Newell trainer to participate in National Thoroughbred Makeover Project

Farm Forum

On Thursday, May 23, it was announced that horse trainer Dale Simanton of Newell, S.D., and the “Gate to Great” training program at the Horse Creek Thoroughbred ranch would be a part of the National Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) Thoroughbred Makeover Project for 2013.

A former jockey and racehorse trainer, Dale and his team at Gate to Great will chronicle the training of a Thoroughbred that has formerly raced for a second career throughout a summer-long program intended to showcase the versatility and usability of Thoroughbred racehorses once their racing career has ended. The Makeover features a total of twenty-six trainers from throughout the United States, who will select and train twenty-six Thoroughbred ex-racehorses throughout the summer in preparation for a public appearance at the RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium on October 5 and 6 at Pimlico Racecourse.

RRTP, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing demand for Thoroughbreds off the track, received 142 applications from 29 states and Canada. The applicants were professionals, amateurs, and juniors and specialized in ten different equestrian disciplines.

“We were overwhelmed not only by the number of applicants, but also by the high quality, the diversity, and the passion of these trainers,” said RRTP President Steuart Pittman. “These are the people who work hard every single day educating these magnificent animals to ensure that their futures are secure.”

A lifelong cowboy and ranch horse trainer in addition to his work on the racetrack, Dale will be teaching his off-track Thoroughbred the fundamentals of ranch and cow work during the summer of 2013. “I have always believed that the Thoroughbred is the most versatile breed on the planet and I am honored to be a part of this project where we will be able to show the world exactly what they can do,” said Dale of the Makeover Project. “This is a great opportunity to show the world exactly what these horses are capable of and I couldn’t be more excited to get started.”

In the coming weeks, Dale and Gate to Great will be hand-selecting a suitable horse from a recently retired group of racehorses that reside on their ranch near Newell. Updates on the horse’s progress will be made available via the Gate to Great website ( as well as their Facebook page, accessible from the website.