekends driving hours away from home to see one horse (or maybe two or three if you’re lucky) at a time, plan a trip to Kentucky for the Thoroughbred Makeover. Approximately 200 recently retired off-track Thoroughbreds that have been restarted in various disciplines will be available for sale, many with professional trainers. You can see, try, and buy, all on-site and all in one weekend!

The Makeover horse sale is not an auction — all sales are private contracts between the buyer and seller. RRP is not involved in the sale and does not receive any commission.

Finding and Identifying Horses

You can pick up a printed sale catalog at the information desk during the competition. Both the printed catalog and the online listings include stabling locations and Makeover ride times so that you can meet the horses that interest you. The horses for sale wear green bridle numbers from 1 to 205. Use the mobile phone numbers listed to reach sellers if you can’t find them at their stalls.

Trial Rides

Trial rides are allowed at seller discretion, generally only after a horse has finished Makeover competition. If you plan a trial ride you must first sign a release at the show office and then show the release verification wrist band. The Walnut Ring warm-up arena is set aside for trial rides throughout the Makeover.


Prices may or may not be negotiable, and in some cases may increase based on performance or other factors. Sellers are encouraged to screen buyers to facilitate appropriate matches. Don’t be offended if they ask you about your riding background and goals.

RRP encourages buyers to invest in pre-purchase exams before purchasing. Hagyard Equine Medical Institute (859-255-8741) has veterinarians on call to conduct exams during the Makeover. Keep in mind that it is the veterinarian’s job to evaluate the current condition of the horse and it is the buyer’s decision whether to purchase the horse.


Sellers will have their own transfer of ownership agreements. All sellers have agreed to include in those agreements the following language or something equivalent:

  1. Buyer agrees to make a reasonable effort to notify Seller when the horse is made available for sale in the future. 
  2. Buyer will not knowingly sell the horse to a “kill buyer” or allow the horse to be sold at public auction for less than $1,000.


At the 2019 competition, approximately 100 of the 350+ horses competing were for sale. Prices ranged from $3,000 to $34,000. To date, the average asking price of 2018 Makeover horses is $8,900.

“This is a great place to shop for young horses with upper-level potential,” said eventing professional Bill Hoos at the 2017 Makeover. “Usually you have to travel to California to look at one horse, Canada to see another. Here you see so many in one spot. This is a great horse shopping opportunity. It makes things much simpler and easier."

The 2020 Makeover takes place Oct. 7-10 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. Competing trainers who decide to participate will enter their mounts in the sale approximately six weeks before the event. Sale horses will be listed on our website and promoted on RRP’s social media. Some horses may sell even before the event takes place.

Helpful links:


Combat Diver, sold at the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace, purchased by Rob Caldwell, MFH of Cedar Knob Hounds. Photo courtesy of Michelle Gomez, Westlight Studios.

Dewey Square, sold at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace, now competing with Kate Chadderton

Tulley - sold at 2017 Makeover

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Building Bridges to Second Careers...Increasing Demand for Thoroughbreds
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Mailing Address:
2976 Solomon's Island Road, Edgewater, MD 21037

 Retired Racehorse Project is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.


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