Journey to the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover 2020: Courtney Poole’s July Update

The journey to the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover continues — now slated for 2021. Read on for our fifth update from Courtney Poole and RRP teammate Megan Thomas.

The Good News…and the Not-So-Good News

Since my last update in June with Nox (Fortlite), we have made loads of progress and momentum with him in such a short time. He is such a lovely quality horse and will make an excellent amateur-friendly mount for anyone.

Here is a video of my first canter with Nox:

Video by Team Brandywine.

We (Team Brandywine – Megan and I) took Nox on his third field trip to Brandywine Stables for a bootcamp weekend. This is a busy local hunter/jumper facility.  We took him up for a long weekend Friday to Sunday. He was such a rock star: easy to handle and a pleasure to have at the farm. We set some goals for the weekend.  Megan wanted to jump an outside line trotting in and cantering out quietly. I wanted to canter both ways quietly and picking up both leads with ease. We blew those goals out of the water, and Megan cantered down a solid 2′ line with flowers and boxes, and Nox never batted an eye! I am more of a dressage queen, and I was able to get a balanced and lovely canter both ways around the ring, as well as a nice, stretchy trot. I cannot say enough nice things about Nox, and he got loads of compliments over the weekend. No one could believe this horse was under 15 post-track rides and going so well.

Here is a video of Nox’s first time jumping a line!

Video by Team Brandywine.

Courtney on Nox during bootcamp weekend. Photo by Team Brandywine.

We took Nox home, beaming with pride and success. After that weekend, we were feeling much more confident about having him ready for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover in October. We had tentatively planned another field trip at another friend’s farm and had also signed up for an overnight/weekend horse show the following weekend.

Then, we received the not-so-good news. We found out that the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover had been postponed until October 2021. Nox was exactly at 15 post-track rides and currently battling an abscess. So, his owner decided to cancel all future plans while she made a decision. This meant the field trip and horse show plans were canceled. We met to regroup and make a decision of what to do. Unfortunately Nox will be most likely put up for sale. It’s not affordable to hold on to a project horse for an extra 15-18 months for the 2021 Makeover.

We have also made the decision to put up Tomorrow Tomato, our other Thoroughbred Makeover horse, up for sale for the same reason.  Both horses are lovely, quality horses that will make excellent mounts for their future owners. We will defer our Makeover entry fees to 2021 and find a new project horse later this fall or winter. In a perfect world, we would have kept both and shown as our 2020 and 2021 horses. However, that is a lot of time, a huge financial expense and not practical as a project horse investment.  I will be back blogging in a few months hopefully. Thank you to all my readers, and I will be back soon!

Tomato’s sales photo. Photo by Courtney Poole.

About Courtney

Courtney has been riding hunters and jumpers her entire life. Her first horse was an OTTB named Skye (Jockey Club name, Elsberry); she competed with Skye in the Child/Adult hunters but also did Pony Club, eventing, dressage, jumpers, and fox hunting. Courtney is an adult amateur that resides in Locust, North Carolina with her husband, two horses, and two dogs.