SD trainers to be in Thoroughbred Makeover again | TSLN.com

SD trainers to be in Thoroughbred Makeover again

Dale Simanton and Dorothy Snowden

Jaded Lover worked cattle by himself last spring. Photo courtesy Gate to Great

For the last two years, we have spent the first week of October in Baltimore, Maryland as part of the Thoroughbred Makeover event created by the Retired Racehorse Project.

This year, that event not only moves dates from the first to the third week of October, but it moves to one of our favorite places in the country-Lexington, Kentucky.

And so, two weeks from today we will be onsite at the Kentucky Horse Park as Dale competes as one of only two trainers that have been a part of all three Thoroughbred Makeover events. It's been an up and down journey to get there this year but we are excited as always to be a part of it. This month's e-news is devoted to all things Makeover and we hope that you will considering joining us in-person in Kentucky or online on October 23-25!

During the past two Makeovers, we could only choose one horse and training started pretty late –in May both years for a Makeover held in early October, giving us a window of just 5 months to get the job done.

So when the Makeover opened entries on January 15 and allowed multiple entries, we were pretty excited to enter a group and get started on them right away –Thirsty Soul, Jaded Lover and Fist Pump made our early cut.

But we all know how things rarely go to plan with horses!

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First, we found that Thirsty Soul was a horse that needs time, consistency and patience to be successful. He is the hardest trying horse on the ranch, but he doesn't like big changes and doesn't take kindly to big leaps of learning. He is young and he likes routine. Instead of pushing him, we have always let him decide the pace of learning and it is resulting a happy, increasingly confident horse but not one that we wanted to push into the chaotic, public, busy event that is the Makeover.

Fist Pump, a horse we trained in partnership with CANTER Colorado, advanced quickly in his training–almost too quickly as it turns out. By summer, he was what we consider a "finished" horse and when a longtime client came by the ranch to try another horse, she fell in love with "Buzz" and so he found his new home sooner rather than later and was off the Makeover team!

In September, Dale started a new horse in training named Overthehump (aka Cactus). The story of his extraordinary first ride can be read on our blog (www.gatetogreat.com) and so Dale put his name in the hat for Makeover consideration. But just last week, horses being horses, he managed to injury himself literally walking across the yard! And so he went on the shelf.

That left us Jaded Lover–the little frat boy gelding who was a perfect gentleman with people and a hard-playing brute in the pasture. His training had been stop and go all summer as he kept finding silly ways to keep himself off the work tab. And so it was that Jaded Lover became the last "man" standing and is heading the Makeover with us in two short weeks! Read his story here:

Jaded Lover, the "last man standing" from our 2015 Makeover crew, has been a source of joy and frustration in the 10 months he has been a part of our ranch.

Jaded Lover arrived late last fall from one of longtime training contacts in Ohio. A 2008 son of one our favorite stallions, Not For Love, he immediately gained Dale's adoration for his dashing good looks and good sense.

Jaded Lover's evaluation ride in November revealed a horse that was incredibly trainable and had a natural desire to work cattle (you can read about that adventure on our blog) and so Dale immediately put him on the short list for Makeover contenders and put him away until January, when Makeover training opened.

He did not disappoint after that. When allowed to run loose with cattle, he showed us that Thoroughbreds can be every bit as "cowy" as any Quarter Horse (and the video of him chasing those cows ended up with over 250,000 views on Facebook-watch it here). He loved to work, loved to train and just plain loved his job.

But Jaded Lover has a "bad boy" side too–he is the hardest playing, wildest, craziest guy in the pasture. Acting more like a yearling than a 7-year-old most days, he loves to play and doesn't take no as an answer from anyone…which tends to get him in trouble. And trouble he found–from nearly killing himself by severing an artery in his fetlock to finding every way to ding himself known to man. We never push through injuries and so his training has been one on, three off all year long.

Recently, as JL has been in training for his longest stretch all year, we found a reason for his pasture antics–it appears that his late-in-life castration was not, shall we say, complete. A perfect explanation for his frat boy behavior in the pasture (and an easy fix too!).

At any rate, we feel blessed that despite JL's hiccups this year, he has always been an incredibly fast learner and every time he did get a break, he seemed to use that time to "soak in" the last thing Dale taught him. His schedule may not have been "perfect" but we think he is the perfect horse for the job!

And to make matters better, the day after he final performance in the Makeover, Jaded Lover will leave for his new home in nearby Louisville, Kentucky, where he will join fellow Gate to Great graduates Special Al and Gimme Rein as foxhunters with the Long Run Hounds.

Our Schedule at the Makeover

In addition to competing on Jaded Lover in the Makeover event itself, Dale is also a speaker during the Symposium portion of the event as is our marketing manager, Heather Benson. The TCA Thoroughbred Makeover is held this year at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY from October 23-25.

Below you can find our full schedule:

Friday, October 23

11:30am-1pm Competitive Trail competition (held on a 6 mile course throughout the Horse Park)

1pm-3pm Working Ranch competition (held in TCA Covered Arena)

3pm-4:40pm-Heather Benson speaking in the Selling or Placing Your Thoroughbred seminar in the Club Lounge

6pm-10pm-Off-Track Magazine Launch Party in Horse Park Visitor Center Lobby

Saturday, October 24

3pm-4:30pm-Dale Simanton speaking in the Trainers’ Forum in the Club Lounge

Sunday, October 25

8am-9:30am-Dale Simanton speaking in the Trainers’ Forum in the South Theater of the Visitor’s Center

10am-11:30am-Heather Benson speaking in the Selling or Placing Your Thoroughbred seminar in the South Theater of the Visitor’s Center

12pm-5pm-Thoroughbred Makeover Finale

Tickets and the complete schedule of the 2015 TCA Thoroughbred Makeover can be found by clicking here.

The Makeover will also be broadcast via livestream video on the RRP website. We will post the link on our Facebook page when it becomes available.

Hope to see y’all in Kentucky!

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