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news TV show on what it takes to retrain racehorses

5th July 2019
Mabiat and Ben Berry representing team GB in Horseball
  • Racing TV’s ‘This Racing Life’ focuses on the racehorse’s versatility

The July edition of This Racing Life, Racing TV’s monthly magazine programme, is devoted to showcasing the versatility and suitability of racehorses to alternative careers after they have retired from racing.

The half hour show features in-depth interviews with experienced horsemen and women who have retrained racehorses to thrive in a second career, such as polo, dressage, showing and horseball.

Each interviewee talks about the attributes required for racehorses to excel in different disciplines and how thoroughbreds have the intelligence and adaptability, allied with their natural athleticism, to succeed in a range of activities. As one of the interviewees says: “Thoroughbreds are my favourite breed, I absolutely worship them!”

Three of the horses featured will be familiar to racing audiences on account of their success on the track; Zarkandar was a multiple Grade 1 winner over hurdles when trained by Paul Nicholls, Namibian won Group races at both Royal Ascot and Goodwood for Mark Johnston, while Mabait enjoyed a long, globe trotting career on the Flat when trained in Newmarket by David Simcock.

In a touching interview, Cindy Sims talks about Zarkandar, who she is retraining for a career in showing. Recalling how she received the horse from Paul Nicholls not long after she was diagnosed with cancer, she says: “I was well underway with my weekly chemotherapy and all the horses in the yard, but especially Gino (Zarkandar), were a reason for me to get out of the bed in the morning.”

Will Brasher, polo producer who specialises in transforming racehorses into polo ponies, says of the breed he has chosen to work with: “They’re fantastic animals, I’ve always been very passionate about them, as have my mum and family for years. They’re very adaptable, have good brains and have been well taught in their racing yards.”

The show also includes interviews with Julie Frizzell, who has retrained Namibian for a career in dressage, and Ben Berry, who has retrained Mabait for horseball. Both have been selected to represent their country in their respective new disciplines.

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) would like to thank the producer Sarah Gorman and the team at Racing TV, together with all the contributors, for a beautifully filmed show and for providing an insight into the retraining of racehorses.

You can watch the full episode of This Racing Life here:

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