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news Peopleton Brook - RoR Special Recognition Award Winner 2018

24th December 2018
Jock Hutchinson recieving the Special Recognition Award with Mike Cattermole and Luke Harvey

The winner of the RoR Special Recognition Award 2018 is Peopleton Brook on account of the horse’s contribution in helping physically and mentally wounded personnel at the charity Horseback UK.

During his racing career Peopleton Brook was a sprint handicapper, initially trained by Milton Bradley and then by Brendan Powell. Over a six-year career he ran 93 times, winning nine races before injury forced his retirement from racing in 2010.

Jock Hutchinson, Co-founder of Horseback UK, says: “Peopleton Brook had a fairly intense career. He was not a top racehorse, because he was unpredictable, he could win one minute and come last the next, but he is a horse who’s career and retraining epitomises the journey endured by those we help at Horseback.”

Jock and Emma Hutchinson founded Horseback UK in 2008 with the idea of using horsemanship to treat and rehabilitate physically and mentally wounded military personnel. Since then the charity’s beneficiaries have extended to include a range of people, from not only the military but other communities too. In 2013, following an introduction to the work of Jock and Emma, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) donated former racehorse Peopleton Brook, to Horseback UK.

For the first few months at Horseback UK’s base near Aboyn, Aberdeenshire, Peopleton Brook was turned out with a small herd of horses where he had to learn to interact with others. His subsequent retraining then followed a variation on techniques known as natural or intelligent horsemanship.

Jock Hutchinson says: “Don’t tell me a thoroughbred is un-trainable, don’t tell me a marine is not re-trainable, everyone is re-trainable, you are what you are taught to be.

Among thoroughbreds we are looking at a horse that is capable of doing many, many different things, it is what it’s taught to be, it’s really the people we should be working on, not the horses!”

On the ground Brook now responds to simple techniques and follow commands at the slightest touch. Meanwhile, Jock rides the 16-year-old gelding in a western saddle with a rope halter and no bit.

Such is his temperament that he has become an ideal companion to work with injured veterans. For many of the charity’s beneficiaries, this is their first experience of interacting with horses and building up trust between man and horse is essential so that the relationship can inspire recovery, restore self-esteem and provide a sense a purpose to the individual.

Peopleton Brook clearly enjoys his life and his role in helping people either discover or re-discover themselves. He is a wonderful example of the intelligence and versatility of the thoroughbred, showcasing the range of options open to a former racehorse.

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