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news Good behaviour and versatility lands Kikos the Ri-Dry Racing to Hunting Challenge

28th October 2019
2019 Champion, Kikos and Amy Morgan receiving their prize from Dan Watt of Ri-Dry
  • Third running of RoR hunting challenge won by Heythrop regular

The 17-year-old gelding Kikos is the winner of the 2019 Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge, the award given to the former racehorse judged to have best adapted to their second career in the hunting field. Kikos and his owner rider, Amy Morgan, are regulars with the Heythrop Hunt and the combination beat five other finalists when they were assessed by a panel of judges at Aintree Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

In a career spanning six years, Kikos raced 48 times, winning on four occasions when trained by Renee Robson before finishing his racing career in the care of Kerry Lee. Since being switching to the hunting field, Kikos has acquired an enviable reputation on account of his good manners and versatility.

His owner Amy Morgan says of him: “Kikos has proven to be the most honest, calm, kind and generous hunter. I can lead my god daughter on her tiny Shetland, jump the biggest of our vale country up at the front of the field, stop and shut gates, jump the gates and walk across fields when 200 of our Saturday field are galloping. He is as well known for his sanity as he is for his tongue which hangs out constantly!”

Run by the charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) and sponsored by Ri-Dry waterproof clothing, the Racing to Hunting Challenge is in its third year of celebrating the former racehorses that have best adapted to a second career hunting. Once again it produced a very competitive final at Aintree Racecourse.

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 the hounds from the Holcombe Harriers and throughout the judging panel monitored and assessed their behaviour and performance.

As winners, Kikos and Amy Morgan were awarded the Meriel Tufnell Trophy, a Ri-Dry waterproof jacket and a cash prize of £1,500, with the remainder of the £3,500 prize fund split between the other finalists.

The runner-up position was awarded to Mr Chippy and Suzie Dent from the Hurworth Hunt and in third place was Newyearsresolution and Amie Waugh from the Morpeth Hunt. All the finalists performed with great credit and all received prizes for their efforts, the remaining three being Back In Focus and Clare Burrows, Just A Touch and Elizabeth Feakes and Kawana Cove and Maria Lewis.

Di Arbuthnot, RoR Chief Executive said: “Congratulations are in order to all six finalists and in particular Amy and Kikos. He is clearly a star, and not only in Amy’s eyes as his outstanding behaviour is recognised and appreciated by many, not least the judges today. All the horses were a credit to their connections and a big thank you to all involved, especially Aintree Racecourse, our sponsors Ri-Dry and our fantastic team of judges.”

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