Racehorses to Riding Horses was launched last year to highlight the versatility of Thoroughbreds in disciplines outside racing and prove that with re-schooling they can successfully change careers.

The popularity of the competition among owners of former racehorses has prompted the organisers SEIB (South Essex Insurance Brokers) and QBE International to run it for a second year, supported once again by the British Horseracing Board charity Rehabilitation of Racehorses (RoR)

The competition is open to horses affiliated to eitherthe BSJA, BD, BE and the British Endurance Society, as well as those contesting recognised showing classes or unaffiliated competitions run by The British Riding Clubs, Pony Club, Permanent Show Organisers Association or approved centres.

To be eligible to take part, a horse needs to be registered with Wetherbys and to have been in training for either flat or national hunt racing, although they need not have raced. Horses must compete under the name registered at Wetherbys and used whilst in training.

Any owner wishing to enter their horse will need to get an application form entitling them to a Qualification Card to record their competition success.

Results of the competition will be based on each horse’s point tally at the end of the 2003 season.

“The first year of competition was an undoubted success,” said South Essex’s livestock and marketing manager Nicolina MacKenzie. “We had many, many entries and last year’s winners have set a standard that proves thatthese much maligned equine athletes can certainly do more than just race.”

Application forms are available by sending a large stamped addressed envelope to: “Racehorses to Riding Horses,” South Essex Insurance Brokers Ltd., South Essex House, North Road, South Ockendon, Essex, RM15 5BE.

Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s final article in its retraining racehorses series in this week’s magazine (6 February), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.