Equestrian fans heading to Ascot racecourse today (18 October) will have the chance to see former stars of the track who have successfully embarked on a second career.
Retrained racehorses will be showing off their new skills at QIPCO British Champions Day.
Among the eight ex-racehorses on parade is Purple Moon, an 11-year-old chestnut gelding trained by Luca Cumani. The horse ran 23 times on the flat, winning over £1.1m in prize money.He has gone on to achieve many showing successes with Sara Cumani since he started his retraining in 2012. This year he was champion at the Fenland show and won the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) final at Hickstead.
Also on parade is Jack The Giant, who was bought by a syndicate of six Newmarket ladies called “The Jack Pots” and retrained for the showing ring. At last weekend’s Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham he was fourth in the RoR/SEIB Championship.
Meanwhile seven-year-old ex-racehorse Quadrille, formerly owned by The Queen will be demonstrating his dressage skills at the Berkshire track. The horse joined Louise Robson’s team “Thoroughbred Dressage” after retiring from racing in 2012 and won his first two outings at advanced medium this year.
The former Grand National winner Comply or Die is another racehorse that will be showing off his newfound dressage skills.
Team chaser Yvonne Goss will be bringing Haxton who won last year’s RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge at Cheltenham. The pair are defending their title this November.
Representing eventing is Special Constable, who is now eventing with Elaine Tragett and Valemount who is competing at advanced level with Dan Jocelyn.
The final horse is Hilda Ogden who has been retrained for polo by Henry Brett and won her section in this year’s RoR racing to polo challenge.
The story of the racehorse retiring from the track is also being told at Champions Day in the RoR musical ride. The ride is choreographed by Charlotte Wilson, who has been training the eight horses at her Snainton Riding Centre in Scarborough. The 12-minute routine opens with “We are the Champions” by Queen and features music from ELO, The Beatles, Phil Collins and Tina Turner.
“The routine finishes with a finale ‘Simply the Best’ reflecting the relationship with horse and rider and the great adaptability of so many former racehorses retraining for life after racing,” said a RoR spokesman.
Young racegoers will not miss out either, as The Pony Club have a host of activities on offer, including the chance for children to secure their horseracing certificate.
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