Racehorses who have found successful new careers in dressage, showing, eventing, polo and endurance were presented with prizes totalling £17,500 at the RoR awards in Newmarket last night (Monday, 16 November).
A 13-year-old retrained racehorse who hunts, jumps and wins showing classes was named 2015 RoR Horse of the Year.
Liverpool (pictured, top) was retired to the hunting field in 2010 after winning two point-to-points with amateur jockey Joanna Mason. Her mother Susan owns the horse and father Ian hunted him.
He had run under Rules six times in 2006/07, finishing fourth twice.
Joanna has competed in RoR competitions reaching the finals of the hunting and Elite series at both Hickstead and Windsor.
While recovering from an operation due to breaking her back in a fall at a point-to-point in March, Joanna tried riding Liverpool side-saddle.
The horse was “took it all in his stride” and the pair were fourth in their first side saddle showing class at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show on 12 July.
They went on to win the RoR/TARRA ridden qualifer class at the RoR National Championship show at Aintree on 29 August and were third in the side-saddle class.
“We chose to recognise Liverpool as this talented horse is a great all-rounder in hunting, showing, jumping and side-saddle. He epitomises the adaptability and versatility of so many retrained racehorses in their new careers,” said RoR chief executive Di Arbuthnot.
The RoR elite dressage champion was Green Warrior (Sam) a seven-year-old bay gelding ridden and owned by Linda Davis.
Sam ran in 28 races on the Flat before being retrained by British Horse Society instructor Linda at her Durham-based livery yard in 2013.
The pair have had many successes this season with British Dressage gaining 104 points to win the RoR elite dressage championship.
“Sam is like a small pony on long legs, he is very short, fitting in 5’9’ rugs but has lengthy legs to make 16hh, so he is very powerful. It’s been a great season for us,” said Linda.
A 16-year-old mare retrained by Hartpury College student Charlotte Gibbens was the RoR’s elite showjumping champion.
Bluegrass Hopper (Hop) overcame a serious field accident last year to come back in 2015 to qualify for Blue Chip National Winter Championships and Horse of the Year Show.
The RoR elite eventing champion was awarded to event rider Paul Tapner and Counterparty, a seven-year-old mare who raced five times under rules before starting her eventing career.
Norfolk rider Allister hood and 13-year-old Jack the Giant took home the RoR elite show series supreme champion title.
England International polo player Ollie Cudmore’s retrained racehorse Costa Lotta was the RoR elite polo champion and 14-year-old Beths Choice owned and ridden by Lynn Harvey from Dorset was named as RoR elite endurance champion.
The trophy for the RoR elite show series champion was presented to by Lizzie Harris the owner and rider of Wild West after the pair won the RoR/Tattersalls Show Series at the Hickstead Derby meeting in June.
“Westy has proved just how versatile former racehorses are at adapting to life after racing. He has taken so well to retraining and already has evented, team chased and hunted,” said Lizzie.
The winners were each presented with a trophy and cheque for £2,500 by RoR patron Clare Balding.