‘As well known for his sanity as for his tongue!’ Winning chaser takes racing to hunting title

Multi-talented retired racehorse and Heythrop regular Kikos has topped the 2019 Ri-Dry Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) racing to hunting challenge.

The 17-year-old gelding’s career on the track spanned six years, winning four times under Rules for trainer Renee Robson. He finished his time in racing under the care of Kerry Lee, enjoying spins on the hunters’ chase circuit before switching to the hunting field.

Kikos, who is known for his “good manners and versatility” on the hunting field with owner/rider Amy Morgan, beat five other retrained racehorses to win the Meriel Tuffnell Trophy.

“Kikos has proven to be the most honest, calm, kind and generous hunter,” said Amy.

“I can lead my young son on his small pony, jump the biggest of our vale country up at the front of the field, stop and shut gates, jump the gates and walk across fields when 200 of our Saturday field are galloping. He is as well known for his sanity as he is for his tongue, which hangs out constantly!”

The pair also went home with a Ri-Dry waterproof jacket and a cash prize of £1,500, with the remaining £3,500 prize pot split between the five other finalists.

The six were whittled down through a selection process, which included a visit to watch each horse during the autumn hunting season by a member of the judging panel.

The finalists were judged on how well they have adapted to their second career at Aintree racecourse on 27 October in front of a racing crowd.

The challenge included jumping and negotiating obstacles they might find on a day’s hunting, before parading with hounds from the Holcombe Harriers.

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Mr Chippy and Suzie Dent from the Hurworth claimed the runner-up spot, with the Morpeth’s Newyearsresolution and Amie Waugh in third.

“Congratulations are in order to all six finalists and in particular Amy and Kikos,” said RoR chief executive Di Arbuthnot.

He is clearly a star, and not only in Amy’s eyes as his outstanding behaviour is recognised and appreciated by many, not least the judges today.

“All the horses were a credit to their connections and a big thank you to all involved, especially Aintree Racecourse, our sponsors Ri-Dry and our fantastic team of judges.”

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