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news Finalists announced for RoR Horse Personality of the Year award

11th January 2022
Record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) today unveiled the names of the three finalists in the running to win the 2022 RoR Horse Personality of the Year award. Selected by record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle, the owners of the finalists will attend the prestigious RoR Awards at the The Jockey Club Rooms on 22nd January, where Hollie’s choice of the ultimate winner will be announced by the evening’s compere, ITV Racing’s Francesca Cumani.

Now in its second year, the award celebrates former racehorses who have shown “exceptional character” in transitioning to a new career and have had a positive impact on those around them.

The award attracted a great response with over 200 entries and a wide variety of heart-warming and inspiring stories from RoR owners about their horses.

“It was really so difficult to choose the three finalists from the many amazing entries that I had the pleasure to read and even harder to pick the winner.” Judge Hollie Doyle said on picking this year’s contenders.

“It was a pleasure to read so many stories that highlight the rewards of owning a former racehorse. I believe that each of the three finalists represent the unique connection and the trust that gets both animals and humans through the most testing of times.”

Hollie’s three finalists are 11-year-old One Pekan nominated by Kerry Humphries from Suffolk, 17-year-old Daffern Seal nominated by Esmé Foster from Carmarthenshire and the 11-year-old Henri De Boistron nominated by Anastacia Choma from Warwickshire.

Hollie said each of their stories captured her heart;

One Pekan has such a special bond with Kerry and continues to help her cope with unimaginable grief and as she says she ‘would be lost without him’. He comes out as a strong character that despite his quirks epitomises all that is so giving and loving about these wonderful horses.”

“Daffern Seal or Dixie as he is known at home helped his 17-year old owner Esmé to regain her confidence around horses following her horrendous accident when she suffered severe facial injuries from a kick from another horse. Theirs is a tremendous story of the trust and courage between horse and rider.”

“Henri De Boistron has also proved to be a rock for his owner, Anastacia Choma, following her cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2019. She continued to ride Henri throughout her chemo treatment in competitions and fundraising rides and the pair raised over £2,000 for Breast Cancer.”

The inaugural 2020 RoR Horse Personality of the Year was Sarah Peacock’s Ned Causer. Ned ran three times in a “short-lived” racing career, but had a “transformational effect” on Sarah, helping her to overcome bouts of anxiety and depression.

RoR Chief Executive, Di Arbuthnot, said the award always gets people talking passionately about what it means to own a former racehorse: “The award recognises those horses with a unique personality and character, and showcases the special bond they develop with their riders,” she said.

The award is given in honour of the late Paul Mellon. At its outset RoR was privileged to receive a bequest from the estate of Paul Mellon, the philanthropist and owner of 1971 Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Mill Reef, and his legacy has been vital to establishing and funding RoR to promote the welfare of horses that have retired from racing.

In the build up to the awards RoR will be sharing the heartwarming story behind each of the three finalists.

Latest news 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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