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 the story of the winner. Meet Ned Causer, who is now owned and ridden by Sarah Peacock…
Sarah, who hails from East Yorkshire, said: “To win this award is just an amazing moment and I can’t believe that Ned has done this. He has really changed my life. I’ve suffered from depression and it is quite a debilitating illness and Ned has been such a turning point since we got him on New Year’s Day last year.
“I have periods when I get really quite low so it’s difficult, but coming down to Ned every morning I know I have a responsibility and that he’s always there waiting for me and he always makes me laugh. In October we did our first dressage test together, and I thought I was never going to be able to get out in front of people because I was so nervous and I put a lot of pressure on myself. But he helped me through it.”
Sarah Peacock accepted the Paul Mellon Trophy from Lady Emma Balding for RoR Horse Personality of the Year. The trophy is named in honour of the late Paul Mellon in recognition of the generous bequest from his estate to RoR when the charity was established 20 years ago.
Di Arbuthnot added: “Ned Causer ran just three times in a short-lived racing career when trained by Reg Hollinshead, but he has had a transformational effect on the life of Sarah.”
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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