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news RoR delighted to receive a significant legacy donation from Ella MacGregor for its welfare work

14th February 2024
Ella at Pinkerton Stud with White Domino

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is delighted to announce that it has received a generous legacy donation from the late Ella MacGregor for the welfare work it does under its Vulnerable Horse Scheme (VHS).

Ella MacGregor was based throughout her life near Dunbar in East Lothian. She and her sister Ina ran the Pinkerton Stud, which Ella set up in 1976, and they successfully bred racehorses actively from then until the early 2000s. A number of noteworthy horses were bred by Ella over the years including Rattle Along, and Shining Manoevres, who won 17 Point to Point races. Ella passed away peacefully at Pinkerton in June 2022.

The Executors of Ella’s will said: “During her life, Ella was a kind and generous person who was devoted to her horses, holding their welfare in the highest regard. She asked us that, following her death, we made funds available from her estate to promote horse welfare, including the retraining of racehorses. We are pleased to be able to fulfil Ella’s wishes through this donation to Retraining of Racehorses, to support their Vulnerable Horse Scheme. We know that Ella would be most pleased with the significant impact her funds will make.”

RoR’s Managing Director, David Catlow, expressed his immense gratitude for the substantial legacy donation from Ella. He remarked, "We were absolutely thrilled to receive such a generous legacy donation from Ella MacGregor. At the core of RoR's mission are our vital welfare initiatives, notably the Vulnerable Horse Scheme, serving as a safety net to extend charitable support to any retired racehorse facing challenges."

Catlow continued, "At a time of immense financial pressure for RoR, we were delighted to receive this very generous donation which allows us to continue our direct support for vulnerable horses.

"We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Ella for her incredible generosity and for aligning with a cause that holds immense significance for us. Our appreciation also goes to the Executors of Ella’s will, as their role has been instrumental in making this impactful contribution a reality."

If you are considering leaving a gift to RoR in your will or want to find out more about how a legacy to RoR might be used, please email


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Vicky Vine, Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications, at RoR, or telephone 07467 182825.

Retraining of Racehorses

Founded in 2000, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Horseracing's official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing. We believe every former racehorse deserves a life well lived, throughout every stage of their life. For more information visit

Collaborating with charitable partners and private operators, RoR’s Vulnerable Horse Scheme ensures horses requiring assistance are placed under the care of experts, providing tailored support.

Ella MacGregor and Pinkerton Stud

Bustellina was one of Pinkerton Stud’s most successful mares and one of her colts, Best One, was very successful in Hong Kong. Another successful mare was White Domino, who was the dam of Macrobian. He was bred in 1984 by Ella and Ina, and won first time out. He clocked up further wins in 1989, 1990 and 1991, with six wins in total out of 25 runs and several more high placing finishes. From the records available to the Executors (which only go back to 1988), he was Ella’s most successful horse.

Outwith the world of racing, Ella was very keen on eventing and competed herself when she was younger, as well as teaching at the Pony Club. Latterly, she owned horses being competed by Scottish eventer Wills Oakden, including MacGregor’s Cooley with whom Wills had some considerable success, AKD Cooley Lockdown and Licence to Cooley.

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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