Globetrotting stars feature in RoR Parade at Newmarket
Prince of Arran and Purple Moon, who were both placed in the Melbourne Cup, will be amongst the retired racehorses who will be parading at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Saturday 9 October.
Due to begin at 12:15pm, the parade will feature nine retired racehorses and aims to showcase the versatility of the thoroughbred together with the range of activities now open to racehorses when they finish their racing careers, thanks to the work of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).
Parading alongside the recently retired Prince Of Arran and the now 18-year-old Purple Moon will be five horses formerly raced by Godolphin, each of which has been a beneficiary of the Godolphin rehoming programme en route to finding a long-term home and a second career.
Purple Moon, who is owned and will be ridden by ITV Racing’s Francesca Cumani, will remain on site at the Rowley Mile during the afternoon for racegoers to meet and be able to get up close to a retired racehorse to learn more about them.
Francesca Cumani said: “It would be hard to find a horse who over the course of his life has meant so much to so many people. After a remarkably varied career, he now finds himself a resident in my garden, although if he could come in the house and sit on the sofa with a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit he would be really at home.”
Natasha Eaton, who travelled with Prince Of Arran and who will ride him in the parade, said: “Following his retirement from racing, he will be taking up residence at Charlie Fellowes parents’ farm in Abbots Ripton (Cambridgeshire) where we will begin his retraining.”
1. African Jazz (Showjumping /Eventing) - ridden by Tara Murphy
Six-year-old gelding by Cape Cross, formerly trained by Charlie Appleby African Jazz ran eight times on the flat, winning twice, before he was retired from racing in 2019. Tara Murphy acquired African Jazz from Godolphin Rehoming in February of this year and the pair are currently competing in British Eventing classes up to 90cm and looking forward to progressing through the ranks.
Tara says: “What I find so special about African Jazz is his amazingly forward attitude to work - he tackles everything with a happy expression and he is a pleasure to ride”.
2. Ahzeemah (Showing) – ridden by Annette Austin
12-year-old gelding by Dubawi, formerly trained by Saeed bin Suroor The winner of five of his 25 starts, including the Gr.2 Lonsdale Stakes at York, Ahzeemah won £618,655 in prize money. Working in trainer Saeed Bin Suroor’s office, Annette Austin had had her eye on Ahzeemah for some time and when he was retired she asked if she could rehome him. After a spell at Godolphin Rehoming, Annette took on Ahzeemah in 2016, initially taking it slowly and then gradually retraining him as a riding horse.
Annette says: “We’ve done a little bit of everything, but we are now focusing on showing and dressage. He’s qualified for the Tattersalls RoR Amateur Series final in 2022 and we cannot wait to go to Hickstead.”
3. Burniston Rocks (Showing) – ridden by Samantha Baker
Four-year-old gelding by Monsieur Bond, formerly trained by Ed Vaughan Burniston Rocks had an undistinguished career on the racecourse, running nine times on the flat and being placed once. However, together with Samantha Baker, he is now carving out a more successful second career. The pair have only been a partnership since March but after being placed second in a large hack class on their debut in the show ring they have concentrated on RoR showing classes and qualified for this year’s Tattersalls RoR Amateur Series final at Hickstead in June where they got to compete in the International Arena.
Samantha says of Burniston Rocks: “He is an amazing little horse who always tries his hardest”.
4. Key Victory - ridden by Sophie Stanfield
Six-year-old gelding by Teofilo, formerly trained by Charlie Appleby Key Victory won three of his 16 starts before concluding his racing career earlier this year in Dubai. He then had a three-month spell at Godolphin Rehoming before embarking on the next phase of his life.
Sophie says “He is a really kind and genuine horse; he has a superb attitude and has tackled every new task brilliantly. He is a lovely mover and he has just started jumping - something that he seems to very much enjoy. We think he will make a nice eventer eventually - he could be an exciting horse for the future”.
5. Prince Of Arran - ridden by Natasha Eaton
Eight-year-old gelding by Shirocco, formerly trained by Charlie Fellowes
In a globetrotting career spanning seven years Prince of Arran ran 49 times and earned over £2m in prize money. The winner of six races, he was also three times placed in the Melbourne Cup, as well as running in America, Dubai, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. He is ridden today by Natasha Eaton who was his travelling companion for many of his international adventures.
Natasha says: “Following his retirement from racing, he will be taking up residence at Charlie’s parents’ farm in Abbots Ripton (Cambridgeshire) where we will begin his retraining. Who knows where we will see him or what he’ll be doing next?”
6. Purple Moon - ridden by Francesca Cumani
18-year-old gelding by Galileo, formerly trained by Luca Cumani
A regular international traveller, Purple Moon enjoyed his greatest successes winning the Ebor handicap at York, before finishing second in the 2007 Melbourne Cup. Following his retirement, Purple Moon flourished in the show ring, winning at Hickstead and twice qualifying for the Horse of the Year Show. Nowadays, ‘George’, as he known, enjoys an idyllic life in the care of Francesca Cumani.
Francesca says: “It would be hard to find a horse who over the course of his life has meant so much to so many people. After a remarkably varied career, he now finds himself a resident in my garden, although if he could come in the house and sit on the sofa with a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit he would be really at home.”
7. Sovereign Debt (Showing) – ridden by Jill Wormall
12-year-old gelding by Dark Angel, formerly trained by Ruth Carr
After a long and successful career, Sovereign Debt retired from racing in August 2018. In all he ran 63 times winning 15 races, including eight Group or Listed races. He has taken very well to his new role in the show ring, winning several classes and qualifying for the Horse Of The Year Show. The pinnacle of his showing career so far was winning a 20 strong former racehorse class at the Great Yorkshire Show in July.
Jill Wormall says: “Words cannot describe what this horse means to us, he really is a horse of a lifetime who is getting better and better all the time.”
8. Skysurfers (Dressage) - ridden by Rachel Ovens
15-year-old gelding by E Dubai, formerly trained by Saeed bin Suroor
Skysurfers ran ten times, in the UK and Dubai, winning four races before being retired in 2011. His owner Claire Anderson acquired Skysurfers in 2013 through the Godolphin Rehoming programme. After retraining he initially turned his hoof to some low-level eventing but in recent years he has concentrated on dressage with rider/trainer Rachel Ovens. Since 2020 the pair have gone from strength to strength and they recently finished third at the RoR Southern Dressage Championships at Blenheim.
His owner Claire says “At home he is a real character, very clever and quick to learn but he is also very opinionated and loves being a prankster."
9. Vancouverite (Dressage) – ridden by Emily Crabb
11-year-old gelding by Dansili, formerly trained by John Ferguson
Vancouverite ran 15 times, winning six races, two over hurdles and four on the flat. He retired from racing in 2015 and came to Emily Crabb through the Godolphin Rehoming scheme a year later. He has proved extremely versatile, doing dressage, showjumping, cross-country, pleasure and endurance rides. This year he started competing in British Eventing classes, making the top ten in one and hehas also been successful in the show ring with wins including the RoR Challenge class at the Suffolk Show.
Emily says: “Vancouverite has been successful with everything I have tried with him. He is a very special boy who is very loved by us all. We couldn’t imagine life without him.”
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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