The Thoroughbred Makeover Entrance Exam: Raising The Bar On OTTB Education

In 2019, competitors who wanted to compete in the Thoroughbred Makeover had to do more than just complete the already-rigorous application process: they had to provide a letter from their veterinarian confirming they had the knowledge and skills to competently care for an OTTB. This letter also proved that the competitor had an active veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

The Retired Racehorse Project, the nonprofit organization that hosts the Thoroughbred Makeover each year, then provided email blasts, webinars and social media content on horse health, often on OTTB-specific topics. The RRP also provided reminders to competitors about things like vaccinations and microchip registration.

The horse-health push culminated in every horse competing in the Thoroughbred Makeover competition receiving an on-site veterinary exam. The horse had to pass the exam to be permitted to compete. Though overwhelming at the outset (veterinarians had a day and a half to complete the exams on over 350 retired racehorses), the process went very smoothly.

First, competitors had to present their vaccination record, proof of Coggins and microchip information to the vet team without their horses. Then, they brought their horses for a 30-minute exam. The ability to sign up for time slots ensured that vets weren’t overwhelmed and horses weren’t forced to wait for hours; competitors were able to schedule  their exam time around their stall setup and schooling schedules.

The veterinarian in charge of overseeing all of the staff and volunteers was Dr. Shannon Reed, an associate professor of equine surgery in The Ohio State University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. She and her team checked every horse for:

  • a microchip registered with The Jockey Club and RRP
  • a body condition score of at least 4 on the 1-to-9 Henneke scale
  • normal vital signs
  • any abnormal blemishes or swellings
  • soundness

Read more at the Retired Racehorse Project.

The post The Thoroughbred Makeover Entrance Exam: Raising The Bar On OTTB Education appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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