Thoroughbreds who have been bred for the racetrack and have gone on to enjoy success in the show ring now have a prestigious new championship to qualify for.

The “RoR & SEIB Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship” final will be held at Hickstead’s prestigious British Jumping Derby Meeting (August 18-21), with competing horses drawn from 16 qualifiers at shows nationwide.

The new series is being sponsored by South Essex Insurance Brokers and the British Horseracing Board charity Retraining of Racehorses. Only horses registered in the Weatherbys General Studbook will be eligible for the series. Horses who were bred to race but who have not been in training will be accepted as well as those out of training. There will be a special prize at qualifiers and a trophy at the championship for those horses that have raced, as well as an award for the best-placed animal aged more than 10 years old.

RoR chairman, Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, says: “We believe that we owe it to racehorses, who have given so much enjoyment and sometimes financial reward [during their racing careers], to ensure that their lives should not end when they cannot race any more.”

And SEIB managing director Barry Fehler says: “We have proved over the last two years through our ‘Racehorses to Riding Horses’ competition that Thoroughbreds can go on to great second careers. This championship will bring home to people that they are well mannered and can be schooled to accept the discipline of the show ring.”

The series is open to horses aged four years and over and 15hh and over with riders aged 16 or more. The first two in each qualifying class will be invited to compete at the final. It is based on the TARRA showing series introduced by ex-jockey Peter Gunn. Horses will be judged as riding horses and should be shown plaited in a snaffle, pelham or plain double bridle. The horses will be ridden by the judge.

Hickstead show secretary Lizzie Bunn said: “This championship will make an exciting addition to our showing programme, and Hickstead is happy to help ensure a secure future for the racing Thoroughbred.”

For more details and a list of qualifying shows visit: www.ror.org.uk