Kouros Des Obeaux
Owner: Katie Dykes
Favoruite pastime: Hunting and cross country.
Former trainer: Martin Pipe
Katie Dykes went from riding a 12.2hh Dartmoor hill pony to a 16.1hh thoroughbred after deciding Kouros Des Obeaux was the horse for her. He’d been showjumping but was rolling poles at 1.20m so his previous owner, Natalie Jones who had acquired him from the Pipes, decided to sell him.
That was nine-years-ago, and aged just 14, Natalie decided to take him hunting. “He wasn’t what I was looking for at all and he scared the life out of me as he was so huge, but I took him hunting anyway. He leapt straight over a hedge and we ended up in a field with the rest of the hunt still in the road looking at us. We had to find a gateway to get out. It took five years for me to pluck up the courage to take him again, and since then he’s great fun. He stands as solid as a rock at the meet, and when the hunting horn goes off, he’ll start trembling, but he is so good. I was just very inexperienced at 14, but I have absolutely no regrets as he has taught me so much. It did me the world of good being chucked in at the deep end,” she says.
Corey as he is called, is now semi-retired and his showjumping and cross country days are over, but at the weekend he enjoyed a day out with the Silverton Hunt, and he escorts Katie’s youngsters to Exmouth beach, staying steadfastly still while they bowl into him with their high jinx.
“He’s like a nanny standing still while they spin around. He’s as good as gold and very easy to look after in every way. He’s also very talkative and will whicker when you see him. He’s such a lovely friendly horse. He loves extra strong mints which my dad feeds him,” she says.
Katie is a senior carer in a care home but shift works allow her to ride from the livery yard at Rollestone Farm, Pennslyvania near Exeter where he is kept.
Katie would love to have another ex-racehorse and says if you are knowledgeable then it is a great option. “I have a warmblood who is very sharp, and compared to her he is so easy. He’s very forward going, but they are so responsive. They really teach you how to have the right seat!” she says.