A former racehorse has rounded off a stellar second career in the show ring with an emotional victory at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Beware Chalk Pit, who was in training with Jonathan Geake between March 2009 and January 2015, was crowned SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse champion today (4 October).
The 13-year-old Beware Chalk Pit, by Anshan out of Rakiura, is owned by Ann Leftley, ridden by Rebecca Court and produced by Justine Armstrong-Small. He is entered for the Topham Barnes large riding horse final at HOYS on Sunday, in which he will be partnered by Justine for the final time, and then the gelding is due to join Jonathan’s daughter and will contest all-round activities, including showjumping and cross-country.
“Pete” — fondly referred to by connections as Perfect Pete — ran his last race in January 2015 and has more than £9,500 race winnings to his name. In the same year he retired from the racetrack, he entered the show ring for the first time. Since then, he has been successful in former racehorse and riding horse classes, and has amassed more than 20 championship and county show victories.
Career highlights include standing elite supreme of show at the Retraining of Racehorses national championships in 2016, while this season’s tally includes winning riding horse classes at South Suffolk Show and Herts County.
This was the third year running that Pete has qualified for the SEIB racehorse to riding horse final, but the first time he has taken the top spot.
“I always felt he was good enough to win,” said an emotional Rebecca, a senior lecturer at Birmingham School of Art. “I owe him so much and he’s made so many dreams come true. It’s been an honour to ride him.”
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Emperors Jade (Helen Newbold) and Grandeur (Jo Bates) finished second and third respectively.
Read the full HOYS report in next week’s issue of H&H, on sale Thursday 12 October.