As the 2014/15 National Hunt season draws to a close and a news season begins, we celebrate the ex-racehorse.
Horse & Hound readers from all over the UK and beyond submitted their favourite pictures of their very own ex-racehorses enjoying a second career, from hacking to team chasing to eventing and side saddle, here are just a few we received.
Taste of Honey
History: Ran nine times on the flat, winning once. Bought by her current owner Dr Isabelle Mesgian at Ascot sales as a three-year-old.
Now enjoys: British Dressage (BD) at novice level, working to medium level at home. Likes jumping as long as you put your seatbelt on!
History: Raced a handful of times when in training with Mark Pitman.
Now enjoys: Since owner Nikki Watkins collected “Storm” from Mark Pitman’s Lambourn yard in 2000, they have enjoyed all activities together, including hunting, one-day-events and pleasure rides.
History: Foaled and raised at Kirtlington Stud where his current owner, Ruth Johnson works. Raced and won in France before an injury in a stable fire forced his retirement.
Now enjoys: Evented at BE90 and BE100 level for nine years.
History: Current owner Laura Grey was gifted “Celty” in 2010 who had won over £61,000 in National Hunt races, for her to enjoy as a point-to-pointer.
Now enjoys: Laura and Celty went on to win their first point-to-point together. Since his full retirement from the racecourse in 2012 the pair have gone on to compete in a range of disciplines with a great deal of success in the show ring.
History: Foaled in Kentucky and sold as a two-year-old to Dubai to race before he was sold again to England where from over 20 race starts he won six times and was frequently placed in the top three.
Now enjoys: Mutamaasek retired from racing as an eight-year-old and he then made the trip to Germany with his current owner Josefine Leysten with whom he hunts.
History: Raced on the flat successfully, winning once and coming second a few times, but then switched off completely and the trainer decided to call it a day.
Now enjoys: “Buzz” is aiming for the Burghley Young Event Horse series and British Eventing (BE) four-year-old classes this summer with his new owner Rachel Buckle.
Bright Eyed Girl
History: Raced on the flat as a two-year-old.
Now enjoys: “Betty” competes at BE100 level eventing with her owner Faye McPhillips.
History: Trained by David Pipe Grands Crus won nearly £250,000 under National Hunt rules over both hurdles and chase fences.
Now enjoys: He retired from racing last year and is soon to affiliate in both BD and BE with his new owner Julie Reynolds.
History: Raced several times on the flat, over hurdles and steeplechased for trainer Jonathan Geake but he wasn’t very good at it!
Now enjoys: Current owner Laura Sanderson took on “Foxy” when he was seven. They have since enjoed great success team chasing. This picture was taken at the championships at Heythrop two weeks ago, when they were second with Team Rideaway.
History: Raced several times over hurdles and point-to-pointing in Ireland.
Now enjoys: His current owner, Barbara Guthrie took him on three years ago, fresh out of racing. They have since enjoyed everything from hacking to showjumping, one-day-events, charity rides, but most of all side saddle.
History: “Eddie” raced 63 times on the Flat, earning over £17,000 in prize-money.
Now enjoys: Owner Tracey Edwards has been busy retraining Eddie over the last 18 months. Although a little tricky at first they are now competing at low level dressage, cross-country and showjumping competitions.
Cat Turned Blue
History: “Bert” was not a good racehorse at all! He only had five starts and always placed in the bottom of the standings.
Now enjoys: Bert now enjoys jumpingm dressage and hunting with his owner Kristin Taylor in New Jersey, USA. They are aiming to go eventing in the future.
History: Raced from David Pipe’s yard earning over £34,000, including a win at Lingfield in the Novices chase in 2007 under AP McCoy.
Now enjoys: “Sid” came out of racing in June 2014 and has since been retraining with Philippa Hyne. He is now sucessfully showing and has also enjoyed showjumping, dressage, eventing and hunting.
History: Trained by Lucinda Russell, ran under rules in both Flat and hurdles races.
Now enjoys: New owner Sarah Chambers took “Wayne” on six months ago and they have since enjoyed a season of hunting with the ultimate aim of going eventing.
History: Raced once under rules for trainer Neil Mulholland before he was purchased by his current owner Zoe Gould at Ascot sales as a weak four-year-old.
Now enjoys: A dressage diva who excels in the show ring and also enjoys a spot of eventing “Legend” has qualified for the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) 2015 summer showing championships at Aintree.
History: Originally in training with Paul Nicholls “Bramble” raced eight times resulting in a couple of placings.
Now enjoys: Owner Rachel Tuck took Bramble on eight years ago. Together they have tried their hands at pretty much everything including showing, eventing, team chasing and dressage.
Learn the Lingo
History: “Lenny” had a rather appalling racing career! Comments from jockeys include “couldn’t be bothered!” and “good attempt at the start.”
Now enjoys: Owner Meg Beattie has had Lenny for nine years during which they have done everything from Pony Club and numerous camps with the Pytchley Hunt, hunting, showjumping, eventing, dressage and team chasing.
History: Previously trained by Emma Lavelle and B W Hills, Gig Harbour has won a total of £85,255 from 48 starts (including six wins, five 2nds and four 3rds). He was previously owned by Bridget Hill whom hunted him regularly with the Wilton Hunt.
Now enjoys: New owner Georgina Bastian who has had Gig Harbour since June hunted with six different hunts over the winter, mostly helping whip in to the Hursley Hambledon Hunt.
History: A point-to-pointer, current owner Rachel Dorrell even tried her hand at racing with “Dave” which didn’t always go to plan (pictured)! Dave did go on to be placed in many more races with another jockey until he was retired from racing in May 2014.
Now enjoys: Rachel began Dave’s retraining in July 2014 and by September he was crowned the south east RoR showjumping champion. He has gone on to compete in novice team chases, hunted with the RMA Sandhurst and take part in all riding club activities and recently won his first hunter trial, qualifying for the Horseware national hunter trial final.
Look out for our ex-racehorse series in H&H’s sister magazine Eventing, written by former H&H racing and eventing editor Catherine Austen. In this month’s issue, out now, find out how to source an ex-racehorse and in next month’s issue we investigate how to start retraining a racehorse