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news Six finalists line up at Aintree for Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge Final

24th October 2018
  • A first prize of £3,500 for the best racehorse turned hunt horse

Six former racehorses head to Aintree for the course’s Countryside Day on Sunday 28th October to prove their versatility in the final of the Racing to Hunting Challenge, organised by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).

Now in its second year, the Racing to Hunting Challenge, sponsored by Ri-Dry waterproof clothing, will be won by the former racehorse judged to have best adapted to a second career in the hunting field. The winner will be awarded the Meriel Tufnell Trophy together with a cash prize of £3,500, split between the winning horse’s rider and their local hunt.

This year’s challenge attracted nominations from hunts from all over Great Britain. From the nominations, the judging panel drew up a long-list, from which today’s finalists were selected following visits by the judges to see the horses in action in the hunting field

The six former racehorses range from 11 to 20 years of age, they enjoyed varying degrees of success on the track and are travelling to Aintree from as far a field as Kent and Berwickshire.

On the day they will undertake a series of challenges, including jumping and negotiating obstacles that they might come across on a day’s hunting. The horses and riders will also be parading with a pack of hounds from the Holcombe Harriers and throughout the judging panel will be monitoring their behaviour and performance.

Looking to follow in the steps of 2017 winners Brumous and Melanie Duff, the six finalists are:

  • Johnny Mullen – owned by Malcolm Batters, ridden by Becky Morby (Wilton Hunt)
  • Kasilia – owned and ridden by Amy Brown (Berwickshire Hunt)
  • Kikos – owned and ridden by Amy Morgan (Heythrop Hunt)
  • Nikola – owned by Graham and Alison Jelley, ridden by Margaret Morris (South Notts Hunt)
  • The Friary – owned and ridden by Struan Wilson (Tynedale Hunt)
  • Wee Bertie – owned and ridden by Chris Thomson (Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt)

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), said: “The standard among the finalists looks very high with all six showing the temperament and versatility needed to make an exceptional hunter.

“It will not be easy picking a winner as they all look worthy of winning the prize. Our thanks again to Aintree for hosting the final and to Jonathan Clark and his panel of judges for the hard work they have put in.”

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