Four horses are in the running to be awarded The Jockey Club Retraining of Racehorses’ Horse of the Year Award. In just one week we will know our winner!
The final four contenders are:
- 18-year-old Lampos, owned and ridden by Jolene Midgely
- 15-year-old Billybo, owned and ridden by Claire Griffiths
- 14-year-old Ponte Vecchio, owned and ridden by Stuart Nie
- 15-year-old, Monkerty Tunkerty, owned and ridden by Jess Westwood
All of these horses have followed up their racing careers, with successful second careers in different equestrian disciplines.
Age no barrier
Both Lampos and Ponte Vecchio retired from racing more than ten years ago and both achieved career-best results in 2018 at the ages of 18 and 15 respectively.
Despite a season interrupted by ill health, Jolene Midgely and Lampos were crowned Champions in the RoR/TBA Retrained Racehorse Challenge at Aintree in August. They have also enjoyed success in dressage, show jumping, showing and at hunter trials.
When he is not driving a lorry for a living, Stuart Nie goes eventing and show jumping on his former racehorse, Ponte Vecchio. In 2018 the pair once again qualified for the Grassroots Championships at Badminton Horse Trials, this year securing a top ten finish in a field of 115. The combination has previously represented Great Britain in the World Club Show jumping Championships.
Versatility is the key
Racing fans will know Monkerty Tunkerty and the unmistakable bond he enjoys with his trainer, owner and original rider, Jess Westwood. His remarkable temperament also helped ‘Monkey’ overcome serious injury to return to the track and the winners’ enclosure and the same temperament has seen him thrive in his post-racing career, with success in dressage, showing and show jumping.
All the contenders are versatile, but 15-year-old Billybo has excelled in hunting, showing, working hunter, show jumping, hunter trials, arena eventing, dressage and team chasing. This year he won nine classes, including two championships, before rounding off the season with a Reserve Champion at the RoR National Championships.
Time to find a Champion
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), said: “Each of the finalists is a wonderful advert for the versatility of the thoroughbred and for RoR itself. Our thanks again to The Jockey Club for their sponsorship of the evening’s final award and for the use of The Jockey Club Rooms as the venue.”
We are proud to sponsor this award and to host the evening. Good luck to all attendees.