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news RoR honours exceptional former racehorses at the 2024 Awards ceremony

1st February 2024
Kevin and Pam Atkinson from New Beginnings winners of the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust RoR Community Impact Award and Jo Hales winner of The Jockey Club RoR Horse of the Year Award

On Wednesday 31 January, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) hosted its annual RoR Awards ceremony at the historic Jockey Club Rooms, in Newmarket. The glittering evening brought together over 150 attendees from the racing and equestrian communities to honour the remarkable accomplishments of former racehorses in their new careers.

Richard Phillips and Ashleigh Wicheard skilfully hosted the awards ceremony, sharing inspiring stories of the winners, which created an emotional experience for the audience, especially those vying for the inaugural Sir Peter O'Sullevan RoR Community Impact Award and The Jockey Club RoR Horse of the Year Award.

The Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust RoR Community Impact Award, recognises individuals, partnerships, or organisations making noteworthy contributions to people's lives through their involvement with former racehorses. The deserving winner, New Beginnings with Goldream, stood out amongst the nominations, showcasing their remarkable impact on the community.

Goldream, now known as Remy, retired from a lucrative flat racing career in 2018, accumulating over £500,000 in prize money. Remy, now York Racecourse’s Equine Ambassador, has shown a kind and intuitive nature, significantly impacting the lives of the elderly and young children locally.

Kevin and Pam Atkinson, joint founders of New Beginnings, expressed their pride in Remy's positive impact, stating, "Remy stands as the epitome of a versatile racehorse, he seamlessly adapted to his new life after racing with a remarkable blend of grace and kindness, bringing joy and pleasure to all those he encounters.”

The Jockey Club RoR Horse of the Year Award was claimed by Que Sera, a former racehorse based in Oxfordshire, owned and ridden by Jo and Ben Hales. Que Sera's journey from a short racing career to becoming a versatile champion in various disciplines captured the hearts of the RoR community.

An emotional Jo Hales commented, "Owning and retraining Que Sera has been a privilege. Beyond his remarkable versatility and gentle temperament, he's a true family member. He graciously allows my children to climb aboard effortlessly, showcasing his sensitivity and willing attitude."

The evening's other elite winners included Wonga Swinger and Tori Thomas, RoR Elite Showing Champions; Don Stefano and Megan Brown, RoR Elite Eventing Champions; Celtic Silver and Sara Cork, RoR Elite Hunting Champions; Badalona Breeze and Chris McKenzie, RoR Elite Polo Champions; Fair Duchess and Jane Phillips, RoR Elite Dressage Champions; and More Salutes and Amanda Hamley; RoR Elite Endurance Champions.

The RoR Awards, serve as the charity’s flagship promotional event, showcasing aftercare and highlighting the versatility of the thoroughbred. The ceremony was filled with stories of resilience, and magical moments, emphasising the joy and enrichment former racehorses bring to many lives long after their racing careers have concluded.

ENDS

Notes for Editors
For more information, please contact Toni Levey, Communications & Media Executive at RoR, tlevey@ror.org.uk or telephone 07881 286441.

Videos
The winners and their supporting videos for these prestigious awards can be found below:

New Beginnings and Goldream – Yorkshire

Que Sera owned/ridden by Jo Hales – Oxfordshire

About Retraining of Racehorses (RoR)
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 www.ror.org.uk

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