Newcomer Mumford tops the charts at RoR Goffs UK National Championships
On the racecourse in a career spanning four years he was never a winner, but on Saturday evening under the floodlights of the Aintree International Equestrian Centre, Mumford was crowned 2019 Goffs UK Supreme Champion at the RoR Goffs UK National Championships.
Ridden by Collette McGoldrick, the seven-year-old gelding became the youngest ever winner of the RoR Elite Performance Award for Showing at the event which is now in its fifth year.
Just thirteen months earlier, on 23rd July 2018, Mumford was finishing sixth of nine in a Class 6 handicap at an evening meeting at Beverley. That turned out to be his final race in an eight-race career spread over four years.
Originally trained by Richard Hannon for owner Andrew Tinkler, Mumford was placed on two occasions as a two-year-old in 2014. The following year Mumford joined Geoff Harker’s Thirkleby yard in North Yorkshire but in an interrupted racing career, during which he ran only five times in three years, Mumford did not trouble the judge.
A year on from his retirement from racing, Mumford is following in the footsteps of previous RoR showing champions; older, more experienced horses such as Jack The Giant, Beware Chalk Pit, Wild West and the 2018 winner, What Of It.
The remarkable transformation has been overseen by Collette McGoldrick and her partner Ed Young, who work together in producing ponies for showing. The pair took the horse on loan from Geoff Harker as his daughter was too young to ride competitively and Mumford has been busy competing in shows since April.
An overcome Collette McGoldrick, said after last night’s victory: “He had a few months off after finishing his racing career and then we started working with him over the winter and he just did everything we asked of him and more. He is a special horse. I am just very proud of him.”
Among the horses Mumford competed against in the championship final were Barlow, formerly trained by Emma Lavelle and the winner of the Jockey Club Novice Championship and Hero Worship, now sixteen years old, who was a promising racehorse on the Flat for Michael Jarvis back in 2006. Thirteen years on, looking better than ever, Hero Worship took the honours in the RoR Ridden Veteran Series.
Other notable names from the racetrack who competed with distinction at the championships included former Royal Ascot winner Namibian, who won the Elementary class of the RoR Northern Dressage Horse Championships, while Sovereign Debt, Annacotty and Monkerty Tunkerty all made it through to the finals of classes they were entered in.
Such was the strength of the competition, Cue Card, Zarkander nor Coneygree made it to the final of their RoR Open In-Hand Championship class. However, a packed crowd gave them a warm welcome when they later appeared in the Always A Star Parade at the Saturday evening Gala Performance, alongside Zarkandar and a host of former successful racehorses now thriving in a second career.
The RoR Goffs UK National Championships got underway on Thursday 22nd August and conclude today, Sunday 25th August. Featuring classes for dressage, jumping and showing with 273 former racehorses entered, it is Britain’s biggest event for showcasing the versatility of the thoroughbred.
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