TERF Makeover Master Class

2019 Makeover Master Class

TiKMasterclassEducation takes center stage at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America: the annual Makeover Master Class, sponsored in 2019 by Thoroughbred Education & Research Foundation (TERF) features three experienced horse trainers demonstrating their methods of restarting prospects off the track. The Makeover Master Class is free to attend.

A new wave of equestrian enthusiasts is trying Thoroughbreds for the first time or returning to the breed after decades away -- but getting started with a new off-track project can be overwhelming. The Makeover Master Class was conceived to give spectators a comprehensive look at what to consider when evaluating prospects and how to approach those early rides off the track.

The Format

Three horses, representing three respected and reputable aftercare organizations, will be introduced, and three trainers will discuss their conformation and personal preferences, plus analyze their movement at liberty and while free-jumping.

Trainers will then be randomly paired with a horse, and break out to work independently in whatever mode they feel is best for the animal for up to one hour. Trainers may utilize a roundpen, pony horse, ground person or any other method they would typically utilize when getting on a green horse for the first time.

Commentators will rotate between trainers to provide added insight, and each trainer will give a summary presentation about their overall impressions and what they would expect in the restarting process. Ample time will be given for questions and answers from the audience.

The Trainers

The RRP invites three trainers who are well-established horsemen with Thoroughbred experience. Each has his or her own unique and compassionate way to selecting and restarting prospects.

Here are the featured trainers from 2019:

  • EBCEmily Brollier Curtis is a Grand Prix dressage rider who has carefully developed over 10 horses to the FEI levels. Emily is known for her ability to work with both young and difficult horses and especially has a talent for restarting Thoroughbreds off track and placing them into new careers. Emily has completed the Thoroughbred Makeover multiple times with exceptional results, taking third place in the Dressage division in 2016. She also served as a commentator for last year’s Master Class.
  • doug2Douglas Nunn is a third-generation horseman who became a jockey at age 19 and still enjoys riding in amateur races still to this day. He has been a Thoroughbred trainer for nearly 30 years with multiple stake winners. Douglas’ passion is the challenge of training difficult and problematic horses on and off the track. He still rides, exercises and does the ground work himself; he also transitions Thoroughbred horses into second careers. He is a resource for New Jersey horsemen who want to restart OTTBs. Douglas also has three retired OTTBs he keeps on a farm, and uses two of them as pony horses at the track. Douglas serves as a board member for New Beginnings Thoroughbreds.
  • Elisa5Elisa Wallace is a 5* event rider, YouTuber, and advocate for off-track Thoroughbreds. Elisa was listed as an alternate for the 2016 US Olympic Eventing team on her off-track Thoroughbred Simply Priceless, and is also known for her work with mustangs with success in the Mustang Makeover. Elisa is a veteran of the Thoroughbred Makeover, with many top placings — including winning Thoroughbred Makeover Champion in 2018 with Reloaded.

Meet the Horses

The Makeover Master Class utilizes adoptable horses from reputable aftercare organizations. The participating aftercare organizations for the 2019 TERF Makeover Master Class were Florida Thoroughbred Rehoming and Adoptive Care (FLTRAC), Maker's Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), and Second Stride.

Learn more about the horses from the 2019 Master Class:

IMG 7808Porta Ponti (FLTRAC) 

Gio Ponti - Sybil's Way, by Will's Way 

2015 chestnut gelding 

Bred in Florida by Christine M. Hosier

Unraced, last worked 8/5/18


Normandy 090619 DSC 0923 cc WebNormandy Crossing (MMSC) 

English Channel - Donamour, by Langfuhr 

2011 chestnut gelding 

Bred in Kentucky by Gwynedd Stable & Woodard Stable

42 career starts with 11 wins 

$217,949 in earnings


Far Right (Second Stride) 

Notional - Zindi, by Vindication 

2012 chestnut gelding 

Bred in Kentucky by Nossab LLC & Patrick J Crowley

25 career starts with four wins 

$767,623 in earnings 

Winner of the 2015 Southwest Stakes (G3) 

Second in the 2015 Arkansas Derby (G1) 

Third in the 2015 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3) 

Ran in the 2015 Kentucky Derby (G1)

The Commentators

Commentators provide insight and observations on the trainers' methods in the Master Class. The 2019 commentators included:Marc Ricker

Lifelong horseman Sergio de Sousa was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and came to the United States in 1987. His past experience includes working at Margaux Stud for 18 months, then working on various stud farms in France, Ireland, England, Italy and New Zealand. He's now the Manager/Partner at Hidden Brook Farm in Paris, Kentucky, as wel as owned of De Sousa Stables, also in Paris. He's been a longtime fan of the off-track Thoroughbred and competes on his own in show jumping.

Walmac Farm sport horse trainer Laura Hansen oversees the transition of the farm’s racing stock to the show ring. Originally from Ontario, Canada, Laura grew up riding and competing on the local and regional hunter/jumper circuits. She began galloping at Woodbine 889D9A7B C0F7 49B9 87F2 3A0DAA0CD2F8Racetrack at age 17 and has worked for such notable trainers as Bob Baffert, Al Stall, and the late Bobby Frankel, and was an assistant trainer for Steve Asmussen. In 2007 she, along with her husband, Scott Hansen, accepted a position managing owner Gary Broad’s Oakmont Ranch, a southern California farm and training center. Within two years she had developed the fam’s in-house retraining program for their retired racehorses. The farm currently has 30 horses being retrained and/or competing successfully in show rings throughout the U.S. This year Broad purchased historic Walmac Farm and the Hansens have helped transition his operation to Kentucky.

71373129 2569547709773501 2853944165476073472 nHailing from Provence, France, The Frame Sport Horse's Martin Douzant has built his career on developing young horses for life as sport horses. Now based in the heart of Virginia horse country, Martin keeps an active competition and teaching schedule centered around bringing up young prospects in jumpers, dressage and eventing. He often leads free jumping clinics, and can be found handling young horses at some of the biggest breed shows in the country. He is a big advocate for free jumping young horses as he believes it helps young horses hone their natural jumping abilities, instincts, scope, power, adjustability, and reaction, all without the interference of a rider.

The Selection

Representatives from each aftercare organization introduce each horse, give a brief history and describe what they’ve learned about the horse since it entered their program (temperament, any injury history or known issues relating to care and training). Trainers then discuss the horses’ conformation and their personal preferences based on their background. They evaluate each horse’s movement at liberty and through a free-jump chute. Additional guidance and commentary for the 2019 jump chute segment was provided by Martin Douzant.

Trainers are assigned the horse they will work with by random draw.

The Acclimation

The newly-established pairs then break out to work independently over the course one hour, working in whatever mode they feel is best for the horse. Trainers are welcome to use the aid of a ground person, pony, round pen, or any other method they would typically utilize getting on a green horse for the first time. Commentators will rotate between trainers to interview them about their strategy with their horses.

The hour concludes with a brief summary presentation (10-15 minutes) from each trainer to discuss their overall impressions of the horse and what they would expect throughout the restarting process.


The trainers and representatives of the aftercare organizations finish off the day with a question-and-answer session.

The 2019 Makeover Masterclass was sponsored by:

Terf updated

2019 Press



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