A former trainer and amateur jockey has hung up her racing saddle and picked up a pair of double reins as she has embarked on a showing career riding a horse she previous rode to success in point-to-points.
While ex-racehorses retired from the track usually find new riders when they start their careers in the show ring, Jessica Westwood has kept the ride on her 16-year-old steeplechaser Monkerty Tunkerty (Monkey).
Monkey was a winner both under Rules and in point-to-points, while Jessica has made the switch to showing after recovering from a serious head injury suffered in a point-to-point fall.
“Monkey ran 33 times as a racehorse, winning nine races,” says Jessica. “Five of those times I was riding him.”
Monkey was retired from racing after the Somerset National in 2016. In 2018, he was crowned Retraining of Racehorses Horse of the Year.
In the three years since Monkey his last race he has been busy showing and showjumping.
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He and Jessica won the former racehorse class at Devon County show just the day before qualifying for the SEIB Search for a Star final at Stretcholt Equestrian Centre back in May.
“This is the first time we have done Search For A Star and it’s so exciting to have qualified for HOYS,” adds Jessica.
The 2019 SEIB Search For A Star finals will take place at the Horse of the Year Show in the TopSpec Arena between Wednesday 2 and Friday 4 October 2019.
For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday. Check out the full report from HOYS in the 10 October issue and stay up to date at horseandhound.co.uk throughout the week