DOB: 8th May 2003
STABLE NAME: Pineau / Mr P
RACING TRAINER: Dr Richard Newland
RETIRED FROM RACING: In April 2016 aged 13
CLAIM TO FAME: Won the Crabbies Grand National in 2014
FAVOURITE THING TO DO: Play in the field with his friend JB, jump, gallop and come into his stable for a sleep.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PINEAU: Still joint owned by Dr Richard Newland and John Provan. After he was retired from the track, I was honoured to be asked if I’d like to re-train Pineau, so since February 2017 he has lived on my small competition yard five miles up the road from where he was trained in Claines, Worcestershire.
TYPICAL DAY: During the summer months Pineau spends his evenings in the field with his best mate JB. He comes in during the day, starting with a large bowl of brekkie, which he is very particular about (only mix and small amount of chaff). Oh, and get out the way quickly as he’ll let you know pretty soon that he’s not sharing! This is followed with a few mouthfuls of hay, then a lie down and a little snooze.
He’s normally woken up around 11am for some exercise of some sort, which varies throughout the week. Pineau’s favourite way to plod around the lanes is being led by another horse - no rider - and he just completely relaxes, taking in the views and countryside. I imagine it’s how you feel when you’re retired and on a long walk with not much to worry about! Sometimes I’ll ride him on a hack but it needs to be in good company (a horse of good calibre) or else Pineau knows he would win the race!! At this time of year exercise is normally followed by a wash off, back in the stable, quick roll, afternoon tea (hay), another snooze to then be woken up to go back to the field with his mate! What a life!
ANNOYING HABITS: All 10 horses bar Pineau on my yard won’t leave their stable until invited, even if the doors are left wide open! But Mr P seems to think he can do what he likes (which he kind of gets away with) and he’ll creep out when I’m not watching. On the other hand he’s the only horse that if I open the field gates he will bring himself in - which is helpful sometimes!
FITNESS ROUTINE: We sometimes ride in the school, jumping or Flat work (he much prefers jumping), I also do a lot of long reining, lunging and obviously hacking. Pineau keeps himself pretty fit. I believe once a horse has reached his top fitness he will never lose it completely. Obviously he’s not as fit now as he was when in training, but he doesn’t need to be. When we are eventing, at his level his runs keep him fit along with all the road work and schooling.
COMPETITION: Pineau and I were about to go into our fourth season of British Eventing together, until lockdown changed everything. Last season we completed two Novices (1m10 height) and we had a PB dressage score of 30.30 (69.70%). In the 2018 season we had four top 20 placings at BE100. He has taken retraining all in his stride!
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT IN RETIREMENT: I think it’s successfully turning him into an eventer and enjoying every moment of it. I will never forget parading Pineau at Aintree Racecourse at The Grand National and riding him up to the first fence. He felt so keen, if I’d have kicked on he’d have flown around there for sure!
QUIRKS: Pineau won’t have anything other than chopped carrots and apples as a treat. He hates polos, sugar lumps or anything like that and if you give him a whole apple he will eat around the core like a human and expect you to turn it for him - utterly spoilt!
KEEPING HEALTHY: Pineau is easy to keep healthy and happy. Let him play with his mates in the field, give him time to have a snooze, leave him alone when he’s eating and take him for a mooch out being led of one of his mates. He likes to go out in the lorry to a party at least a couple of times a month (preferably with a friend) and a good scratch under his chin will make him even happier!