Top ex-racehorses including Barbers Shop (pictured) and Jack The Giant will be competing at Aintree racecourse this weekend, but not on the racetrack.
The inaugural Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) National Championship Show takes place at the famous Liverpool course this weekend (29-30 August).
The show has received a bumper number of entries for its 27 classes.
Notable entries include Barbers Shop, who is owned by The Queen and was formerly in training with Nicky Henderson. He is now enjoying success in the show ring with H&H columnist Katie Jerram.
“Over the past decade, I’ve seen the popularity of showing classes for former racehorses grow considerably and the professional standard increase,” said Katie. “This new initiative is a mark of the success of the charity in helping to promote former racehorses to adapt and retrain for new careers.”
Jack The Giant as well as Desert Sea, Noland, Purple Moon, Royal Rock and Snoopy Loopy are all also set to line up at the championships.
More than 350 ex-racehorses will contest the classes, which include the finals for the RoR elite showing series, with a first prize of £2,500, The Jockey Club RoR Novice Show Series and the TBA TARRA Ridden and In-Hand Series.
The total prize money won by all the entries on the track is £3.7m, with 3,509 runs between them.
“Considering this is the first running of RoR National Championship Show, to get over 40 in one class and in the thirties in other classes is very exciting and a fantastic result. It promises to be a great weekend,” said Aintree Equestrian Centre manager, Carly Goodhall.
The competitors have all qualified from classes held around the country.
RoR’s Di Arbuthnot added: “We hope that the show will grow in future years and become the event everyone with a former racehorse wants to attend and compete at, either for the championships or the grassroots classes.
“There has been a 25% increase in entries just within the past year for competitions in the RoR series and we now have around 5,000 former racehorses competing in different forms of showing classes.”
For more on Barbers Shop, and how he has been produced for showing by Katie Jerram see the current issue of H&H (27 August) out now.