Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive
T: 01488 648998
Retraining of Racehorses
75 High Holborn
London WC1V 6LS
UK Registered Charity No: 1084787
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Following Kauto Star's recent appearance at Olympia on the opening night of the London International Horse Show on 16th December, Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR said:
"I was fortunate enough to see Kauto Star up close before he went into the arena and he looked fantastic. Watching him warm up alongside the competitors in the Grand Prix he was as good as gold, but after after an impeccable start to his demonstration he did appear to become a little overwhelmed by the occasion.
"Laura Collett had said beforehand that nothing can prepare a horse for the atmosphere they experience once in the arena with 7,000 people packed around all four sides and the accompanying noise and lights and afterwards she said he had had a bout of stage-fright and lost his concentration. He would not have gone to Olympia if it could have been predicted that he would react in the manner he did.
"The crowd were still very appreciative, recognising what Kauto and Laura have achieved in switching from the routine of being a racehorse to that of a second career doing dressage. And it was great to witness the affection the public still feel for the horse.
"Kauto Star remains a great ambassador for the work we do in promoting the versatility of thoroughbreds but an experience such as Tuesday night also highlights the scale of the challenge in retraining a racehorse to compete at the highest level in a different discipline, which makes the achievements of those former racehorses that are excelling in alternative disciplines all the greater.”
Photo couresy of Fiona Maxwell-Scott - Kauto Star at Barbury earlier this year.
Racecourse Owners Association (ROA) celebrated horseracing's performances of 2014 bringing together the racing world for the ROA / Weatherbys Bank Horseracing Awards on Thursday 4th December in London, where over 500 guests attended and helped to raise over £60,000 on the night for Retraining of Racehorses. Top show producer and RoR supporter, Katie Jerram kindly donated a day at her yard as a prize for the silent auction and her generous prize raised £1,000 towards the grand total.
RoR Chief Executive, Di Arbuthnot said:
"ROA chose RoR as their official charity partner for 2014 and their generous support throughout the year has been greatly appreciated, both raising awareness of the work we do to racing owners and the fantastic amount of money raised at the Awards night for RoR. Thank you to everyone involved and also to Katie Jerram for her generosity."
To see photos from the evening visit the ROA Gallery.
RoR West have secured a clinic with Louise Robson on the 30th December at Blewbury Equestrian Centre, Bressels Way, Blewbury, Oxfordshire, OX11 9NH.
Each lesson will be a 45 minute individual lesson at a subsidised rate of £25 per rider. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with Louise Robson Clinic in the subject bar - please make sure you include your RoR number in the email.
Louise has an impressive ex-racehorse CV having competed her ex racehorse Mr Glum (owned by HRH The Queen) up to Prix St George and had him working and Grand Prix level at home before his retirement. She has competed and been placed with the ex racers at; High profile/Premier league shows, Hickstead Masters Semi Finals at varying levels, Regionals, PetPlan classes, YH classes, Talent Spotting finals and U21 Search for a Star Finals. (first ex racehorse to attend Talent Spotting and U21 Finals). Click here to read more.
Kauto Star will perform under floodlights and in front of the largest crowd yet since retiring from racing when he appears on the opening night of the London International Horse Show at Olympia on Tuesday 16 December.
The record breaking five time King George VI Chase winner will be ridden by Laura Collett in a dressage demonstration showcasing how the 14-year-old gelding has adapted to his new career since being retired from racing. On a star studded dressage themed evening in front of a capacity crowd of over 7,500, Kauto Star will be one of the box office names on show, sharing the bill with World Equestrian Games silver medalist Michael Eilberg ahead of the Reem Arca FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix, in which world number one Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are set to compete.
The dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner retired from racing in 2012 after winning 16 Grade One races for owner Clive Smith and trainer Paul Nicholls. Kauto Star has since been retrained in dressage by international Three Day Event rider, Laura Collett.
Looking ahead to Tuesday night, Laura Collett said: "It’s very exciting. I don't know for sure how Kauto will react on the night as there is no way of preparing a horse to perform in front of a packed crowd at Olympia. The combination of the lights and the crowd make for an electric atmosphere. However, he is a horse that loves attention and I am sure he will rise to the occasion.
"He is a very intelligent horse and has been a pleasure to be around throughout his time with me. He has adapted really well, enjoys his dressage and I would love him to show everyone how far he has come by delivering a great demonstration on Tuesday night."
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), added: "Being the best known steeplechaser of recent years, Kauto Star’s appearance at Olympia provides a great opportunity to highlight the versatility of racehorses to a wider audience.
"Awareness and appreciation of the adaptability of former racehorses is increasing and Kauto Star's profile has undoubtedly helped spread the word. It is also a measure of the success Laura and Yogi Breisner have had in retraining Kauto that he is now able to appear on such a stage as Olympia, under the lights and in front of a packed crowd. I am really looking forward to seeing him in action."
The following week on Boxing Day, Kauto Star will be back on more familiar ground when he parades at Kempton Park ahead of the 2014 running of the William Hill King George VI Chase.
Marksway HorseHage have agreed to offer prizes in kind to each of the RoR league leaders for the month of January 2015. This will include a prize for the dressage league leaders: Preliminary, Novice, Elementary and Overall and for the Overall show jumping league leader.
Mark Westaway & Son are a South Devon based company who manufacture Marksway HorseHage and Mollichaff. Marksway HorseHage was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1983 and is now the official supplier for the British Equestrian Team. Marksway HorseHage are proud to sponsor the South West Retraining of Racehorse Winter league for the month of January, ensuring that every horse competing through the winter months has the opportunity to be fed the highest quality feed they can.
Find out more this month's sponsor at http://www.horsehageforage.co.uk
RoR East Region is hosting a festive get-together for RoR's at the NEH (Newmarket Equine Hospital), Cambridge Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 0FG from 7pm start to 9pm on Thursday 18th December. The evening is a great chance to join RoR Regional Co-ordinators Kerry and Colleen Salmon, as well as meet up with other owners and riders to share experiences.
Admission is FREE with a glass of wine and a mince pie too! There will be a fundraising raffle on the night for RoR. Colleen says that; "We do hope as many of you will come as possible, so we can tell you what plans for 2015 we have both in our region and nationally. Also we would love to hear your feedback."
If you are interested, please let Colleen know as soon as possible so numbers can be confirmed with the venue too. E-mail now to email@example.com
Retrained racehorse 13-year-old Whatcanyasay was named The Jockey Club/ RoR Horse of the Year at the RoR Awards ceremony, which was held at The Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket on Wednesday 26th November 2014. The inaugural RoR Awards was organised by RoR and awarded prizes totalling £16,500 and presented trophies to each of the 2014 RoR Elite Series’ Champions.
Winning the ‘RoR Horse of the Year’ came as a genuine surprise to Whatcanyasay’s owner, 23 year-old Robyn Gray as RoR Patron Clare Balding, who co-presented the evening with Willie Carson, announced it. The perpetual RoR Horse of the Year Champion’s Trophy, as well as VIP tickets to the opening day of 2015 Cheltenham Festival were presented to Robyn by Stephen Wallis, Group Director of International and Racing Relations for The Jockey Club, the sponsors of this prestigious new award.
RoR Chief Executive, Di Arbuthnot said; “RoR chose to recognise Whatcanyasay because he has achieved so much since he retired from racing, taking part in RoR series of competitions to great success and retraining in such a diverse range of equestrian sports.”
Whatcanyasay was in training with Evelyn Slack and ran 46 times over hurdles and fences winning on four occasions, until he retired from racing in 2011. Since his retirement Whatcanysay has excelled in his new career with the RoR series of competitions, competing in a range of equine disciplines including eventing, cross country, hunting and dressage but says Robyn, his forte is in Showing.
In his first season, he won 2012 RoR Scottish Championship at The Royal Highland, RoR/TBA Challenge Class at Aintree and was also Champion at Hambleton District Show, as well as qualifying for the Open Pony Dressage Club Championships.
In 2013, Whatcanyasay finished in sixth place at the high-profile Horse of the Year Show just behind the Queen’s Horse Barber Shop. Just three weeks later, he entered the RoR Meriel Tuffnell Racing to Hunting Challenge at Cheltenham Racecourse finishing in second place. This year, at the RoR/TBA Retrained Racehorse Challenge Final at the 2014 Royal Windsor Horse Show in May he was second and the following month in June won the RoR/Tattersalls Scottish Show Series Championship at the Royal Highland Show.
Robyn Gray and her sisters, Melanie and Jodie from Cumbria who were also at the RoR Awards have known “Doofer’ - as Whatcanyasay is affectionately known - since he was a two-year old; “ We used to muck out at Evelyn Slack’s stables in Appleby, so we have known him most of his life. He was always our favourite at the yard so when we were offered the chance to buy him after his retirement, we jumped at the opportunity.”
The presentation of the Awards to the RoR Elite Champions and the addition of the new RoR Horse of the Year, provides a focus to celebrate the achievements of the thousands of former racehorses competing successfully in equestrian disciplines and shows both the adaptability and versatility of former racehorses retraining for life after racing in new careers. The full results of the 2014 RoR Elite Awards are as follows:
- RoR Elite Eventing Champions:
Joint Winner: ORTOLAN 9-y-o gelding
Ridden by: Polly Stockton, Cheshire.
Owned by: Stella and Allan Stennett.
Joint Winner: SQUADRON LEADER 11 y-o gelding
Ridden by: Daniele Bizzaro, Gloucestershire.
Owned by: Jane Arnold.
- RoR Elite Dressage Champion: AUSTIN APPROVED 15-y-o gelding
Ridden & Owned by: Sandie Newton, Cornwall.
- RoR Elite HOYS Show Series Champion: FLAYGRAY 10-y-o gelding
Ridden & Owned by: Faye Hesketh, Lancashire.
- RoR Elite Show Series Champion: JACK THE GIANT 12-y-o gelding
Ridden by: Allister Hood from Norfolk.
Owned by: The Jackpots Syndicate.
- RoR Elite Show Jumping Champion: CAPTAIN WILLOUGHBY 13-y-o gelding
Ridden & Owned by: Joanne Fulcher, Kent
- RoR Elite Polo Champion: FILLE DE DAUPHIN (Marmite) 16-y-o mare
Ridden & Owned by: Mark Tomlinson
- The Jockey Club/RoR Horse of the Year - Champion: WHATCANYASAY
Ridden & Owned by: Robyn Gray, Cumbria.
Renowned 4* International dressage judge Jo Graham is holding another of her popular RoR Dressage training clinics at Crow Wood EC, Burnley, Lancs BB12 0RT on Saturday 14th March 2015. Places are on a first come first served basis and must be booked and paid for in advance. The cost is £30 per RoR horse. To book please complete the booking form and return together with payment by cheque. For enquiries contact Anne Walker (nee parkinson) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun and informative sessions with the hugely popular Amanda Birch Dressage to Music will be held at Tedsmore Equestrian Centre, Oswestry, Shropshire on Sunday 1st February .Open to RoR registered horses, the cost is £30 but places are limited so will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Amanda works with riders at all levels and will provide you with music to school to or if you want you can put together a DTM test. To book dowload the BOOKING FORM now and return to Clare Poole (address above or as shown on the booking form).
This RoR Showing/Flatwork with experienced instructor Jo Bates is at Abbey Dressage, Fiddington House Farm Fiddington, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 7BJ on 13th February 2015 This clinic is suitable for all RoR’s no matter what level you are retraining at with sessions held in small groups of 3 and rider then grouped accordingly. Cost is £25 per horse/rider and the cliinc starts from 10.00am. To read more about Jo Bates click here and to book please download the BOOKING FORM.
Another chance to take part in the hugely popular Amanda Birch Dressage to Music Clinics, this time back again at Tewkesbury Riding School, Hillview, Cherry Orchard Lane, Twyning, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 6JH on Sunday 22nd February 2015. Open to RoR registered horses, the cost is £30 but places are limited so will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Amanda works with riders at all levels and will provide you with music to school to or if you want you can put together a DTM test. To book dowload the BOOKING FORM now and return to Clare Poole (address above or as shown on the booking form).
Expert Jenny Johnson will be holding a RoR Dressage to Music Training at Crow Wood EC, Burnley, Lancs BB12 0RT on Sunday 1st February 2015.
Jenny started competing in freestyle classes 24 years ago. She has competed in riding club freestyles, as well as British Dressage and works with North West British Dressage. Her expertise in DTM is complimented by teaching music, providing her with musical ability to be able to match the horse, rider and music well.
For a cost of £40 per RoR horse/rider enjoy one to one tuition with Jenny which will include a warm up, instruction on a routine and each rider will then be provided with a complete freestyle package of cd and floorplan. Places are limited and on a first come first served basis. To book download this BOOKING FORM and return to Anne Parkinson together with payment to the address shown on the form.
New for West Wales - join top show producer and RoR Champion, Katie Jerram for this RoR Showing clinic at Moor Farm EC, Haverford West, Pembrokeshire SA62 4NL on Saturday 24th January 2015. This clinic wil run in small groups not like a class with choice of flat or challenge groups.
Cost: £30 to attend with your horse or you can come along just to watch for free. To book, download and complete the BOOKING FORM and return along with payment. Numbers are strictly limited and will be on a first come first served basis.
Two further dates for the ever popular clinics with experienced instructor and now an RoR panel judge, Jo Callwood at Crow Wood Equestrian Centre, Burnley, Lancs, BB12 0RT for her RoR Challenge/Working Hunter unique training sessions. Places are on a first come first served basis and must be booked and paid for in advance. The cost is £25 per RoR horse. To secure your place, please complete the BOOKING FORM specifying the date of the clinic you wish to attend on the form and then return to Anne Walker (nee Parkinson) with full payment.
This new RoR Showing Clinic with Lucy Killingbeck will be held at Tewkesbury Riding School, Hillview, Cherry Orchard Lane, Twyning, Tewkesbury, Glos, GL20 6JH on Sunday March 15th 2015. Fantastic chance to join top Showing producer and international judge Lucy Killingbeck. Lucy has experienced great success in the show ring and as a highly respected judge. The cost for a session is £25.00 per horse/rider. To book now and secure your place download the BOOKING FORM
Join top showing professionals, Robert & Claire Oliver on Sunday 25th January 2015 at Tewkesbury Riding School, Cherry Orchard Lane, Twyning, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. This pre-season RoR clinic is the perfect opportunity to get your RoR in front of one of the most prolific partnerships in showing - Robert and Claire Oliver.
The clinic will be held indoors in small groups of no more than 3 for hour long sessions at a cost of £25 per horse/rider. There will be the opportunity for Claire to assess the ride of members' horses, as well as the chance for discussion on ring craft, tack and turnout. To book please download and complete the BOOKING FORM, send with your payment to the address shown. Numbers are strictly limited and will be on a first come first served basis.
We are pleased to announce that the independent review of the strategy and policy of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) has been completed. One of its recommendations is the creation of a new role of Welfare Consultant, to which the former President of BEVA and Chief Executive of the Horse Trust, Paul Jepson has been appointed.
Other recommendations in the review include RoR establishing an online 'for sale' site and staging its own public auction with a recognised sales company with the charity becoming the 'one stop shop' and 'go to' organisation for assisting owners and trainers in re-homing former racehorses.
It also recommends an expansion of the existing competition series and events programme, and an expansion of RoR's regional activities, including the education programmes that focus on engaging with owners of former racehorses at less experienced and competitive levels.
The review, carried out by Jonny McIrvine, former Chief Executive of the charity that is now World Horse Welfare, recommended that the primary role of the four RoR supported centres should be to care for 'vulnerable and unwanted' horses, in accordance with charity’s objects, and that future levels of funding from RoR should reflect each centre's ability to meet criteria relating to that objective. The review also recommended that RoR improve the geographical spread of approved centres and enlist further suitably equipped locations to be available to care for horses.
Paul Jepson, in the new role of RoR Welfare Consultant, will be the principal liaison point for all RoR supported or approved centres. He will use his experience as both a veterinary surgeon and former consultant to Government on equine welfare to work with other welfare organisations and in monitoring any ‘vulnerable and unwanted’ former racehorses.
Running in parallel to Jonny McIrvine’s review, Deloitte have carried out a separate project with funding support from the Racing Foundation, one of the aims of which is to get an accurate and up to date picture of the career paths of horses leaving training in Britain.
To date the project has reviewed four years of data (2008-2011) and by the final year over 90% of horses leaving training were accounted for. Throughout, the largest proportion of horses, c.40%, were found second careers outside of racing. While the methodology used and data available differed from the previous piece of work, which looked at horses leaving training in 2006, the figures showed a significant drop in the number of unaccounted for horses (19% down to 8%). Deloitte will be making recommendations on how the data quality and timeliness of its collection can be improved, which will further reduce the proportion of unaccounted for horses.
Paul Roy, Chairman of RoR, said: "I would like to thank Jonny McIrvine for compiling such a comprehensive and constructive report. The review established that RoR, through the creation and development of a series of exclusive competitions, has engineered an increase in the demand for former racehorses. Indeed, the goal of balancing the supply of horses leaving racing with the demand for them in other roles is largely being achieved.
"Among the range of the review's recommendations, there are three key themes. Firstly, an expansion of the policies that have facilitated the increase in demand for former racehorses in other equine activities. There are now over 10,000 horses registered on RoR's database and the charity stages shows and competitions across 12 different equine disciplines. These will continue to be expanded, together with more activities and educational programmes at regional level to engage with the grass roots of horse ownership.
"Where previously there was a perception that the charity's work was predominantly about rehabilitation and re-homing via the centres, the success of the competition series has highlighted the versatility of the Thoroughbred and created a genuine commercial market for former racehorses. That said, the centres still perform a vital role in providing a safety net for 'vulnerable and unwanted' former racehorses.
"Consequently, another theme running through the recommendations is the implementation of steps to bolster existing measures that protect the welfare of former racehorses and we are both fortunate and delighted to have recruited someone as experienced and respected in field of equine welfare as Paul Jepson in the role of RoR Welfare Consultant. His appointment will undoubtedly strengthen RoR, whose small team, led by Chief Executive Di Arbuthnot, does an excellent job.
“The third theme relates to the need for improved communication, both directly to racing and its constituents and to the wider public so that the work of the charity is better understood and appreciated. This in turn will enable the charity to be more effective in meeting its objectives. Currently, there is arguably greater awareness of RoR among the wider equestrian world than there is within racing, this imbalance needs to change.
"In summary, the review’s findings underline how far the charity has come since its inception in 2000. The implementation phase has already commenced and we are confident that the review will help set the strategic direction for the charity over the next five to ten years, enabling RoR to build further on the excellent work it is already doing.”
For a summary of the reports key findings and recommendations please click here
RoR are delighted to have secured slots at all of Francis' Show Jumping Clinics this year and early into 2015 at Heathfield Stables, Spout Hill, Crowborough, E Sussex, TN6 3QX. Experience modern instruction with one of Britain’s most up and coming event riders!
These lessons will be in groups of 4 and will be indoors. Cost per rider is £20 when quoting your RoR number (if you have an unraced or foreign raced horse that you have registered for RoR but do not have an RoR number please contact the RoR Office for a number before you book).
Next dates available in 2014 is 20th December, and 17th January and 21st February in 2015. Book direct to http://www.whittingtoneventing.co.uk/venue.htm quoting your RoR number.
Lynn Russell 'Showing Masterclass' on Saturday 21st March at Durfold Farm, Plaistow Road, Dunsfold, Surrey GU8 4PQ. Lynn has been involved with the retraining of racehorses for several years and the event is run in association with RoR. This clinic was great fun and informative last year and this year, Lynn will be adding in an assessment of each horse that attends for side saddle. So if you are going to show your horse next year and would possibly like to try side saddle in the future, then this clinic would be great for you.
This clinic is being subsidised by RoR by £30 so you will pay £45per horse/rider. Places are strictly limited and will be on a first come first served basis. Full details on what is covered and information on how to book can be found at http://www.topcobs.com/ror_master_class_2015.html Please quote your RoR number when making your booking (if you have an unraced or foreign raced horse that you have registered for RoR but do not have an RoR number for please contact RoR Office for a number before you book in).
RoR Central Region is thrilled to have booked Russell Guire of Centaur Biomechanics to do a Rider Analysis Clinic on Sunday 25th January at Willicote Equestrian Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon by kind permission of David & Yvonne Stephenson.
The rider analysis sessions are designed for riders of all levels to help improve the rider's position and horse's way of going. Each session will be discounted to £55 for RoR horses if booked by 16th December 2014. Thereafter the cost will be £65 if space allows.
Each 45 minute session will provide:-
- Evaluation of your position on your own horse
- Exercises to help improve your position
- Training to improve your position and horse's way of going
- Instant (whilst mounted) Video Feedback so that you can see the difference!
N.B. Should you wish to receive a USB stick with slow motion software and videos from your session then please add £10 for this and mark clearly on the Booking Form.
Places are strictly limited and will only be confirmed once payment has been made - to book please complete and return this BOOKING FORM with your payment.
Russell is a UK CC Coach who has competed in both show jumping and dressage. He has carried out extensive research in rider positioning and saddle fit. He works with the British Equestrian Federations World Class and excel Talent Programme, and travels internationally holding clinics around the world.