Supporters of retrained racehorses say their work has been given a tremendous boost by the decision to put them in the main ring at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
For the first time, this year’s SEIB racehorse to riding horse champion at HOYS (3-7 October) will go forward into the supreme championship.
Helena Pettit of Grandstand Media – which runs HOYS – said the racehorse to riding horse classes had “improved dramatically” over the past few years”. The series, instigated by SEIB, started in 2005.
Ms Pettit told H&H: “The type of animal now coming forward for competition is of a quality a show like HOYS cannot ignore.”
Qualifiers for the 2012 HOYS championship will include, for the first time, a prime slot at the Burghley Horse Trials.
The sixth and final qualifier of the year will be held in the main arena at Burghley on the final day, Sunday, 2 September.
H&H showing columnist Katie Jerram – who won the HOYS final last year on Night Prayers – welcomed the news that the 2012 champion would go through to the supreme.
“It is fantastic for the racehorse to riding horse class,” she said.
“As it is a retraining class, Night Prayers is not eligible this year – but he will be aimed at HOYS as a hack.
“These classes are massively popular and it is a great thing that people are retraining ex-racehorses for showing.
“They are beautiful animals and their careers shouldn’t end when they come off the track,” she added.
And Di Arbuthnot of the charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), added her approval.
“It is wonderful news. It really does show that retrained racehorses have arrived in the showing world and can be competitive,” she said.
For further information visit: www.hoys.co.uk. For tickets call the box office, tel: 0844 581 8282.
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (12 April 2012)