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news Hexham Racecourse joins RoR Horses for Courses programme

3rd July 2023
Magical Memory and Sue Scott-Collis parading at Goodwood Racecourse

Earlier this year Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) launched an exciting new initiative to showcase the care given and opportunities open to former racehorses once their racing days come to an end. The RoR Horses for Courses programme, supported by Godolphin to date has seen five Jockey club and several independent racecourses announce their first equine ambassadors to promote and appear at select racedays throughout their season.

We are delighted that Hexham Racecourse has joined the Horses for Courses initiative and recently appointed former Scottish Grand National winner Takingrisks as their equine ambassador. Following his retirement from racing in late 2021, Takingrisks is now under the watchful care of Catherine Walton at her pre-training and breaking facility in Middleham. At 14 years old, Takingrisks has transitioned to his second career with ease and has recently been out eventing at Belsay International Horse Trials with rider Jemima Stewart.

Throughout the season every course will follow their ambassadors second career and actively promote them on their communication channels regardless of whether their ambassador is out competing or just a beloved family member. This allows the racing industry to convey the quality of life that former racehorses have during their second careers whilst educating the public on the many different career options available to them upon retirement.

Aintree Racecourses equine ambassador Definitly Red, the two-time champion of the Many Clouds Chase in 2017 and 2018 when trained by Brian Ellison, is flourishing in the show ring, continuing to be a champion on and off the track with Andy Robertson. The pair recently won RoR Showing classes at both The Malton and Yorkshire Sports Horse Show, qualifying them for The Jockey Club RoR National Championships next month.

The likeable grey Magical Memory won the Stewards Cup at the 2015 Qatar Goodwood Festival in decisive fashion with jockey, Frankie Dettori. Since retiring in 2018, Magical Memory has been on a permanent loan from owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds to rider Sue Scott-Collis. The pair attended their first parade at Goodwood Racecourse last month as their ambassador and have recently enjoyed success between the dressage boards with the plan to go affiliated with British Dressage soon.

After parading at Goodwood, rider Sue added:

“The Ambassador's role is going really well. During Goodwood's family raceday meeting, his syndicate owners and owner Piers Winkworth, along with his previous groom and trainer, were all there to see him. Charlie Hills told me Magic Memory looked fantastic and that he was an absolute credit to me. Being Goodwood's equine ambassador has been an honour and a privilege. It's such a worthy cause and demonstrates to the world that racehorses have lives after racing.”

While some are actively competing, Ascot Racecourse’s ambassador and former globe-trotting superstar Side Glance has been welcoming school children from Ascot Heath Primary as part of a behind-the-scenes tour of the racecourse. After retiring in 2012, Side Glance has been enjoying a new career with Leanne White at Kingsclere, who took care of him during his racing career. Initially retrained for showing, he has since been learning dressage, and Leanne uses him regularly as part of her work as an Instructor at the National Horseracing College as well.

Follow the progress of all RoR Horses For Courses on our website HERE or follow the racecourses involved (Aintree, Ascot, Carlisle, Chester, Exeter, Goodwood, Haydock Park, Hexham, Sandown Park and Wetherby) to find out when they will be on course at racedays around the country.

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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