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news Sire rules in the hunting field

3rd December 2021

• Sire Collonges wins Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge

Following an impressive display on a day out with the Ledbury Hunt, the striking grey gelding Sire Collonges and rider Tom Jonason were declared the winners of this year’s Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge.

The former Paul Nicholls trained Sire Collonges lined up with fellow finalists for a day’s hunting across Ledbury country. Throughout the day the finalists were monitored and assessed as the panel sought to identify the former racehorse that has best adapted to a second career hunting.

Sire Collonges’s rider, Tom Jonason, was formerly assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls and it was during his time working for the champion trainer that he first built up a rapport with the gelding. The pair now hunt regularly with the Belvoir Hunt and after hearing of the judging panel’s decision, he said: “I am absolutely over the moon. I thought the format worked really well. First and foremost, it was a very enjoyable day’s hunting and, secondly, it is undoubtedly a much fairer way of judging the competition.”

Now in its fifth year sponsored by Ri-Dry waterproof clothing, the final of the Racing to Hunting Challenge was previously held at Aintree Racecourse. This year was the first time the overall winner was judged based on performance and behaviour out in the hunting field.

In a career spanning six years, the now 15-year-old Sire Collonges raced 24 times, winning four times, including the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

As winners, Sire Collonges and Tom Jonason will receive the Meriel Tufnell Trophy at the upcoming RoR Awards ceremony held at The Jockey Club Rooms in January, along with a £1,000 cash prize and a Ri-Dry jacket.

The runner-up position was awarded to Important Moment and Becky Smith from the Fernie Hunt and in third place was Bill’s Bank and Katheleen Robinson from the North Staffordshire Hunt. The second and third also each receive prize money and a Ri-Dry jacket.

Di Arbuthnot, RoR Chief Executive said: “Congratulations to all the finalists, they were all a real credit to their owners and each showed how well they have adapted to their second career. A big thank you to all involved, especially the Ledbury Hunt for hosting the final, our sponsors Ri-Dry and our fantastic team of judges.”

To view the Ri-Dry website follow

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