Legendary former racers join HOYS parade

Cue Card and Balthazar King are to join the racing heroes on parade at this year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) during the Sunday evening gala performance on 6 October.

It had already been announced that former National Hunt stars Sprinter Sacre and Big Buck’s would be on parade, joined by Grand National victors Neptune Collonges, Pineau De Re and Bindaree, while the first novice winner of the Gold Cup, Coneygree, and popular hurdler, The New One, will also be taking part.

Spectators are set for a treat with an impressive showcase planned, a first for the Birmingham-based show.

The former Paul Nicholls-trained hurdler Big Buck’s retired in 2014, having won 18 consecutive races and amassed over £1.3m in prize money. He has enjoyed a second career on the hunting field. Meanwhile dual Champion Chase winner Sprinter Sacre — renowned for his power and grace, and regarded as one of the best ever chasers — has attended a number of parades since being retired in 2016.

Cue Card, who won 16 races including nine Grade Ones, has since made the transition to showing with Katie Jerram-Hunnable and her husband Chris, winning at the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Goffs UK National Championships last month.

Balthazar King, who finished second in the 2014 Grand National and was a Cheltenham specialist, is now enjoying hunting.

“I am extremely proud and excited to bring the best of the racing world to HOYS this year in what will unquestionably be an evening to remember,” said HOYS event director Emma Williams.

“Recent years have seen a huge rise in the popularity of retraining racehorses, and it is a clear demonstration of their adaptability and popularity that we see this incredible line-up come together. I can’t thank the owners, trainers and riders enough — they have made this showcase possible and I would strongly encourage everyone to come and see this one-off spectacle.”

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RoR chief executive Di Arbuthnot added: “The purpose of the parade is really two-fold. Firstly, it is a chance for the public to see up close an array of former racing stars of varying ages and see how wonderful and healthy they are looking. Whatever the sport, be it human or equine, it is always a thrill to see genuine living legends in the flesh and in good form.

“Secondly, the parade highlights the versatility of the thoroughbred. As despite being bred with one clear purpose in mind, racehorses are in fact very adaptable. Indeed, RoR now stages series and championships exclusively for former racehorses in over a dozen different disciplines, from showing to polo, from eventing to endurance.”

This year’s show will also host the popular SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse of the Year Championship showing class for retrained racehorses on Wednesday 2 October.

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