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Success stories Racing Staff Week - Molly Sherring

28th June 2022

Racing Staff Week, an initiative of Racing Welfare, is a chance to celebrate the industry’s entire workforce and showcase their passion, skill, and dedication.

In British horseracing alone, thousands of workers, from stud and stable staff to breeders, racecourse staff and administrators contribute their time and energy to maintain our sport.

To celebrate ‘Racing Staff Week’, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) will be highlighting some of our members who combine their work in the racing industry with bringing their day jobs home and own a horse they used to know or looked after in racing.

First up is Molly Sheering, who tells us how she juggles her racing job with looking after her two former racehorses.

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I am 23 years old and grew up in Dorset riding ponies and competing at Pony Club and hunting. Once I finished my A-levels I started working in racing. I've worked for Fergal O'Brien for 5 years now and have completed an International Horseracing Business Management degree alongside working in racing. I've worked as stable staff, the travelling head girl and now I work as a secretary in the office, but still look after 3 horses and go racing with them.

2. When and how did you get your former racehorses? Barry (Barrakilla) was the first horse I ever rode at Fergal’s during my trial morning. I rode him a lot in training and took him racing a few times, he was a legend. He retired after finishing third in the Foxhunters at Aintree and was looking for a riding horse home. I pulled a few strings and even though it probably wasn't the best timing for me to get a horse, I couldn't say no to Barry! I've had Barry for over 3 years now.

Freddy (Global Fame) was only 8 when he retired. I looked after him and rode him every day when he was in training since he came over from Ireland. He was such a dude and I always joked about taking him home to have him as a hunter. When they said they were retiring him, I assumed his owners were going to have him as they are a big hunting family. Unfortunately, they didn't have time to take on another horse, so Fergal's partner Sally asked if I wanted him and of course I said yes!

3. What were they like in there early retraining and did you know both horses during their racing days? Barry was always a bit buzzy and had a big buck in him, never nasty but just happy and enjoyed his work. Freddy was laid back and so chilled, I think he misbehaved once the whole time I looked after him.

4. Do they have any funny quirks? Freddy is normal and sensible, but Barry is a total diva. He sticks his tongue out when he gets excited, and he loves to play with water. You can't wash him off without him taking the hosepipe off you and holding it in his mouth.

5. How do you juggle working in racing and looking after your former racehorse? Working with horses is never a 9 to 5 job, so having your own is just the same. I'm lucky in that I work 7 until 2 every day, so I have all afternoon and evening to do my own horses.

6. What have they achieved and has your partnership exceeded all your expectations? Freddy has only been out of training a couple of months, but he has taken to life very well, he's a blank canvas but learns very quickly. Barry has done a bit of everything, showing, dressage, show jumping, fun rides, and eventing. He's very careful and has plenty of scope, he's recently done well at unaffiliated dressage shows.

7. What plans do you have with them? I've achieved what I've wanted to with Barry, we will now focus on dressage but he's 15 so I think he deserves a quieter life. Freddy, I hope to do well with RoR showing classes and hunting, he's big and strong and he loves jumping too.

8. Have their racing contacts kept in touch with you and follow his progress after racing? One of Freddy's owners still own’s horses at work so I see them daily and keep them updated, and Angie Rucker is into eventing as well as racing, so she likes to stay updated with Barry's whereabouts.

9. Why do you love thoroughbreds? They're quick learners, so versatile, love learning new things and are so loving. I will never have another type of horse.

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