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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2015 at 12:25pm

Havers and Harry Go for Final Glory

  • James Tzaferis @Jtzaf
  • 2 January, 2015

If bloodlines were the sole determinant of success on the racetrack, Encosta De Lago gelding Inigomontoya would’ve been a champion.

But unfortunately for his racing owners, the $150,000 weanling purchase didn’t live up his pricey pedigree and was retired as a maiden after three unplaced starts on the track for trainers John O’Shea and Andrew Noblet.

But what he lacks in speed and an aptitude for racing, Inigomontoya makes up for in looks and a loving temperament, much to the satisfaction of Benalla teenager Olivia Havers.

Since first welcoming the now 11-year-old gelding into her family’s stable two years ago, the pair have become a formidable combination in the show ring and will look to claim their biggest success together in the Off the Track Show Series Final at the Victorian Saddle Horse Championships in Bendigo on 8 January.

The unique class, open exclusively to retired thoroughbred racehorses that earned qualification via one of more than 100 Off the Track classes at agricultural shows across the state, will see up to 40 of Victoria’s most talented show horses take chase up to $2800 in prizemoney (winner: $1000, runner-up: $500, finalists: $100, highest placed Off the Track (raced) in the last two years: $500).

Having ridden horses from early childhood, Havers said Inigomontoya was her first thoroughbred and, after persisting with his initial retraining, she has been given a lasting first impression of the breed.

“When I got him he was very nervous and really green when he went out so we just kept working with him and he’s taken really well to it all,” Havers said.

“He’s the first thoroughbred that I’ve really had anything to do with and my first hack that I’ve had to show.

“He is a great type and a perfect example of what a good thoroughbred is like, he’s just a gentle giant.”

Although the pair have been competing with great success this year, including a runner-up placing in Havers’ rider class at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show, the 15-year-old said a win at Bendigo would provide a career highlight.

Havers rode Inigomontoya to a top 10 placing in January’s inaugural Off the Track Show Series Final, won by Samantha McMaster and DP Destiny, and are again set to face some challenging rivals, including the likes of the last two Garryowen champions - Chosen One and WS Coast – and former Bart Cummings-trained Group 1 winner Sirmione.

 “I got second in my rider (class) at Melbourne with him which was his first Royal Show and I’ve just been doing lots of little shows around the rural areas where I live in Benalla,” Havers said.

“I’ve won a lot of Champions and Reserve Champions on him in Hack Classes and I won the Off the Track Class with him at Yarrawonga Show.

“He’s definitely picked up in his condition and he’s really starting to come together in his work so I think that if we keep working really hard he could place quite high.”

Run in partnership with the Victorian Agricultural Shows (VAS) as part of the 2015 Saddle Horse Championships, the Off the Track Show Series Final will be held at 5pm on Thursday, 8 January at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds in Bendigo.

And as they watch the exciting Off the Track action unfold in the ring, spectators will enjoy a complimentary BBQ dinner, provided by Racing Victoria.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote furious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2015 at 12:58pm
A cousin in England had a horsey girlfiend who we met when overseas and we got talking horses.  It seems our thoroughbreds have alot more personality and go than some English ones.  Maybe she needs to visit Red Cadeau who seemed to also be personality plus on his visit.  I think that is why you find more thoroughbreds competing in the Eventing with Australian riders while overseas they rely on the warmblood crosses.  It's funny though.  We didn't have that type for the English Olympics and we didn't have the best games.  Hopefully some thoroughbreds make the team in Rio.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 3:15pm
Belltone Thumbs Up

Would like to thank everybody for their support over the past 24 hours with getting and finding a new home for Belltone cannot thank my wife Linda Hellyer enough and Michelle Allen for taking him. Would like to thank the owner for contributing and paying for Belltone to allow us to take him and find a new home and also Kelso Wood & Patricia Gesler for taking such great care of over him over the years. I'm so happy to see him retired to a lovely home its what he deserved.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2015 at 6:26pm
Another lovely 'meant to be' story Clap

Spiderman - Safe and Sound

He can’t run very fast. He hasn’t got great scope, beautiful movement or marked jumping ability.

He’s not even particularly intelligent, but that hasn’t stopped Georgina Officer falling head-over-heels for retired racehorse, Spiderman.

A regally-bred son More Than Ready, Spiderman started his life as lot 458 at the 2010 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sales, where he was secured for $40,000 by Cranbourne-trained Mick Kent.

The sweet natured chestnut quickly showed the team at Kent racing that he had little interest in the racing caper, finishing no closer than third-last in each of his six-career starts.

Having secured no career prizemoney outside starters fees, Spiderman was quickly retired and sent to a local agistment farm having finished some 30-lengths off the winning horse in a 1200m Kilmore maiden.

However, this is where –as Georgina Officer states – Spiderman’s story gets ‘murky’.

Somehow, between his final race start in August 2013 and early March 2014, Spiderman found his way to a New South Wales property known as ‘The Depot’. 

It took just one photo to convince Officer that Spiderman was the horse for her.

“I had no idea what I was doing. I’d seen a picture of him and was told he was a ‘nice type’, but other than that I knew nothing,” she said.

“I remember sitting at my friends after the sale, wondering, ‘What have I done? What was I going to do with an off the track thoroughbred that I would always be too scared to ride?’

“I myself was just coming back from a major accident after 15 years off, and everyone says that off the trackers are ‘fire breathing dragons’, only to be ridden by the most experienced riders!

“But Spiderman, he came to me, and I think there was a reason for that.”

And so began the story of Georgina Officer and Spiderman, who would live out the rest of his days known as Pete.

Officer quickly got to work rehabilitating the gelding on her property, working on his condition, his food aggression and ‘fixing the mess that was his feet’ before sending the youngster to a breaker and trainer.

“It didn’t take us long; I instantly fell head-over-heels in love with the big red boy,” she said.

“I made the decision that I would not sell him; he came too close to the end of the road and I was going to make sure that when he dies it’s from old age, fat and happy in the back paddock.”

There was just one problem that remained for Officer and Pete. Who would ride the gelding?

Officer had spent the best part of 15 years out of the saddle and didn’t know anyone who could take her place aboard the chestnut.  Summoning all of her courage, Officer took the bold step and saddled up her best mate.

Pete’s unreserved kindness under saddle surprised his new owner.

“He may be a bit stupid, grind his teeth and paddle; but he’s honestly the safest, kindest horse I know,” she said.

“I have seen him to refuse to move when a beginner rider becomes unbalanced, and avoid stepping on a small girl who has decided to stop and pick-up a rock from directly in front of his foot.

“Most impressively, he’s even learnt that when mummy says, ‘Ouch, ouch, ouch,’ he gently comes to a complete stop and lets me ungracefully slide off his back into a heap.”

Pete isn’t ever going to be a star of the dressage ring, or a ribbon winning show jumper. He won’t be an award winning polo pony or a front-line police horse.

What Pete is however, is safe.

Just like thousands of retired racehorses across the nation – Pete is an off the track thoroughbred who will live a long, happy life with a family who will treat him as part of the family.

And while he may not ever find a place in the spotlight, Officer says that Pete will forever remain a star in her eyes.

“He’s an example of horses who give nervous people like me confidence and love; who touch our hearts and are a huge mistake and stuff-up of a purchase that turn in to the best mistake we ever made. I can’t imagine life without him now.”
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2015 at 2:14pm
Another article about my ARB study: https://www.thoroughbredracing.com/articles/australian-racing-offence-about-racehorse-retirement

Australian racing on the offence about racehorse retirement

Researcher Renee Geelen in 1991 riding a retired Standardbred. Photo via Renée Geelen.
Researcher Renee Geelen in 1991 riding a retired Standardbred. Photo via Renée Geelen.
February 26, 2015

Modern racing is finding itself more and more embattled, thanks in part to vigorous anti-racing campaigns. However, in 2013, the Australian Racing Board armed itself with its own facts on the retirement of racehorses. Trent Masenhelder spoke to researcher Renée Geelen, who was commissioned to gather accurate, representative data on the 11,000 racehorses, of some 17,000 born annually, that are retired in Australia every year.

-----

There has long been mystery, uncertainty, and brisk debate about what happens to racehorses when they finish competing. During life as a competition athlete, they are largely nurtured, groomed, fed, tended with loving care, and prepared by their trainer as best he or she knows how, all with the aim of bringing home a cheque, and providing owners with the excitement that this industry promises. But what happens when a racehorse is no longer put through its paces every morning, floated to the races, and sent to face the starter? Does it see out its days grazing in sunbathed paddocks with dozens other fellow racers, or, as the animal activists will have everyone believe, are most of these retired horses considered “wastage,” and sent off to the knackery?

Every season in Australia, approximately 11,000 racehorses are retired for various reasons: injury, illness, advanced age. Some are deemed not fast enough, others not competitive enough, while many finish up because they’ve done enough for caring owners. The Australian Stud Book indicates that approximately 3,000 retirees go to stud, thereby remaining in the industry as breeding mares and stallions. However, what of the remaining 8,000? What happens to them?

In 2013, the Australian Racing Board (ARB) commissioned Thoroughbred consultant Renée Geelen to find out. The ARB has identified the retirement of Australia’s racehorses as its No. 1 animal-welfare issue, and it charged Geelen with surveying the retirement issue to determine what was really happening in the industry. Geelen is a native New Zealander, these days based in Sydney where she runs de Kabat Bloodstock. She has worked as a strapper, and has a Bachelor of Science with majors in physics and mathematics.

Renee Geelen headshot

Geelen contacted 25 trainers across Australia with a combined total of 3,224 horses between them. This data set, she considered, was representative of the entire industry. Trainers were both city- and country-based, and incorporated some of the biggest names in racing, along with operations that had only a handful of horses. Geelen quizzed trainers, recording where their horses ended up after leaving the yard for the last time. While she took it at face value that trainers were telling the truth, admitting that it was not time-effective to follow-up on individual cases, she found, with only a very small exception, that trainers were open to her requests for information. The survey was designed in such a way that trainers had to be specific in their answers as to where horses had gone on retirement, and Geelen hoped that it would be harder to be untruthful while being so specific. When she received responses citing horses gone to stud or returned to owner, she double-checked this against Stud Book records.

“In general, people were quite open to the idea of the survey because they’re trying to do the right thing [in rehoming horses], and there are so many anti-racing people talking a whole load of... well, you know. Trainers wanted to be part of saying ‘yeah, we’re doing the right thing,’ and I think we got reasonably sound data. Apart from a few that had been euthanized for various reasons, most horses had gone on and found other jobs like pony club, polo, stock horses, and all sorts of things.”

From Geelen’s research, of the 1,470 horses in her survey that finished racing, 664 (45 percent) went to stud. A further 109 (7 percent) died or were euthanised, while just six (0.4 percent) ended up at the abattoirs.

“There’s a big data gap,” Geelen said. “For example, you don’t have to register a pleasure horse, so there’s no data on them, and nobody knows how many [ex-racehorse] pleasure horses there are in Australia, and who owns them. It allows the anti-racing groups to make up stuff. But the whole point of the survey was to move the debate beyond just stories, and groups like Animals Australia have a really strong following because they’re good at emotionalizing stories.”

Geelen said the racing industry had a history of not having data to back up its own claims when it came to racehorse retirement. She said the survey was an opportunity for the industry to say it had real data, and that it was considered, measured, and sensible – and not emotive. She added that a scientific approach was necessary so that the data would present a real answer, not the answer she, personally, was looking for. After all, this is a woman passionate about horse racing.

By the end of the survey, Geelen’s findings were reflective of a 2004 study funded by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and recently published as the “Hayek Study” by veterinary professor Paul McGreevy of the University of Sydney (McGreevy has a history of strong opinions on racing, including advocating for the banning of whips). A comparative look at the results of both studies goes as follows:

Geelen v Hayek results

Geelen has issues with the Hayek Study. She said that though both surveys tended towards the same answers, the Hayek version included a higher proportion of country trainers, while her research concentrated on a higher proportion of metropolitan trainers. Geelen questions the objectivity of the Hayek work, and said that it buckets all horses having left a stable as having left the racing industry. The results contradict that.

Geelen insists that her survey was designed to reflect what is really happening with racehorses, not what the racing industry hopes is happening. She accepts that trainers may or may not have been telling her the truth, but Geelen said that her results are comparative with other surveys of this kind (including one conducted by Racing Victoria recently, and due shortly for publication), and therefore this indicates an accurate state of events.

“I wanted to ensure that the survey couldn’t be criticized for trying to find good news, and that it was as unbiased and scientific as a survey can be,” she said.

In proving this, Geelen pointed out that she came across stories of trainers not doing the right thing, but among the 25 she contacted, there were only two. She said from a scientific point-of-view, it was good to find them, because it meant she was covering all ends of the spectrum.

“It represented only six horses, so it wasn’t a widespread issue,” she said.

The anti-racing movement has the wider public believing otherwise. There are various claims that 18,000 Thoroughbreds are slaughtered every year in Australia, while in 2008, an investigation into horse slaughter by Amanda Doughty found that of 340 horses processed at an Australian abattoir, 40 percent had Thoroughbred brands. However, there is no way of knowing how these racehorses are ending up at slaughterhouses. Anti-racing groups cannot say if horses are arriving straight from the racetrack (this is their preferred point-of-marketing), or if they’ve had many years in other careers first, having been successfully rehomed by the industry after their racing days.

The ARB understands the importance of being able to provide tangible evidence concerning the retirement of racehorses, admitting it has long relied on anecdotal information and data. It is possible that the industry had become complacent, assuming that the general public accepted that racing people love their horses, and that they were answerable to the handling and treatment of the animals. This is no longer the case.

“In the face of the onslaught by animal rights extremists, racing must be able to prove its case, and provide the facts and figures for public consumption,” said Peter McGauran, CEO of the ARB. “Consequently, we commissioned this survey, and are able to tell a good story about the retirement of ex-racehorses.”

Furthermore, in July 2014, the ARB amended the Australian Rule of Racing AR.64, making it compulsory for managing owners and trainers to notify Racing Information Services Australia (RISA) of the retirement and death of any horse in their care. A “Retirement of Racehorses or Death Notification Form” was created.

“To consolidate the reliability of information going forward, we now require owners and trainers to notify us of, firstly, the retirement of a horse, and secondly, its destination,” McGauran said.

McGauran believes that Geelen’s study was groundbreaking, and will enable the community to be able to make informed decisions about its support and understanding of racing. He insists that the industry adheres to the highest standards when it comes to integrity and the welfare of racehorses.

“In today’s media climate, you have to be able to substantiate and prove the facts,” McGauran said. “I wouldn’t expect there to be a need for a survey ever again, because the retirement forms will tell us where horses have gone. Previously, we haven’t had those hard facts. The animal welfare groups are now incredibly sophisticated in media and public relations; you have to give them credit in their ability to simplify a message and communicate it to the widest possible audience. But, what we now have on our side is science and fact, and we just have to be a lot smarter in winning the public debate. We’re not up against amateurs. Exaggeration and distortion are stock in trade [for the anti-racing groups].”

There are a further two sections to Geelen’s study that are currently under discussion with the Retirement of Racehorses Committee, a subsidiary of the ARB. One involved Geelen interviewing a further 20 trainers about horses that were named but unraced, while the other addressed breeders about horses from the 2009/2010 foal crop that were unnamed. The Committee is considering presenting these results as a conference paper in the future.




Edited by Gay3 - 26 Feb 2015 at 3:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2015 at 3:25pm

Backman Talks Beyond the Bid

  • James Tzaferis @Jtzaf
  • 2 hours ago

White Knight in the pen at Echuca Sales

Thoroughbreds in Victoria have found an unlikely ally in David Backman.

For lack of a softer title, Backman is a self-labelled “horse dealer”, an often misunderstood role that sees him the subject of harsh stares and online attacks at the horse sales he attends.

A regular at Echuca (Bid 50), Pakenham (Bid 7) and other regional Victorian sale venues, Backman purchases cheap horses, including thoroughbreds, to on-sell for a profit under the banner of the Daville Pastoral Company.

The fact Backman’s son owns and operates the Maffra District Knackery doesn’t help his cause and misinformed individuals wrongly assume that a grim fate for all his purchases is sealed with the fall of the auctioneer’s gavel.  

There exists a similarly misguided line of thinking in the community that all horses offered in such sales are destined for an untimely demise, save for intervention from ‘rescue’ groups that also boast regular attendance at the sales.

Backman is no saint. Far from it, in fact. But he loves horses and is fed up with individuals and groups that claim otherwise, giving legitimate sales and honest dealers a terrible reputation in the process.

“You’re damn right they (horse sales) get a bad rap and for no reason,” Backman said.

“I’ll be honest with you, if people toned it down a little bit and opened their eyes to see where these horses actually end up, everyone would be better off.

“You’ve got people ringing these thoroughbred trainers and owners, accusing them of sending a horse to Maffra (Knackery) because I’ve picked it up and telling them that they’ve saved the horse.

“How the hell are you saving a horse from me if I’m a horse dealer and I’ve got someone else buying the horse?”

Backman said the overwhelming majority of horses he purchased filled orders from private buyers looking for horses to work stock or compete across multiple equestrian disciplines. Others are utilised by his family in a successful show jumping breeding program.

And he said other dealers operated in a similar manner with the bulk of thoroughbreds finding their way to the knackery being those too sick, injured or dangerous horses to place into post-racing careers.

“If horses I buy are booked to the Daville Pastoral Company, they’re all sold and if they’re booked to the Maffra Knackery, 90% of those horses I sell as well,” Backman said.

“We breed jumping horses with our warmblood stallions and nearly all those broodmares we’ve got are thoroughbreds that I’ve bought.

“Even the place at Laverton where there was a bit of controversy and media exposure a couple of years ago is selling horses on (via Rehoming Horses Victoria).

“But if horses are injured and will never live comfortably or have a bad temperament where someone could get hurt, putting them into the trade (knackery) is the best option.

Backman confirmed that many of the horses he purchased, either from public sales or through private dealings, were thoroughbreds, a breed that had proven relatively simple to sell on to new homes.

Monitoring of recent sales indicates that, on average, only 12% of the horses offered at Victorian livestock sales are thoroughbreds, the majority of which have been rehomed more than once since retiring from the track.

“I deal in horses and I can sell the thoroughbreds quite easily,” Backman said.

“I’ve bought a lot of racehorses and they’ve been the best cared for horses I’ve ever seen.

“I buy 80 to 90 horses a month privately and while they’re not all thoroughbreds, the majority are, and those people are more than happy for me to sell them because I ring them back and tell them who I’ve sold them to.

“I don’t make a fortune on them but I make good money and the racing blokes are pleased to see me do it.

“I have the utmost respect for the racing trainers I deal with because they’ve got the utmost respect for their horses.”

This respect is reciprocated in the way Backman cares for the thoroughbreds he buys once they arrive on his property.

Some horses spend only a few days there before being dropped off to their new owners while others, including those only recently retired from racing, are given time to transition from their fast-paced racing lifestyle.

“The horses I buy are unloaded into my yards later that night and as soon as they’re unloaded they’re given water and lucerne to eat all night and in the morning I let them out into the good irrigation paddocks,” Backman said.

 “If they’ve come in fresh out of work, all I do is put them in a paddock for about four or five weeks on the grass, just to get the hot feed out of them.

“As soon as they’ve got the hot feed out of them, we bring them back into work and they train up the same as any other horse.”

At last week’s Echuca Horse Sale, Backman was behind the purchase of seven thoroughbreds, including former Chris Waller and Matthew Williams-trained galloper White Knight.

The seven-year-old son of Ustinov, a one-time hurdler who was retired in 2013, sold for $350 and Backman immediately lined the gelding up for a buyer seeking a horse to work stock.

But after being contacted by Kylie Stephenson, one of the horse’s original racing owners, prominent media personality Richard Callander, agreed to fund the transfer of the horse into Stephenson’s care, where he remains today.

Callander had initially been assured White Knight would be retired to a loving equestrian home but, unbeknownst to his former trainers and owners, the gelding was offered for sale at Echuca 18 months after his final race start.

“I had White Knight sold when Kylie rang me and I rang the chap back and told him I couldn’t sell it to him anymore,” Backman said.

“But he didn’t have a problem taking one of the other big thoroughbreds I’d bought, as long as they were able to be worked on the stock and that’s not a problem for thoroughbreds.

“He asked me what happened to White Knight and I told him that the original owners wanted to buy it back and Kylie, who I deal with quite a bit, had been ringing and asking me for it.

While Racing Victoria (RV) accepts Victorian livestock sales as legitimate markets to buy and sell thoroughbreds, both in and out of work, it strongly recommends vendors present horses in good condition, place an auction reserve on the horse and remain at the sale throughout the day to satisfy all enquiries about the horse from prospective buyers, and if need be take them home.

As part of its commitment to equine welfare, RV representatives will continue to attend the Echuca Horse Sale each fortnight to identify thoroughbreds for sale and provide any known information to potential buyers, as well as offering a courtesy service to alert owners, trainers and breeders to the presence of any former horses. 

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One of our members retired this girl very quickly on discovering she was a very slow conveyance but as with all his retirees, he rehomed her to full advantage of all concerned Clap Clap

Retired Racehorse Success at Sydney Royal

  • By Cara Kavanagh
Embedded image permalink

Victorian rider Sarah Dempsey’s retired racehorse Sarven Park Tell All was judged Best Novice Hack at last week’s Sydney Royal Show.

The Off the Track mare, sired by the US stallion Denon from the Umatilla mare Summatilla, had one start under the race name ‘Summaden’ and is an example of the many racehorses, both successful and unsuccessful, that forge a new post-racing career in another equestrian sport.

The mare’s breeder and former trainer, popular Mt Gambier horseman Dean Saxon, said he was rapt to have found such a good home for her.

“She was pretty slow and only raced once, but was always a terrific conformation type, so when (we found out) Sarah was looking for a new horse, we sent her over,” Saxon told The Weekly Times’ Fran Cleland.

"The lovely Sarah Dempsey has done a truly outstanding job with this mare and to win at Sydney Royal is massive for her.

“Sarah deserves all the credit. She’s done all the hard work and we are so proud.”

Retired thoroughbred racehorses continued to impress the judges in Sydney across the weekend, winning three of the four Open Hack classes and claiming Champion and Reserve Champion Open Hack.

Champion Hack was awarded to Mikimoto, winner of the Tony Haynes Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the best Open Hack over 15.2hh and not exceeding 16hh. Mikimoto, who raced as Lago Force during stints in the stables of Team Hawkes and Garry White, was exhibited by Joh Bailey, Michael Christie and Sandra McCann.

The Large Hack class was won by imposing Zabeel gelding Xlerate for Mark Kenzig, Victoria Gorst and Vick Berwick while Syenna Vassilopoulos’ mare High Fashion, who raced as Rosie Glow, took out the over 16hh and not exceeding 16.2hh class before going on to claim reserve Champion Open Hack.

The Col. A. V. Pope Silver Perpetual Trophy, donated by the late Col A V Pope, for the Best Hack over 15hh which, that in the opinion of the Judge, shows Thoroughbred qualities was won by Joann Maunder’s nomination Karado.

Karado, a son of Rock of Gibraltar (IRE) that sold for $200,000 as a weanling, raced as Domitian for Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings and proved to be a handy horse on the track, winning at Canterbury and Newcastle and earning more than $60,000 from 22 starts before being retired in February 2012.


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Manighar on Gold path with Dutton

  • 14 Apr, 2015
  • |James Tzaferis - @Jtzaf


Manighar

Manighar, with Phillip Dutton in the saddle (Photo: www.phillipdutton.com)

He conquered the racetrack with feature wins on both sides of the equator and now Group 1-winning grey Manighar will turn his attention to dominating another equine discipline.     

The OTI Racing-owned gelding, a winner of 10 races and nearly $4 million during a 44-start career in Europe, Australia and the United States, has joined the stables of top US-based eventer Phillip Dutton.

A member of Australia’s Gold Medal-winning eventing team at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Dutton is now based in West Grove, Pennsylvania and continues to compete at the sport’s highest level.

Retired after running his final race for trainer H. Graeme Motion at Woodbine in December 2014, Dutton has been impressed with Manighar’s rapid Off the Track transition.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’ve made,” Dutton said in a video posted on his YouTube page.

“Overall, his progress has been very pleasing and he has come around very quickly for us given he came straight from training in Florida to a whole different career and different way of going.”


Originally prepared in France by Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Alain de Royer Dupre, Manighar first travelled to Australia under the care of Luca Cumani to contest the 2010 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Transferred to Caulfield trainer Peter Moody after the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival, Manighar stamped his authority on Australia’s weight-for-age ranks with Group 1 wins in the Australian Cup (2000m), Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and The BMW (2400m).

The decision to retire the nine-year-old came after an unsuccessful three-start North American campaign for Motion with another of the gelding’s owners, US businessman Earle Mack, asking Dutton to assess the son of Linamix’s potential as an event mount.

Eventing combines three equestrian disciplines – dressage, cross country and show jumping – and has traditionally been a popular post-racing career for thoroughbreds whose athleticism, intelligence and stamina has led them to success at the pinnacle of the sport.

“He’s gone from being what I call ‘real racehorsey’ which is being inattentive and wanting to canter and go fast to understanding about bending around your leg and being able to go in a bit of a frame,” Dutton said.

“He picks up each canter leg well and I’m just starting to get him to slow down the canter so that he can canter on a shorter stride.

“He jumps in good form and his technique with his front and back legs is good but what I’ll be working on is to get him up higher in the air.”

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Thanks Gay, it is so good to hear these stories, brings back my faith in the human race.   
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Dream retirement for Annual hero

  • 10 hours ago
  • |James Tzaferis 
Kate Ryan and Awakening Dream

Kate Ryan and Awakening Dream

His ability over obstacles proved a defining factor in his successful racing career and now 2012 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) winner Awakening Dream is putting his impressive leap to good use in his new equestrian career.

The former Patrick Payne-trained jumper, a winner of 11 of his 46 career starts including eight over obstacles, was retired from the track in 2013 into the care of former handler Kate Ryan.

Ryan, who strapped the gelding when he won the Grand Annual and continues to ride trackwork for Payne, said the 11-year-old was making impressive progress in his new career as a show jumper and aspiring eventer.

“When the decision was made to retire him, the owner asked Patrick to find him a good home and he asked me if I wanted to take him,” Ryan said.

“He finished his racing career and I sent him to the beach at Inverloch with my brother-in-law for a bit of a holiday while I was pregnant.

“After I had my daughter I brought him back to where I’m living which is near Diamond Creek and we’re competing twice a month, mostly in show jumping, but we’re getting into a bit of eventing as well.”

Eventing combines three equestrian disciplines – dressage, cross country and show jumping – and is a domain in which thoroughbreds have always excelled due to their intelligence, versatility and stamina.

Leading international and Australian eventers, including Olympians Shane Rose, Sonja Johnson and Gillian Rolton, have tasted success aboard thoroughbreds in some of the world's biggest events.

While Awakening Dream’s jumping ability ensures he is proficient in both cross country and show jumping, Ryan said her intention was to refine the gelding’s flat work.

“He’s a really good jumper over the show jumps so there’s no problem there,” Ryan said.

“He’ll have to improve on his dressage skills to be competitive at the highest level but on his show jumping and cross country there won’t be any problems because he loves it.

“We’re working on our flat work at the moment and I’m getting lessons on a weekly basis.”

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MI3DE Guest Blog - Kirilee Hosier

  • |By Kirilee Hosier

Kirilee Hosier and Regal Red Jasper

Fresh from success at the PCAV State Horse Trials, 20-year-old Kirilee Hosier will lead a two-pronged attack on the CCI1* at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event on retired racehorses Regal Red Jasper and Scatterbook Divine

I’m 20 now and I got my first pony when I was three years old. My parents both rode so I was brought up into a life of riding, starting pony club when I was five. I was just doing general pony club stuff for a period of time and the horse I had decided he didn’t want to jump anymore which meant a few years of just doing dressage.

But since I’ve had my two thoroughbreds in the stable, I’ve pretty much focussed on eventing. I haven’t competed at Melbourne before so it’s quite exciting for me as a first time rider, especially with two horses there and I’m hopeful that one of them can come out with a placing.

I got my older horse Jasper in 2009 and he hadn’t done a lot because he’d been a bit of a handful for his previous rider. He’s an 11-year-old son of Lion Cavern that never made it to the racetrack. I started him off at Pony Club and I’ve brought him along slowly to CCI1*. He’s a bit behind where he could’ve been because unfortunately he had two years off with various injuries but I’m hoping that next season he’ll be able to get to CCI2*.

Scatterbook Divine is two years younger than Jasper and I got him two days after his last race. He made it to the track and actually managed to win a race at Echuca when he was known as The Divine One. My coach had affiliations with the trainer, Lee Hope, and I was basically told that he was mine if I wanted to take him. I picked him up from the trainer, brought him home for two weeks before he unfortunately got injured as well.

He’s been a progressive eventer and has continued to improve as I’ve brought him through the grades. He started at Grade Four and won the Pony Club State Horse Trials, then the next year he won Grade Three at the same event. He was second at Grade Two at last year’s titles and was obviously fourth at Grade One this year, behind Jasper who finished second and was awarded the Best Performed Off the Track thoroughbred.

These two horses have made me a pretty big fan of thoroughbreds as a breed. I’ve noticed that even after a few weeks off, they’re still fit so if they have a slight setback I know I can rest them and they’ll still have enough fitness to go to a competition. I’ve found thoroughbreds are also pretty good at remembering what their job is which is helpful and most of them are pretty quick and quite agile. 

I’d like to complete Melbourne on both of them and of course I’d love to get some sort of ribbon but it is a tough field and I want to be realistic. I would expect Jasper to do slightly better than Scatterbook Divine as he is the more experienced of the two and performed well at the PCAV State Horse Trials last month. But in saying that, Scatterbook Divine always seems to surprise me and can sometimes score better and jump better than Jasper if things go right for him. Regardless, there’ll a bit of healthy in-house competition between the two and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2015 at 5:50pm
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Brilliant shot of retired @PGsnowden G1 winner Erewhon in action again over the weekend for @lyndal_emadilo

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Richazam , an old eventer OFTTB,  now doing PC,  came 4th at the Aust Pony Club Championships in Adelaide at the weekend, against a host of WBs.
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Kylie Stephenson to Thoroughbred GateKeeper

Was just informed today that Grand Zulu - BMW stakes winner won the 1.05m showjumping Championship at the Sydney SJ Champs today! Great to see a well know OTT go onto being a successful Equestrian competitor

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2015 at 7:24pm
OTT Hanks loving life at Violet Town Euroa Jumping Classic last weekend Clap

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2016 at 11:56am
Double post as he has his own thread too Big smile

Sincero

Sincero, pictured here after winning the Group 2 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield

Sincero set for second career

  • 9:17am
  • |James Tzaferis

He was a star on the racetrack and early indications suggest dual Group 1 winner Sincero will be a formidable force in his new career as a show horse.

A winner 12 races, including the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), and more than $1.7 million in prizemoney, Sincero made his showing debut in New South Wales last weekend.

The son of Umatilla remains in the care of Sarah Farley, the wife of trainer Stephen Farley, and is being shown in partnership with long-time friend Lisa Greentree.

Greentree said that the eight-year-old coped with the foreign atmosphere of the show ring extremely well at his first competitive outing and is excited about the gelding’s future under saddle.

“He went to his first show last week in the led classes and he was so relaxed,” Greentree said.

“Being the first show of the season there was quite a bit going on and a lot of horses around him were a bit fresh but when he was asked to trot out for the judge he did it like he’s been doing it all his life.

“He wants to do it, he wants to be there and he doesn’t mind the eating part of being a show horse as well.”

Greentree, an part-owner of several Farley-trained horses over the last decade, said the stable put an emphasis on responsible retirement of its horses and Sincero was one of many that had transitioned into a competitive second career.

“The owners are very passionate about rehoming all of their horses and the majority of them agreed that this was the best thing for him (Sincero),” Greentree said.

“Everyone just loves the horse so much and a career in the show ring just gives us an excuse to spoil him.”

Should Sincero continue his progression through the ranks, he could qualify to represent New South Wales in this year’s Off the Track National Show Horse Championship.

The exclusive event, held by Racing Victoria for the first time in 2015, attracts the premier thoroughbred show horses from around the country and showcases the successful transformation racehorses can make into a second career. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2016 at 2:06pm
Another great CIC3* performance at Albury by RV Retrainer @OTTEventing & her ex-racehorse La Muso

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2016 at 2:08pm
Congratulations to @Shane_M_Rose & retired racehorse Shanghai Joe after success in the CIC3* at Albury Horse Trials


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2016 at 1:24pm
A contribution from 'acia alba', thanks, I'm sure the thread is read even if few comments, it's lovely to know how many are going on to fulfilling lives for both owners & horses Thumbs Up
As an aside, Damien Thornton returned to Pony Club competition over the weekend, showing he'd not forgotten how by winning his event (dressage picture) on Gosh Clap

Damien Thornton Rides A Winner But Not On The Racetrack.

Damien Thronton was able to ride a winner on Sunday but this time it was not on a racetrack.

Damien turned back the clock and returned to his Pony Club days riding his old mate Gosh to victory at the Lochard Pony Club at Grade 1 Level.

Gosh was a bit fresh in the dressage arena and after Round 1 was sitting 3rd with a bit of work to do, Round 2 in the Show Jumping arena Gosh was able to make up ground overall with a handy display only knocking over 4 poles in what was a tight course for all the competitors.

The 3rd Round was Cross Country and Gosh and Damien went thru cleanly and although a tad slow from the "set time" it was enough to secure the overall lead and the victory.

For both horse and rider it was a very enjoyable day and both will improve from the hitout, Damien was very quick to point out "I still have got it" a cheeky remark but worthy one given his long break from his pony club days.




Saturday’s opening meeting of The Championships in Sydney marks the 10-year anniversary of Headturner’s dominant win in the 2006 Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.

On that day, and for the duration of the gelding’s 23-start career, he was a hero in the eyes of his connections, collecting more than $1.5 million in prizemoney and scoring emotional wins, not only in the Derby, but also the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) at Doomben.

Headturner was also placed in the 2005 Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington and contested the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup the following Spring Racing Carnival. 

Now 13-years-old, the one-time Emirates Melbourne Cup favourite continues to live up to his name, albeit turning heads at Leongatha Adult Riding Club rather than Flemington or Randwick.  

In the care of 71-year-old dressage rider Helen Guy, the former Team Hawkes-trained stayer is enjoying life at a much slower pace than his days on the track.

Although injury and ailment – to both horse and rider – have prevented her competing as much as she’d hoped aboard the imposing son of Anabaa, Headturner remains the pride of Guy’s Koonwarra property.

“I still pinch myself that he’s standing out in my paddock,” Guy said.

“I was looking for a new horse and after all the horses I had ridden, here was a willing horse that had a lovely soft mouth,  lovely movement, could stay on a circle, had great rhythm, felt great in my hand and didn’t seem to be fussed by anything.

“He’s such a gentle horse and I love doing anything with him.”
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2016 at 8:41pm

Grand Zulu excelling in next faze of career

He beat the likes of Melbourne Cup hero Makybe Diva on the track, now Grand Zulu is forging an impressive reputation off it.

NATURAL: Maddison Plant and Grand Zulu make a great showjumping team. Picture: MITCH COHEN

NATURAL: Maddison Plant and Grand Zulu make a great showjumping team. Picture: MITCH COHEN

More than a decade after he burst onto the scene to score a memorable win in the Group 1 The BMW, Gwenda Markwell’s former stable star has found a career post racing in showjumping. 

The now 15-year-old gelding is now based at Simon and Olwyn Kale’s Foxground Training Stables full time while partnering regular rider Maddison Plant in competition’s around NSW.

He has been based at the stables since the end of 2013 after connections decided to call time on his racing career in 2008.

As a three-year-old, he surged past Caulfield Cup king Mummify and three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva at Rosehill Gardens to win The BMW in a track-record time of 2 minutes 25.78 seconds

The record for the race still stands today and remains as Markwell’s only Group 1 victory in her extensive training career which has featured 13-straight Kembla trainers’ titles.

The memorable racing career on the track came as a surprise to Plant.

Gwenda Markwell.

Gwenda Markwell.

I didn’t know anything about him,” the Vet Science student Sydney University said.

“He was kind of a surprise. 

“[Trainer] Simon and Olwyn Kale found him because he had another horse coming from the place he was at.

“And then he said, I might have this really good horse for you and we might have something you can ride in the bigger classes with. We will just see how it goes.

“A couple of weeks later, the other horse arrived and we got Zulu off the truck too.

“I had him on a two week trial basis and I loved him.”

Plant and Grand Zulu came together when the Clovelly resident graduated school. 

Over the past two and a half years the pair have competed at competition’s around the state with a high degree of success.

The pairing won the high point score at the Canberra Cup event and the Grand Prix at the Camden Winter Showjumping Festival in the past 12 months. 

“There is rarely a show that he comes away without some sort of ribbon,” Plant said.

“He is pretty consistent and cruisy.

“He is just a really good horse.” 

Plant, who has had several horses during her young career, rates Grand Zulu at the top.

“He is easy to travel and for a horse who is such a good race horse, he is such a chilled out, easy-going guy,” she said.

“He is the most chilled out horse I’ve ever known.

“He has got the best nature.

“He is the easiest horse and is so good to everybody.”

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Very nice to read, thank you
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Steady Eddie and Boyd Martin

Retired Aussie racehorse set for Rolex Kentucky

  • 28 April, 2016
  • |James Tzaferis 

There will be a Victorian connection at this weekend’s Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, the first international CCI4* of the year.

Australian expatriate Boyd Martin, who now resides in and represents the United States at the elite level of eventing, will partner progressive 12-year-old thoroughbred Steady Eddie.

Bred in New Zealand and sold to Australia, the son of Jetball began his racing career at Flemington under the care of trainer Tommy Hughes where he raced as Big Jet.

Unplaced in two maidens at Werribee and Geelong, Big Jet was transferred into the care of Cranbourne horseman and former Olympic show jumper Greg Eurell where he was again unplaced in a Geelong maiden.

The three Victorian performances prompted the sale of the gelding to Queensland where he continued his racing career for four different trainers - John Manzelmann, Todd Austin, Michael Courtney and Robert Kirkwood - before eventually retiring in October 2009 with a career record of six wins from 36 starts and earnings in excess of $30,000.

Enter Martin who, during a visit to Queensland in the summer of 2009-2010, spotted Big Jet in a paddock and was immediately impressed with what he saw, despite the gelding lacking some condition at the height of oppressive drought.

Big Jet was subsequently shipped to the United States where, under Martin’s care and renamed Steady Eddie, he has continued to progress through the eventing ranks. This weekend’s event marks his CCI4* debut.

One-third of the 90 riders contesting Rolex Kentucky will partner full thoroughbreds this weekend with the majority of those being former racehorses, including another former Australian galloper Kalinga Damo, a 10-start maiden for Caloundra trainer Carmel Richardson, who is now ridden by US eventer Elisa Wallace.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2016 at 8:26pm
One third will be OTTTBs . I can think of a few warmblood breeders who would never accept that as being correct LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jayzaa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2016 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by Geraldo Geraldo wrote:

Just read the polo article.  So, if a polo pony's best years is 6-8yo that means they need to be rehomed again shortly after that?

No, you misunderstood.  It takes till then to fully educate them for polo.  Many I know were still playing well into their teens, and early twenties.  I had one that retired and came to my horse at stud, she was 22 and went in foal for her first foal.
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Retired racehorse Carnero will contest the EvA80 class at the Ballarat International Horse Trials

Big bounty for thoroughbreds at Ballarat

James Tzaferis@Jtzaf

5 May, 2016

It may not quite rival the prizemoney they once chased on the racetrack but the retired thoroughbred racehorses contesting this weekend's Marcus Oldham Ballarat International Horse Trials will be in line for a lucrative payday. 

As part of its sponsorship of the three-day event, beginning at Ballarat's Victoria Park tomorrow, Racing Victoria will offer $200 prizemoney and embroidered rugs to the riders of the Best Performed Retired Racehorse in each of the premier FEI classes, the CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1*. Additionally, an embroidered rug will be provided to the highest placed Off the Track horse in the EA classes, EvA105, EvA95 and EvA80. 

In total, a massive 155 retired thoroughbred racehorses are entered to contest the event. 

The feature class, the Ballarat Business CIC3*, is highlighted by the appearance of Will Enzinger's Wenlock Aquifer, a former David Hayes-trained gelding that was a last start winner of the CIC2* at Camperdown Horse Trials.

In the Racing Victoria Off the Track CIC2* class, 16 retired racehorses will do battle, including Sarah Klas' former Stakes-performed two-year-old The Prankster, Sophie Fox's Practice Makes Perfect and talented gelding Gosh for Racing Victoria apprentice jockey Stephanie Thornton. 

And in the divided CIC1* classes, a bumper 34 of the 62 entries are Off the Track thoroughbreds, including 2014 Mornington Triequithon champion Ripley Lodge Gator, Tayla Childs' Kiwi import Langarra and Ruadhan, formerly trained by locally-based Melbourne Cup-winning horseman Darren Weir.  

Retired Group 1 hero Blutigeroo (EvA105), Cranbourne Cup winner Majestical (EvA105) and gifted two and three-year-old Carnero (EvA80) are among some of the well-performed racehorses contesting the lower EA classes of the event as they continue to progress in their second career.

The full list of entries for this weekend's Marcus Oldham Ballarat International Horse Trials is available here.

Racing Victoria's sponsorship of the event, via its Off the Track program, is part of the wider strategy to drive the demand for Off the Track horses in equestrian and pleasure disciplines by providing incentives that reward riders that invest in their re-education. 

More information about Racing Victoria's Off the Track program is available here. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2016 at 12:42pm
With many programmes like this happening , no excuse for sending them from track to doggers sales with shoes still on .  In other words no even giving them a chance.   just MHO tho.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2016 at 12:54pm
Sonja Johnson won the postponed Sydney ODE*3 at the weekend , which is a selection trial for the Olympics,  riding Parkiarrup Illicit Liason.    He is a TB , but not sure what his race name was, as these eventers tend to change race names to show names sometimes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2016 at 1:45pm
His Race name was Bullionaire,  by Made Of Gold from Gourmet Star by Luskin Star.
Raced once or twice in W.A. and did nothing.
( Sonja is from WA )
Red might know more ??Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2016 at 8:24pm

TS Jamaimo and Chris Burton at the 2013 Australian International Three Day Event (Image courtesy of Julie Wilson)

Jamaimo jumping for Rio selection

James Tzaferis@Jtzaf

8:16am

, (

Retired Victorian racehorse TS Jamaimo can firm up his place on the Australian eventing team for the Rio Olympics with a strong showing at this weekend’s Chatsworth International Horse Trials.

The gelding will make a return to CIC3* competition for premier Australian eventer Chris Burton, having placed third at his seasonal debut in the CIC2* at Belton last month.

Burton and TS Jamaimo are arguably Australia’s best-performed eventing combination over the past two seasons, continuing to impress at the sport’s elite level since first pairing to win the 2013 Australian International Three Day Event at CCI4* level in Adelaide.

Last season, TS Jamaimo showed all his thoroughbred qualities to land the British Eventing Championship at Gatcombe Park before a podium finish in the CCI4* at Burghley in September.

While he is noted for his exceptional movement in the dressage arena and calculated show jumping performances, the hallmark of both of TS Jamaimo’s 2015 wins were blistering displays on gruelling cross country courses.

An Olympic berth would be a fairy tale result for the 16-year-old son of Urgent Request, who was tried unsuccessfully by two Victorian racehorse trainers before being retired into equestrian.

Bred by Emirates Park and given the racing name Hurried Plea, the gelding spent time in the Flemington stables of Russell Cameron and the Cranbourne yard of John Griffiths, the legacy of which was an official trial in 2002 in which he failed to beat a rival home.

And TS Jamaimo might not be the only retired racehorse on the Australian eventing team with Sonja Johnson’s Off the Track gelding Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison (pictured above) placing pressure on selectors with a dominant victory in last weekend’s CCI3* at the Sydney International Horse Trials.

Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison, a 15-year-old son of Made Of Gold, raced as Bullionaire and was beaten by 25 lengths in his only start on the racetrack, a two-year-old handicap in Belmont.

Are you considering a thoroughbred for your next competition horse? More information of Racing Victoria's Off the Track program is available here. 


Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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