This year’s RoR Awards (Retraining of Racehorses) marked the first time an accolade for a horse with a remarkable character was presented. From over 250 nominations, best-selling author and renowned horse lover, Jilly Cooper selected three finalists for the inaugural RoR Horse Personality of the Year award.
On the evening of the awards, which were hosted at the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket on 18 January, films of each of the three finalisits were played.
Here we bring you one of the finalists’ stories. Meet Grouse Moor, one of the runners-up, who is now owned and ridden by Jacqueline Doughton…
‘Grouch’, as he is known, fulfilled Jacqueline’s dream to ride a thoroughbred, despite her being paralysed from the waist down after being born with spina bifida.
Grouse Moor is based at Tettenhall Group of Riding for the Disabled and Jilly Cooper said of Grouse and Moor and Jacqueline: “It is so touching the way his gentleness and perfect manners have enabled her to really enjoy her riding and indeed, in her words, ‘His legs are mine and I am free to move’. So well done Grouch!”
Grouch, who is now 21 years old and who came out of the Juddmonte breeding programme, was trained by Paul Morris and ran a total of 20 times under Rules — 10 of those over fences and seven times over hurdles. He managed to clock three wins, two second and two third placings, but his final race was in May 2007 before he retired from racing.
Louise Robson specialises in retraining ex-racers for dressage and rides three horses owned by The Queen
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Now in their sixth year, the awards, hosted by Clare Balding and Luke Harvey, showcase and celebrate the versatility of former racehorses across a range of disciplines with prizes awarded to winners in dressage, endurance, eventing, hunting, polo, showing and show jumping.
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