A major competition series for former racehorses is being revamped and given a boosted prize-fund of £30,000 to help “encourage and recognise the success” of ex-racehorses.

Equestrian insurers South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) has run the Racehorse to Riding Horse Performance Awards since 2001.

But in a new collaboration with Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), the RoR/SEIB elite performance awards — for dressage, showjumping, eventing, endurance and showing — will now collate scores centrally for horses’ performances in competitions (including British Dressage, British Showjumping and British Eventing) throughout the year, instead of riders recording their own scores.

The winner of each discipline will get £5,000 and the runner-up £2,500, and this will be presented at the British Breeding dinner and awards next January.

Any ex-racehorse can enter the series, as long as it has run in the UK and is RoR registered.

Organisers hope the awards will encourage more riders to see the versatility of ex-racers.

“The awards will show how, with time and patience, ex-racehorses can be retrained for success in a new discipline. It will be wonderful to see more competing across the disciplines,” said SEIB’s Nicolina MacKenzie.

RoR director Di Arbuthnot, added: “Thoroughbreds are versatile horses and we have seen many times how they can excel in a new career. This series gives owners a new focus.”

Visit: www.ror.org.uk

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (18 February, ’10)