Missouri riders successfully compete in Thoroughbred challenge

Tim Brock and Megan O’Very of BC Stables and Training Center in Fair Grove, Mo., successfully competed in their first Thoroughbred Makeover at the Lexington Horse Park during the first week in October.

Megan, 16, her sister Lauren, 21, and their mother, Karin, competed with Tim in the Mustang Million in 2013. Tim and the girls have made Mustang Makeovers a family tradition by participating annually since then. In 2018, Tim and Megan decided to take on two Off the Track (OTTB) Thoroughbreds for the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover to help the public learn more about how well these animals can excel in second careers.

Megan got Otto in December 2018, which gave the pair the full 10 months allowed for retraining. Each horse can be entered in two disciplines, so Megan and Otto prepared for Competitive Trail and Barrel Racing. Tim worked with CANTER, one of the most successful Thoroughbred Charities of America, for several months and got Nobel Apollo in July which only left about 90 days for Apollo’s makeover for competitive trail and ranch work.

Tim and Megan got to the Kentucky Horse Park on September 30 and spent two days getting themselves and the horses used to the Lexington Horse Park facilities. The competition began on Oct. 2, and, unlike the Mustang makeovers, professional trainers like Tim, amateurs and juniors like Megan competed together.

“The Thoroughbred Makeover officially began Wednesday,” Megan said. “I had my barrel racing flat pattern at 8:36 a.m., and placed third. During my barrel run at 4:30 p.m., Otto almost fell but we were still one of only five entries that ran under 20 seconds. On Thursday, I ran a 17.1, which secured us a place in the finals and was .5 seconds faster than world champion Fallon Taylor. We placed fourth in the afternoon for competitive trail. I was over the moon because we qualified for the finals in both events and I was the only junior in the finals.”

Megan and Otto ran the fastest time in Saturday’s Barrel final with a time of 17.211. They ended up second overall in barrels and fifth in competitive trail, a spectacular accomplishment.

Tim showed in competitive trail, ranch flat work and ranch pattern. Overall, he and Nobel Apollo were seventh out of 23 in ranch work and 18th out of 54 in competitive trail. Nobel Apollo was the second highest scoring canter Thoroughbred in the makeover and received a CANTER Ambassador award.

“This year, we decided to participate in the Thoroughbred Makeover to have fun, learn about the events and find out how the judging works” Tim said. “I am extremely proud of Megan’s accomplishments. I am also happy with Apollo’s performance. We were only one and a half points out of the finals in ranch work and did very well in competitive trail.

According to the Retired Racehorse Project website, the charitable organization created the Thoroughbred Makeover to showcase the trainability and talent of off-track Thoroughbreds. The competition is intended to inspire good trainers to become involved in transitioning these horses, and The National Symposium serves to educate the people involved in the care, training, and sale of these horses to responsible owners.

Every participant must submit an application to compete and not everyone will be accepted.

“I am seriously considering training two horses for the 2020 competition,” Tim said. “Megan will have at least one individual horse and may join another young lady for the team competition on another horse in jumping.”


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