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Gosh, a nine-year old former racehorse, won the inaugural SEIB Racehorse to Riding Hose Show Horse Championship at the Horse of the Year Show this afternoon (Thursday).

The new class is designed to demonstrate how ex-racehorses can be re-schooled for a wide range of other disciplines. A total of 10 ex-racehorses qualified for the class throughout the summer, including hacks riding horses and hunter types. But it was Gosh, owned by Natalie Lintott who impressed the judges both on the ground and under saddle to take the first prize.

The class was supported by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), a charity launched in 2000 to raise funds to help support retraining of racehorses. “We’re looking for a show horse but have got to remember they have been on the race track,” said Ann Hooley, who judged the class. “What I want to see is how they can relax in this arena when I ride them.”

Some of the line-up had proven track records – Lucky Myst, owned by Mrs S Quiney ran 14 times in his race career. But Gosh had the confirmation and temperament the judges were looking for: “He was way above on conformation and a supple horse to ride – very well educated,” commented Ms Hooley.

The class is evidence that with careful re-training, racehorses can make competitive show horses. “With ever greater numbers of thoroughbreds coming out of racing it is important to show that with time and re-schooling they can become fabulous riding horses, and more and more of them will then have a suitable home to go to,” said Nicolina MacKenzie, from SEIB.