‘He seems to instinctively know’: top horse who brings light to ‘so many people’ honoured

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  • A former top five-furlong sprinter who makes “everyone who comes into contact with him feel better” was voted the first winner of a new award in recognition of the effect he has on those around him.

    Goldream, known as Remy, and racehorse retraining and rehoming organisation New Beginnings were announced as winners of the 2024 Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Community Impact Award on Wednesday (31 January).

    “He must have met hundreds and hundreds of people and children. He just makes everybody who comes into contact with him feel better,” said Pam Atkinson of New Beginnings.

    Pam’s husband Kevin, with whom she runs New Beginnings, added: “He goes into hospices and the pleasure that he gives to the people at the latter end of life is just phenomenal.

    “He seems to instinctively know what to do and puts his nose on people’s faces, he’ll sniff people’s hands.

    “To see somebody at the latter end of life smile, when they’ve got so much going on in their world, because a horse has touched them is just phenomenal. You can’t buy that.

    “He gives so much pleasure to people. He’s unbelievable.”

    Nigel Payne presenting to Goldream and New Beginnings, Pam and Kevin Atkinson for The Sir Peter O’Sullevan ROR Community Impact Award winners

    Nigel Payne presents The Sir Peter O’Sullevan ROR Community Impact Award to Pam and Kevin Atkinson of New Beginnings. Credit: Dan Abraham.

    Pam said that Remy “just knows” when someone “could do with a hug”, and that he also brings comfort to the staff in hospices.

    “The doctors and the nurses at the hospices have a very difficult job. They come and stroke Remy and get some pleasure from that as well,” she said.

    The two-time Group One winner, formerly trained by Robert Cowell, was nominated for the award by York racecourse, for which he is an ambassador. He also spends time visiting medium secure hospitals, as well as schools and met more than 1,200 young people and families in 24 hours during national racehorse week.

    Kevin added: “For a five-furlong sprinter, who has been a pocket rocket, to go into a hospice and be with people who need that extra bit of attention – the way he does it is just phenomenal.

    ”He’s given so much to so many people in so many areas – not just on the racecourse, or the medium secure hospital or the hospice, or primary schools. It’s everything that he does, and he does it all gracefully and humbly. He is a true example of the versatility of the thoroughbred.”

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