Age is no barrier as Kasilia wins Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge
- 20-year-old gelding from Berwickshire lands prize at Aintree
At 20-years-old, Kasilia was the eldest of the six horses competing in the final of the RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge, but the gelding from Berwickshire proved at Aintree on Sunday that age is just a number when taking first prize in the prestigious event worth £3,500 to the winner and their local hunt.
Run by the charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) and sponsored by Ri-Dry waterproof clothing, the Racing to Hunting Challenge is now in its second year of celebrating the former racehorses that have best adapted to a second career in the hunting field. Once again it produced a very competitive final, staged courtesy of Aintree Racecourse on their Countryside Day.
In front of the raceday crowd, the six finalists undertook a series of challenges, including jumping and negotiating obstacles that they would come across on a day’s hunting. The horses and riders then paraded with a pack of hounds from the Holcombe Harriers and throughout the judging panel monitored and assessed their behaviour and performance.
In a racing career spanning over thirty races, both under rules and in point-to-points, Kasilia was first past the post only once, but together with his owner and rider Amy Brown, the pair now have a memorable victory at Aintree to look back on as the panel of judges elected them the winner of the challenge.
Amy Brown whips-in for the Berwickshire Hunt, so Kasilia was thrown in at the deep end when his hunting career got underway, but at the age of 20, after a decade of regular hunting, he still goes out at least once a week and is fittingly described by Amy as “absolutely the perfect hunter”.
As winners, Kasilia and Amy were awarded the Meriel Tufnell Trophy, a Ri-Dry waterproof jacket and a cash prize of £3,500, split between the winning horse’s rider and their hunt.
On what was a good day for those from north of the border, the runner-up position was awarded to The Friary and Struan Wilson from the Tynedale Hunt, while the supporters of Wee Bertie and Chris Thomson, who had travelled up from the Ashford Valley Tickham in Kent, were rewarded with third spot.
All the finalists performed with great credit and all received prizes for their efforts, the remaining three being Johnny Mullen, ridden by Becky Morby from the Wilton, Kikos, ridden by Amy Morgan from the Heythrop, and Nikola, ridden by Margaret Morris from the South Notts Hunt.
Di Arbuthnot, RoR Chief Executive said: “Congratulations are in order to all six finalists and in particular Amy and Kasilia. Theirs is a lovely story and one of a racehorse going on to enjoy a lengthy, active and very fulfilling second career. All the horses were a credit to their connections and a big thank you to all involved, especially Aintree Racecourse and our fantastic team of judges.”
RoR is always interested to hear of other success stories so please email us and send a photograph of your own story.
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