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blog Lalor by Stephanie Jones

4th June 2024

Lalor was trained by my sister Kayley and her team, to win a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle at Aintree, and a Grade 2 Novice Chase at Cheltenham, he gave us our biggest days (so far!) in racing. We will never forget what he did for our family and our business.

After finishing his racing career with Paul Nicholls, Lalor came back home to live with us in his retirement. He’s now been back for a couple of months, and we’ve been slowly walking around the farm most days to get him used to the environment and a new pace of life. He has no interest in misbehaving or going at any speed, but he wears an Arioneo monitor regularly to check up on his heart during exercise; having previously had atrial fibrillation when in training, it’s important we keep an eye on it. Unfortunately, he also had a severe case of lymphangitis but we’re finally on top of that now.

A new career

As he has improved over the past few weeks and got used to life out of racing, we’ve started doing some dressage together. He’s always did nice flat work as a young horse, so I hoped he’d remember this and that it would translate into him becoming a dressage star. So far, he has been fantastic and seems to really enjoy it; he’s super clever and loves to learn.

We’ve only done a handful of days in the arena, but we have completed two BD intro walk and trot tests to qualify for the South West Regional RoR Championships – we’ve entered the intro restricted class at Chard on 22 June.

Lalor is currently having a little holiday in the field with his friends while I am away working, but we will be back to the arena in early June ready to strut like a champ! It may seem odd to only focus on walking and trotting, but I really want to start him off easy and progress him gradually. Hopefully he’ll get back to cantering in the arena during the summer, ready to step up to prelim in the winter.

Key things we’ll be working on for our dressage this summer is flexion through the body, not so much the neck, and more uphill work as he becomes stronger. He has a tendency to get a bit deep and behind the vertical, so we’re focused on keeping his nose out slightly. He’s a very rideable, well-mannered chap who tries incredibly hard to do it right - I’m very lucky. We also want to go on a beach ride too, he deserves to have some fun!

Lalor is almost human to me, he has so much character; I can read him like a book. He’s a very loving, soft-natured horse who continues to give us so much happiness and in return, we will care for him like the champion he has always been to us, for as long as he lives.

Lalor and Arabella

Lalor has been best friends with Arabella (now nearly nine years old) since she was tiny, she leads him around, talks to him, feeds him and generally treats him as her best friend. Despite being a 17.2hh tall, dark and handsome racehorse, they are absolute besties, and I am merely a supervisor who captures these magic moments on video because one day, I hope she’ll really love being able to relive these memories.

A huge thank you must go to David Staddon and Paul Nicholls for ensuring he came home to where he’s loved the most, we’ll be forever grateful.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from Lalor as Steph updates us about his progress!

Retraining of Racehorses

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Find out more about the benefits of registering your former racehorse with RoR.