Success stories Big Easy proves that dressage is just that............Easy!!!

12th December 2019

After losing my horse I was on the lookout for another and I mentioned to a friend of mine who works for Ian Williams, that I'd always fancied re-homing a racehorse. After a failed loan of another horse, by chance my friend contacted me with information on Big Easy, who had a successful racing career with trainers Philip Hobbs and Ian Williams. Big Easy won on the flat and over hurdles, his most notable win being the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket Racecourse in 2014.

Although at this point the owner and trainer of Big, were unsure if they were yet retire him, the decision was his and would be decided on his performance of his next race. Big Easy’s final race was at Aintree racecourse where he finished ninth out of a field of ten. To my delight I received a phone call to inform me that the decision was made and he would retire. Soon after I took my niece Chloe Allen (she bounces better than me) to view Big with me. This was the first sight of Big Easy in the flesh and my first thought being wow… he is such a handsome boy. My niece jumped upon him and put him through his paces, as she knows the type of horse I like. Her comment being he goes and stops when you ask him to, what more could you want at this stage? The decision was made there and then and i picked him up the following weekend.

After a few weeks down time in the field, the time came to start our retraining transition. We started with the basics and I treated him like a newly backed four-year-old to start with. In my favour he was such a dream, always trying his best of whatever was asked of him. To my advantage I had friends at the end of the phone who work at Ian's and now run a successful retraining yard, Matthew and Amanda Mills. The pair gave me some useful advice on how the racehorse thinks and what they would be used to as opposed to the "traditional" riding horse.

Not having transport of my own, getting him out is hard work. I rely on friends to beg and borrow transport and without their kindness we wouldn't be doing what we do. We then went out and done our first competition and we won! I was totally amazed when we qualified for the Blue Chip Championship unaffiliated. So, we went a few weeks later not expecting to get anywhere but ended up with a 2nd place. So, I thought it's time to go affiliated. We did our first BD in the summer of 2018 gaining good scores and qualifying for the Petplan Festivals! We went to the area finals with it being Bigsy 8th ever BD test. Again I went out just to have a nice day as always and to my surprise we qualified for the Petplan Finals gaining a 2nd place. In this time, we had also qualified for the RoR Associated Championships at Vale View in November. Yet again we went to just have a nice day, as always. We were one of the first in; we rode a lovely test and that was good enough for me as I say this was, his 10th ever BD test at this point. Then the scores came up 69.74% with a third of the class gone, I was in first place so yet again it was along tense wait until the final rider had gone. Well I thought I was dreaming, all scores up, Bigsy and I are in top spot. I could have cried! This horse owes nobody anything, yet he gives his all no matter what. And he's a handsome lad to top it all, with such a loving personality. I feel lucky, privileged and honoured to be given the chance to give such a well-loved horse a new career after racing.

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