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Success stories Thady Quil - 'I hatched a plan to bring him into the fold'

1st July 2020
Image courtesy of Lottie-Elizabeth Photography

Written by Pip Frankish

Bought as a 5 year old from Ireland where he was a decent point to pointer, Thady Quil (the name is that of an ancient Irish ballad) was brought to Martin Keighley Racing in early 2015. He was syndicated by Owners for Owners and the syndicate was latterly managed by my partner Paul Davis.

Thady is a strapping big horse and was not the easiest to train. Prone to corns and with wind issues, he nevertheless won a race at Worcester and ran into a few placings as well. His high head carriage when racing did not endear him to jockeys but in his 20 starts he never fell nor unseated his rider.

Because of his fine jumping, his last outing in October 2017 was at Cheltenham where he gave his amateur jockey, Ashlee Hark, the ride of his life to finish the race 11th of 17 starters. This race was always going to be his last and so he was turned away on return to the racing yard.

My partner Paul has always loved this horse. He's quiet, well mannered, is clean limbed and has a look of vulnerability about him. On top of that, he can move! His trot in particular is more warm blood than Thoroughbred and for that reason he caught my eye and together, Paul and I hatched a plan to bring him into the fold at Wellington Riding Centre where I've liveried horses for 20+ years.

Thady duly came to me in November 2017 and I fell in love immediately. Whilst he took some time to adjust to his new surroundings, one thing was clear from the start - this horse is a saint. Don't get me wrong, he has his sharp moments and has put me on the floor a couple of times when sudden movements caught in his peripheral vision have caused him to move at lightening speed. But he is safer to ride than the vast majority of horses at Wellington which, as a BHS approved riding school, can not afford to offer known liabilities to the paying public.

Thady has been ridden by a friend of mine in her 70s and by quite a few novice riders all of whom have felt safe although all have also commented on his massive trot action and how much horse stretches out in front of them. However, it's me who rides him most days and oversees his daily schedule. He's a joy to work with. He has come a long way in the 2+ years I've been working with him and has had a few setbacks which included a broken pedal bone which meant months of box rest but from which he has made a total recovery.

I jump him and have competed up to 1m. I'm not the bravest jumper but he's given me a number of clear rounds and some minor placings and I plan to continue jumping at the lower levels. His real potential is for dressage and having achieved some 70% scores, my aim now is to qualify him for Petplan in 2021 and the RoR Goffs UK National Championships as well. I'll be aiming for Novice but Prelim would be equally satisfying. He's a pleasure to train and I love him to bits.

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