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news Aintree parade showcases versatility of retrained racehorses

12th April 2023
Aintree Racecourse’s ambassador, Definitly Red and Andy Robertson
  • Aintree’s equine ambassador Definitly Red to make first appearance in front of race-day crowd
  • Ten-horse line-up highlights the life after racing options for former racehorses

The second day of the Randox Grand National Festival on Friday 14th April sees the return of the annual Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Parade before racing at 12.30pm to 12.45pm. The ten-horse line-up illustrates the versatility of the thoroughbred coupled with the range of options available to racehorses after their racing careers come to an end and includes horses that are excelling in activities such as horseball, as well as the more traditional disciplines of dressage and showing.

Leading the parade is Aintree Racecourse’s own equine ambassador, Definitly Red, the two-time champion of the Many Clouds Chase in 2017 and 2018 when trained by Brian Ellison. Since retiring from racing after running in the 2021 Grand National Definitly Red has turned his hand to a variety of disciplines from Hunting to Showing with Andy Robertson.

Another Aintree favourite is Highland Lodge, who ran a total of eight time at the track, most notably winning the 2015 running of the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences. He was retired 2019 and has since been retrained for Team Chasing with Paul Thompson and quickly graduated to compete in Open level classes.

Among the other horses in the parade carving out new careers are Peveril Point and Touch Of Faith who both never troubled the judge during their racing careers, but since retiring they have been retrained to compete internationally in horseball, a team sport similar to rugby or basketball on horses. The husband and wife team, David and Jude Worthington, have overseen the turnaround in the fortunes of both horses, converting them into leading players in the horseball leagues.

David Catlow, Managing Director of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), said: “Our thanks to Aintree and Jockey Club Racecourses for giving us the opportunity to put together a great line-up of horses. The RoR Parades are designed to educate racegoers whilst offering them a chance to witness first-hand the many different second career options open to racehorses once they retire from racing.

The full parade line up is as follows:

1. DEFINITLY RED – ridden by Andrew Robertson
14-year-old by Definite Article, formerly trained by Brian Ellison

2. DUKE OF NAVAN – ridden by Kelly Harding
15-year-old by Presenting, formerly trained by Nicky Richards

3. EARLY SHIRLEY - ridden by Claudia Jones
14-year-old mare by Piccolo, formerly trained by Kevin Ryan

4. HIGHLAND LODGE – ridden by Paul Thompson
17-year-old by Flemensfirth, formerly trained by Jimmy Moffott

5. NET DE TREVE – ridden by Laura Gibson
10-year-old by Network, formerly trained by Tom George

6. PEVERIL POINT – ridden by David Worthington
8-year-old gelding by Canford Cliffs, formerly trained by Henry Tett

7. TOUCH OF FAITH – ridden by Jude Worthington
9-year-old gelding by Zoffany, formerly trained by Michael Appleby

8. TAKINGRISKS – ridden by Catherine Walton
13-year-old by Golden Tornado, formerly trained by Nicky Richards

9. TOP WOOD – ridden by Jasean Spragatt
16-year-old by Kotky Bleu, formerly trained by Kelly Morgan

10. WALK IN THE MILL – ridden by Dido Harding
13-year-old by Walk In The Park, formerly trained by Robert Walford

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