Success stories Secret Passion a Horse of a Lifetime

24th September 2020

Written by Polly Taylor


Secret Passion, known as Lyric was a wonderful advertisement for the joys of former racehorses. Born in 1998, she had raced rather unremarkably on the flat and once over hurdles from 2000-2002. Lyric then began her new life and evented under BE rules from 2004 with two previous owners before I bought her in 2008 as a ten year old. She then did everything, gaining points with British Dressage (up to Medium), British Show Jumping (up to Newcomers) and British Eventing (up to Novice). Lyric represented her local riding club (Cambridge and District) on numerous occasions, taking part in the National Riding Club Horse Trials Championships three times at intermediate level, contributing to team and individual top 10 placings. She won her share of RoR trophies for accumulated points in all three disciplines. Lyric team chased, often as lead horse and hunted. Although standing still was not her forte.

One weekend in 2016 says it all. She took part in the veterans (Horse & Rider) Dressage Championships at Vale View, left the dressage on the Sunday morning in pouring rain to arrive just in time to team chase at the Pytchley, to have a clear round and the team was placed. Someone commented that she was the only horse they knew to arrive plaited and have them removed before competing.

Lyric was a horse of some character she could go from butter wouldn’t-melt to a flat-eared war horse in the space of seconds, simply because someone walked by. She gained a fair reputation for being scary to handle. Taking out the last plait was sometimes left to the next day, but she could change instantly to be almost cuddly. Lyric made the most of being grey and perfected brown maps of Africa & South East Asia on both sides of her body. Bright flowers and greener leaves were terrifying when encountered out hacking, but tractors and combine harvesters were simply dull and to be ignored. She was sharp as a razor and famous for high school leaps when the enthusiasm simply couldn’t be contained; but also so patient when accompanying young horses on their first cross country session.

Riding Lyric gave me the greatest feeling hacking out, cantering on the beach and best of all when she’d seen a jump ahead. A cross country skinny with flags and she’d be on the case, a show jump round the corner - let me at it! Dressage marks were easily marred by tigers in the arena flower pots, but on a good day she gained marks in the 70% region.

In February 2020, aged 22, she was still in full work, even with some competing however she had been lame on and off for months. An old foot injury had come back to bite and when investigated properly it was clear that it was not going to get better and she was never the type to retire, so with a heavy heart it was goodbye Lyric.

She was a legend and is much missed, but the memories are good. Retrained Racehorses are the best.

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