August 2018 - New Cal-Bred Thoroughbred Award


Retired Racehorse project debuts new award at Thoroughbred Makeover this October.

The Retired Racehorse Project debuts a special award for the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover that honors horses bred on the West Coast. Sponsored by the Georgia B. Ridder Foundation, in honor of After the Finish Line, the $2,500 award will be presented to the top-scoring California-bred at the competition, taking place Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

“The Georgia B. Ridder Foundation looks forward to its inaugural year supporting the Retired Racehorse Project,” said Michael R. Whalen, president of the foundation. “Georgia B. Ridder and her Ridder Thoroughbred Stable have a long and proud history of breeding magnificent Thoroughbred horses at her ranches in Southern California. Respecting that legacy, we are proud to honor the horses bred in California participating in this year’s training competition.”

The Thoroughbred Makeover is a training competition for ex-racehorses, and will feature 400-500 horses, each with 10 months or less of retraining. The event includes three days of competition in 10 different disciplines, with trainers vying for a share of $100,000 in prize money. One overall winner is chosen by spectators via text vote and is crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred, taking home a $10,000 prize check.

Eleven California-breds competed in the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover. They included two horses by the successful California sire Marino Marini: Silver Cinders, a 2009 gelding that placed sixth in the working ranch division with Tresa Goodrich-Downey, and Charlie Monkey, a 2013 gelding owned by CANTER California and shown to sixth place in freestyle by junior rider Madison Sigmon.

Other notable 2017 California entries included: Some Caan Job, a 2013 gelding by Square Eddie that placed fourth in dressage with Jenny Spain; Quick Louder, a 2013 gelding by Woody Be Quick, ridden to 18th place in show jumping by Amanda Gomez; and Boom, a 2009 gelding by Orientate that placed 16th in show hunters with Colleen Marshall.

Cal-Bred contender Charlie Monkey with Madison Sigmon. Photo: GRC Photo

California now joins Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York in honoring horses bred in those states, which collectively made up about one-third of entries in 2017, with special awards. (For a list of all the special awards announced so far, visit California ranked seventh among the states for the most entrants in 2017.

Twenty-three trainers from California are currently entered in the 2018 Makeover. Many entrants have not yet purchased the horse they intend to compete, and the cash award will offer an extra incentive to shop for an eligible mount bred in California.

Any Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work on or after July 1, 2016, is eligible to compete in the Makeover, as long as the horse did not start retraining for a second career prior to Dec. 1, 2017.

The award’s sponsoring foundation is the legacy of Georgia B. Ridder, whose husband Bernard Ridder was publisher of the Pasadena Independent & Star News. The couple owned notable racehorses Flying Paster (winner of the 1979 Santa Anita Derby and Hollywood Derby, California Horse of the Year) and Eclipse Award-winning mare Cascapedia. After Bernard Ridder’s death in 1983, Georgia continued operating the racing stable, and campaigned Alphabet Soup (winner of the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic) and Cat’s Cradle (1995 California Horse of the Year). She died in 2002.

The Georgia B. Ridder Foundation supports After the Finish Line, a non-profit based in Toluca Lake, CA, that provides funding to Thoroughbred rescue and retirement organizations.

Press release provided by the Retired Racehorse Project. For more information, visit