Dunbrody Millar, a former racehorse who in his heyday won Aintree Festival’s Topham Chase, returned to the scene of his greatest victory as part of the Retraining of Racehorses charity parade during the Grand National meet.
Dunbrody ‘Dobby’ Millar, who now calls Hertfordshire his home, took part in the parade following a successful start to his new career in dressage. Dobby was a talented racehorse who ran 58 times, winning on 5 occasions including at Aintree where he landed the famous Topham Chase over the Grand National fences in 2007. He was adopted by Hayley Ward in August 2009 and retrained to compete in a range of equine disciplines the following year.
With the help of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), a charity dedicated to helping racehorses enjoy a successful career after racing, Dunbrody Millar has become an accomplished competitor in both dressage and eventing. His biggest achievements to date are finishing 2nd at Carlton, Bedfordshire, in 2011 and being placed in a competitive Event last year at Purston Manor, near Brackley in Northants.
Dunbrody Millar‘s new owner, Hayley Ward, said:
“My godparents knew his owners when he was racing and we were then asked if we would like him when he retired from his racing career so that he could go on to do another job, to which of course we said yes! He came down to us in 2009 and then started his retraining with us in the Spring of 2010.
"He started off by competing in classes specially designed for former racehorses, which gives the horses a chance to shine and recognises the hard work we put in to their re-training. We have found the most difficult aspect of retraining to be the dressage phase, keeping him calm and relaxed is not always easy and so it was nice to take him into dressage classes specially designed for horses like him. He has had a nice long winter break and the plan will be to go Eventing again when he will hopefully make the step up to the next level. He will stay with us now for the rest of his life.
"Dobby is kept in the village of Gosmore on my godparents’ land which is lovely for him and great as his former racing owners live either in the village or nearby! They frequent one of our village pubs which is how he has come to have his own fan club. If we hack out mid-afternoon on a Sunday his many admirers come out from both village pubs! This causes quite a hold up of traffic sometimes as both pubs are on the main village road! I don't think we've ever managed to hack out on a Sunday without meeting somebody who knows him - unless it’s pouring with rain of course!"