That Horses Have A Life After Racing!
star among the winners in a nationwide competition
nationwide competition to prove the versatility of ex-racehorses
has revealed winners from every discipline, one saved from the slaughter
house, a medal-winning British team horse and another that has "rescued"
a rider nervous after breaking her neck.
to Riding Horses was devised by South Essex Insurance Brokers and
QBE International Insurance, one of the leading insurers of Thoroughbreds.
From an initial entry of hundreds, six will be in London (on Saturday,
January 11) for a presentation ceremony at the British Horse Foundation
Breeders Awards Dinner at the Olympia Hilton Hotel.
competition was backed initially by leading riders and commentators,
including BBC television's Clare Balding, trainer Mark Johnston
and international showjumper William Funnell. Subsequent support
has come from the British charity Rehabilitation of Racehorses (RoR)
and director Mrs Di Arbuthnot will be presenting a rosette and individual
Wetherbys horse pedigrees to winners on Saturday.
entered needed to be registered with Wetherbys and to have been
in training for either Flat or National Hunt racing. Points were
accrued during the 2002 season in affiliated competition or unaffiliated
classes run by recognised organisations.
has been an unqualified success and will certainly attract an ever
greater number of entries in future years," said South Essex
Insurance Brokers managing director Barry Fehler. "The results
prove conclusively that with sympathetic handling, racehorses can
go on to fruitful and successful new careers."
Ashby, QBE's head of Bloodstock and Equine commented: "Thoroughbred
racehorses can make the most delightful, confident and successful
horses in another career and this competition is conclusive proof
Mimosa in the showing section. Owner Claire Haddock from Durham
had almost given up riding after breaking her neck in a riding accident
but in March last year was persuaded to try the horse, which was
last in training on the flat and over hurdles in September 2001.
"She did everything I wanted and helped me get my nerve back.
Now I hack and compete, including sidesaddle classes."
Boys, in the eventing section. With owner Kitty Boggis from Bampton,
Oxfordshire, Five Boys - trained in Ireland and run in Bumpers until
1997 - competes at international level and was a member of the silver
medal winning British team at last year's European Young Rider championships.
Other wins include the Punchestown three-star event in Ireland.
"He is very intelligent, thrives on work and hates holidays,"
too slow and "too idle" to race, didn't like showing because
at shows "was terrified he was going to race again" but
now doing very well at Dressage. Owner Claire Lee from Boreham,
Chelmsford, saw him after her vet husband, Jonathan, recommended
him because of his wonderful temperament. The day after she first
saw him and while still making up her mind, the owner just delivered
the horse to her husband's surgery. She bought him a week after
his last race over hurdles in February 1999. Claire and Zada competed
the following year in the South Essex Insurance Brokers Search for
a Star competition and reached the Wembley final.
Brave, now competing in most disciplines at unaffiliated competition,
raced for five seasons for owner Trish Williams, from Worcester.
"He was never successful in National Hunt but now at 15 has
found his niche in life in riding club and unaffiliated competitions,"
said Mrs Williams. "I used to compete him myself but now being
a senior citizen have someone else to ride him." Highland Brave
is the fourth racehorse she has had and taken on to a new career.
The first is now 29.
Alliance won one race but did not have the speed for Grade I Flat
racing, and was then bought by present owner Jonathan Martin from
Bognor Regis. He won the showjumping section, now competing at Foxhunter
level, but has recently started a third career in Horse Trials.
"I have had two other ex-racehorses, and think that the secret
of re-educating them lies in the feeding," says Jonathan.
Top was literally saved from the slaughter house, labelled as untrainable
and with suspect legs. Now, with owner Caroline Noble from York,
she competes in endurance competition rides of up to 44 kilometres
and can be groomed by Caroline's four-year-old daughter, Kendall.
"She was a hat rack and terrified when I got her," said
Caroline. "The turning point came when she was stung in the
eye and had to be in a darkened stable for four weeks. The constant
handling helped her to calm down."