The legendary Mr Whitaker, over-rugging, and other things the horse world is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • Whitaker saves the best for last

    The legend that is John Whitaker saved the best for last when closing the Longines Global Champions Tour of New York with a sizzling five-star win aboard Equine America Unick Du Francport. With 10 combinations qualifying for the jump-off, this was always going to be a red-hot finale and, against the backdrop of the New York city skyline, fourth-drawn John flew home quickest, to beat Egypt’s Nayel Nassar riding El Conde.

    Read more about John’s win and other top results


    Vets have warned of the serious consequences of over-rugging their horses. In a piece from the H&H archives that is relevant every autumn, and spring,  we speak to Dick Vet Equine, which highlighted the issue on Facebook after the practice saw an increasing number of horses being rugged unnecessarily in early autumn. “People seem to be more and more keen on putting rugs on,” vet Tess Fordham told H&H, adding that over-rugging  can have serious consequences. “In the short term it can lead to overheated horses,” she said. “We are called out to horses displaying signs of colic, but actually they are too hot and suffering heatstroke. This is a man-made welfare problem.”

    Find out more

    A legend bows out

    Multiple champion stayer on the Flat Stradivarius has been retired to stud after a glittering career. Owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen and trained by John and Thady Gosden, the chestnut, who won fans from all over the world, was victorious in three Royal Ascot Gold Cups, as well as landing four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups. The eight-year-old scooped £3,458,968 in prize money during his 35-race career, notching 20 wins in the process, seven of which were Group Ones.

    Read more about why he’s retiring and to where

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