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news Hazel Hill scores glory at RoR Championships

28th August 2023
Hazel Hill & Jane Williamson, The Tattersalls RoR Ridden Showing Supreme Champion, image courtesy of 1st Class Images
  • Title of Supreme Champion goes to Hazel Hill and Jane Williamson
  • 287 former racehorses take part in The Jockey Club RoR National Championships

Four days of intense competition at The Jockey Club RoR National Championships concluded on Saturday evening under the glittering lights of the Aintree International Equestrian Centre with the announcement of the winners of The Tattersalls RoR Ridden Showing Supreme Champion and The Hamilton Tarmac RoR Elite Performance Award for Dressage.

In the final event of the week, the winners of all the prestige qualifying showing classes lined up before the judges and it was the fifteen-year-old gelding Hazel Hill, ridden by Jane Williams, who was awarded the Tattersalls RoR Ridden Showing Supreme Champion title. Runner up and Reserve Champion was the 2022 winner Rich Man Poor Man and Kirstine Douglas.

After being purchased by the Williams Family as a five-year-old, Hazel Hill went on to win 19 races in total during his racing career, accumulating over £50,000 for trainer Philip Rowley. Several of his victories came with Jane onboard, who added, "I'm thrilled with this win tonight; it was completely unexpected. He's been with us for the majority of his life and he's a true family member who does everything from hunting to dressage to leading my children on their ponies."

The remaining finalists included 2019 Randox Health Foxhunter winner, Top Wood and Jasean Spraggett winners of the Tattersalls RoR Veteran Series and Master Wickham ridden by Claire Lewis who were crowned Tattersalls RoR Former Racehorse Challenge Champions. An emotional Claire added ‘He’s just the ultimate professional he does everything and has more British Showjumping points than you would think.”

A total of 287 former racehorses competed at Aintree International Equestrian Centre over the four days in classes for dressage, arena eventing, showjumping and showing at Europe’s largest event exclusively for retrained racehorses. Among those competing familiar to racegoers were Desert Encounter, Hennesey Gold Cup winner Native River, Lady Buttons and Grand National winner Pineau De Re.

The event also hosted the RoR National Dressage Championships, and the Hamilton Tarmac RoR Elite Performance Award for Dressage Champion 2023 went to Fair Duchess and Jane Phillips. The 13-year-old mare was formerly trained by Robert Luke and ran in a total 11 point-to-points during her racing career but never managed to get her head infont. In 2017 Jane purchased the Fair Duchess and since then they have moved up through the ranks of the dressage circuit.

David Catlow, Director of RoR said: “It was a very special event with an atmosphere like no other. There is a genuine feel-good factor walking around Aintree and it is heart-warming to see so many former racehorses looking so well with their devoted owners and riders.”

“On behalf of the charity and the competitors, we would like to say a huge thank you to all our sponsors, The Jockey Club for their generous headline sponsorship, Tattersalls, for supporting all of our showing series and all the individual class sponsors. A show like this displays the commitment and passion that exist in the United Kingdom for thoroughbreds by the sheer enthusiasm and goodwill that goes into making it a success. It is a major showcase for all that is good about racehorses, long after they have retired from the track.”

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