Finalists selected for 2018 Racing to Hunting Challenge

  • First prize of £3,500 to be divided between winner and their local hunt
  • Final to take place at Aintree’s Countryside Day

Six finalists and two reserves have been selected by a panel of judges to appear in the final of the 2018 RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge at Aintree’s Countryside Day on Sunday 28th October.

The winner of the Racing to Hunting Challenge will be the former racehorse adjudged to have best adapted to their second career in the hunting field. The owner of the winner will be awarded the Meriel Tufnell Trophy together with a cash prize of £3,500, split between the owner and their local hunt, and a Rhi -Dry Coat courtesy of Watt to Wear.

The RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge attracts nominations from hunts from all over Great Britain and it is role of the five person judging panel, chaired by Jonathan Clark, to whittle down the list to six finalists and two reserves. After much deliberation, the panel selected the following horses:

  1. Johnny Mullen; 15-y.o by Bishop Of Cashel, Malcolm Batters, Wilton Hunt
  2. Kikos; 16-y.o by Nikos, Amy Morgan, Heythrop Hunt
  3. Nikola; 17-y.o by Roi De Rome, Graham Jelley, South Notts Hunt
  4. Saves Time; 11-y.o by Presenting, Helen Theckston, East Essex Hunt
  5. The Friary; 11-y.o by Kris Kin, Struan Wilson, Tyndale Hunt
  6. Wee Bertie; 16-y.o by Sea Raven, Kif Thomson, Ashford Valley Hunt

R1 Merry King; 11-y.o by Old Vic, Jake Ball, West Somerset

R2 Midnight Chase; 16-y.o by Midnight Legend, Sally Hayward, Cheshire Forest

Each of the horses will be visited during the upcoming Autumn Hunting season and watched by a member of the judging panel before they head to Aintree on Sunday 28th October. The 2017 winner was the 17-year-old Brumous, who Melanie Duff hunts twice a week with the V.W.H.

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) said: “Enjoying life in hunting field is the second career chosen for many former racehorses and through this Challenge we are delighted to recognise and celebrate the thoroughbred’s ability to adapt to the demands of being an exceptional hunter.

And I am sure the likes of Jonjo O’Neill, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Lucinda Russell and Kerry Lee will all be delighted to see that horses they trained are still thriving years after they finished their racing career.”