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When prepping a young horse for a new career off the track and to appear at the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, you expect to have a whole team cheering for you: trainers, owners, students, vets, farriers, friends, and family. But, if you’re really lucky, your family isn’t just cheering you on. They’re riding with you.

We are featuring three sets of sisters who have been going through the entire process of retraining their respective mounts together.  They’ve been there for each other for every step of the process, from looking for the perfect project to pulling onto the Kentucky Horse Park grounds.  They see and experience every high and low together!  (And they’re always going to be honest with you on how your ride goes.)

Megan and Lauren Mendenhall

Megan and Lauren are our first set of sisters on this journey.  Megan, based out of Oxford, Pennsylvania, has managed our Hockessin location of Maryland Saddlery since 2019.  She has a heavy background in dressage and hunters, and she is the head trainer at SFM Equestrian. 

Megan’s sister, Lauren, is based out of Fair Hill, Maryland where she exercises racehorses. Both sisters grew up riding together in hunters and dressage as well.  This pair really balances  each other out with Lauren having a lot of experience with OTTBs and Megan having experience in training in both the dressage and hunter world.

Meet Matty & Reggie!

First up is Matsuda, Megan’s RRP mount.  Matsuda, known in the barn as Matty, is a 2017 Viriginia-bred Thoroughbred gelding by Midas Touch (GB) out of Tangerine Mimosa (Hansel).  Matty was bred by Helen Masek and trained throughout his racing career by Susan Cooney.  His last race in October 2020 brought him up to 5 total starts, and though he didn’t take any wins, Matty earned just over $8,000 during his racing career. Megan and Matty are part of the 2021 TB Makeover and will be heading into the dressage ring at the Thoroughbred Makeover. Megan has carefully built Matty’s confidence throughout his training.  If you’re in the horse park on Wednesday, 10/13, you can watch Megan and Matsuda just after 3:30pm in the Rolex arena! 

Lauren’s Makeover mount is Regally Irish, or Reggie.  Reggie is a 2016 New Jersey bred gelding by Regal Ransom out of Irish Score (Even the Score).  He was bred by Isabelle de Tomaso and was trained through his racing career by Graham Motion. Lauren was lucky enough to be one of his exercise riders during Reggie’s racing career. Lauren has kept a close eye on this beautiful chestnut!  Reggie’s last race was in October of 2020; he had 18 starts and 3 wins, contributing to a career earnings total of over $150,000.  Reggie and

Lauren are making their makeover debut in the Show Hunters competition, and you can watch them at 11:45am on Thursday, October 14th in the Stonelea Ring.

Lindy Gutman and Debra Cogan

Sisters, Lindy and Debra, are local to Baltimore County, Maryland.  They have been long-time customers of Maryland Saddlery, and we are so grateful that they are willing to help us launch everythinghorses.com at the TB Makeover in Kentucky! Let’s meet their horses.

Meet Talk Show Man and Hezawinnerwithme

Talk Show Man, known to his barn family as Riley, is a 2010 Maryland bred gelding by Great Notion out of Mark Me Special (Haymaker).  Lindy and Riley are a perfect match. Riley was bred and is still owned by Michael Harrison DVM. Riley was trained during his racing career by Hamilton Smith; he had 40 starts before he retired in June of 2019.  While racing actively, Talk Show Man won 8 races, earning an impressive $456,000.  Lindy watched Riley race during his career before deciding that it would be a great opportunity to work with him to compete at the TB Makeover.Lindy is passionate about pairing the right OTTB with its forever rider. She is an advocate for amateurs retraining Thoroughbreds off the track and wants to help get other amateur riders interested in the breed, particularly in OTTBs.  Lindy and Talk Show Man are competing in the Show Hunter and Field Hunters in the 2020 Makeover.  Their competition times are:

  • Show Hunters: Thursday, 10/14 at 4:00pm in the Stonelea Ring
  • Field Hunters (all rides will take place at the Sunken Road Field):
    • Under Saddle: Wednesday, 10/13 at 8:00 am
    • Individual: Wednesday, 10/13 at 9:36 am
    • Mock Hunt: Thursday, 10/14 ast 8:00 am

Lindy’s sister, Debra, is riding her horse named Hezawinnerwithme (Wins).  Debra fell in love with this adorable 4 year old on sight! His will nature and sweet disposition makes him the perfect partner for retraining. She is really excited about going to Kentucky with her sister on her team! Wins is a 2017 gelding who was also Maryland bred by Michael Harrison DVM; his sire is Cal Nation, and he is out of Level With Me (Rock Slide).  Wins had 4 starts and despite not having any wins, he made $3,800 in earnings with his last race being in August of 2020.  Debra and Wins are competing as a part of the Change of Pace team and will be competing in the Competitive Trail on Wednesday 10/13 (2:08pm at the Head of the Lake) and the Freestyle on Thursday 10/14 (11:18 am in the Covered Arena).  

Jazz and Rosie Napravnik

If you’re familiar with racing, the name Napravnik is one you’ve definitely heard before!  They are all long time customers of Maryland Saddlery.  We are so excited to have Jazz and Rosie helping us to launch everythinghorses.com at the RRP’s TB Makeover next week!

The Napravnik sisters grew up in New Jersey, following their mom Cindy around the barn. The girls have been riding from a very young age through pony club and pony racing.  As they got older, the sisters both began working with flat and steeplechase race horses.  Jazz is based out of Monkton, Maryland, where she retrains and sells OTTBs regularly.  She focuses on dressage, fox hunting, eventing, and jumpers.  Jazz will be riding three horses at the Makeover next week!

Rosie is based out of Simpsonville, Kentucky where she runs her training business, Off-Track Sporthorses.  Rosie had an extremely successful career as a jockey. From winning her very first race to winning the Breeder’s Cup in 2014, Rosie is one of the most successful female jockeys with over 1500 wins.  After retiring from racing in 2014, Rosie’s passion for Thoroughbreds did not diminish.  She began her business, where she retrains OTTBs for new careers and new homes. Her focus is on eventing, but she trains each horse for the discipline that best suits it.  Rosie is no newbie to the RRP’s Makeover.  She has competed in the Makeover several times.  Like her sister, Rosie is riding several horses at this year’s makeover.

Meet the Napravnik Herd

Crazy Bernice is Jazz’s first horse; she is a 2013 Maryland bred mare by Outflanker out of Smart Gossip (Smart Strike).  This mare was bred by Pam Michael and was trained by Jazz during her racing career.  Crazy Bernice had 25 starts and 2 wins, earning $39,000 prior to retiring in April 2019.  She is a 2020 Makeover horse, competing in Dressage on Tuesday, 10/12 (10:16 and 10:33 am in the Rolex Stadium).

Legend’s Hope, Jazz’s next horse, is a 2013 Maryland bred gelding by Not For Love out of Lunar’s Legend (PolishNumbers).  He was bred by Two Legends Farm and David Wade and was trained during his racing career by Edward Maher.  Before retiring in November of 2019, this gelding had 45 starts and 4 wins, earning over $155,000.  Legend’s Hope is now owned by Barbara Horneffer and is competing as a 2020 entry in both eventing and show jumping.  See their Makeover times here:

  • Show Jumping: Tuesday, 10/12 - 8:29am in the Claiborne Ring
  • Eventing (all phases taking place on Thursday, 10/14)
    • Dressage: 9:18 am in the Rolex Stadium
    • Show Jumping: 10:46 am in the Murphy Ring
    • XC: 11:18 am in the Steeplechase Infield

Page McKenney, is Jazz’s third horse for the Makeover.  He is a 2010 Pennsylvania bred gelding by Eavesdropper out of Winning Grace (Yarrow Brae).  Page McKenney was bred by Dr. James Bryant and Linda Davis, and he was trained by Mary Eppler during his racing career.  The gelding had 58 starts and 22 wins, earning almost $2,000,000 before retiring in July 2018.  Jazz has this horse entered as a Field Hunter in the 2020 Makeover for his owners. Adam Staple and Jalin Stable.

  • Field Hunter (All ride will be held at the Sunken Road Field)
    • Under Saddle: Wednesday 10/13 - 8:00am 
    • Individual: Wednesday 10/13 - 9:18am 
    • Mock Hunt: Thursday 10/14 - 8:00am

(Not listed with Rosie’s name, but links to her page)Nobutzaboutit, a 2015 Kentucky bred gelding, will be competing as a team horse for Team Nobutzaboutit.  This horse was bred by Barry and Joni Butzow and is by Proud Citizen out of Yankee Doodle Girl (Yankee Gentleman).  During his racing career, Nobutzaboutit was trained by Joe Sharp.  He had 10 starts, 2 wins, and earned just over $22,000 before retiring in August of 2019.  The Butzow family still owns this gelding who will be competing as a 2020 entry in Competitive Trail (Wednesday 10/13 at 3:12pm at the Head of the Lake) and Dressage (Tuesday 10/12 at 4:05 and 4:22pm in the Rolex Stadium).

New Mexico, Rosie’s next horse, is a 2016 Kentucky bred gelding by Malibu Moon out of Royal Irish Lass (Saint Ballado) who was bred by Brandywine Farm and Spendthrift Farm.  During his career, New Mexico was trained by Steven Asmussen and had 15 starts and 3 wins.  By the time he ran his last race in July of 2021, he had earned almost $84,000. New Mexico is now owned by Clark Brewster and will be showing in the Show Hunters (Thursday 10/14 at 4:00pm in the Stonelea Ring).

Hawaakom, Rosie’s final horse, is a 2010 Kentucky bred gelding by Jazil out of Nafisah (Lahib).  He was bred by Shadwell Farm, LLC and was trained for racing by Wesley Hawley.  Hawaakon had 62 starts and 9 wins, earning $1,150,000 by his last race in June 2020.  This gelding is owned by Alane Pulley and is a 2021 entry in Competitive Trail (Wednesday 10/13 at 9:58am at the Head of the Lake).

We are so excited to be sharing the stories of all three of these amazing sets of sisters.  From amateur riders to professionals, these six women are all doing amazing things advocating for OTTBs.  We wish them luck in Kentucky, and we will be following along with them on our everythinghorses.com social media pages!

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