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news Finalists revealed for 2020 Ri-Dry Racing to Hunting Challenge

2nd July 2020
  • Challenge celebrates former racehorses in the hunting field
  • Finalists include Cheltenham Festival winner Hunt Ball

Six former racehorses have been selected by a panel of judges as finalists for the 2020 Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge. The six horses are all teenagers enjoying their life after racing in the hunting field and include a former winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge is designed to recognise the many former racehorses that retire to the hunting field and the winner is the horse adjudged to have best adapted to their second career. The winning rider is awarded a Ri-Dry Coat courtesy of sponsors Watt to Wear along with the prestigious Meriel Tufnell Trophy.

The best-known former racehorse among the finalists is Hunt Ball, a winner at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. Under the care of trainer Kieran Burke, Hunt Ball enjoyed a memorable season in 2011-12, winning seven times, rising a remarkable 85lbs in the handicap and capping it all with victory at Cheltenham. He was subsequently sold to race in America but returned to England in 2014 to be trained by Nicky Henderson.

Hunt Ball is now ridden by Nicky Henderson’s daughter, Sarah, and together with the five other finalists he demonstrates the temperament, adaptability and versatility needed to make an exceptional hunter. Hunt Ball’s opponents in the final include former fellow Nicky Henderson trained horse, Dave’s Dream, and another former Lambourn based horse in Milgen Bay.

Each of the six finalists will be watched at first hand in the hunting field next season by a member of the judging panel. The panel will then reconvene to decide on an overall winner with an announcement in November.

The six former racehorses competing for the coveted title are:

  1. Dave’s Dream, 17-y.o, ridden by Amber Cartlidge, Heythrop Hunt
  2. Gulf Coast, 15-y.o, ridden by Di Whattoff, Cottesmore Hunt
  3. Gullible Gordon, 17-y.o, ridden by Kate Glaze, Albrighton & Woodland Hunt
  4. Hunt Ball, 15-y.o, ridden by Sarah Henderson, VWH
  5. Milgen Bay, 14-y.o, ridden by Niki Sturgis, Duke Of Beaufort Hunt
  6. Upton Wood, 14-y.o, ridden by Gareth Frain, North Cornwall Hunt

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), said: “Once again, the Racing to Hunting Challenge attracted nominations from all over the country. The judging panel then had the difficult task of drawing up a short list of six. The standard of entries grows each year and the six finalists all thoroughly deserve their place in the final.”

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