Chantal Wootten, who works at Fittocks Stud in Newmarket, was presented with the inaugural Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Special Recognition award at Monday night's Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
A new addition to the annual Awards ceremony, the RoR Special Recognition award recognises the contribution made by members of Stud and Stable Staff towards the re-training of racehorses.
The Special Recognition award was presented to Chantal by jockey Ryan Moore for her work with former racehorse Purple Moon. Now twelve years old, Purple Moon enjoyed his greatest racecourse successes in the care of Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani, who prepared the horse to win the famous Ebor handicap at York and to be runner-up in the 2007 Melbourne Cup. Chantal took Purple Moon under her wing upon his retirement to the Cumani's stud, Fittocks Stud, in 2011. Since then, and through Chantal’s hard work and dedication, Purple Moon has enjoyed as much success in his second career of Showing. The duo's highlight was winning their class at the national RoR finals at Hickstead in 2014. The pair have also twice qualified for the Horse of the Year Show and landed a high profile win at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2013.
Of their journey together, Chantal Wootten said:
“My relationship with Purple Moon is very special. It’s probably one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had with a horse, and I think our combination works well together – he’s unreal.
"He thinks he’s human, and I probably treat him too much like he is a human! If he could, he would live in the house with me, if I could sleep in the stable with him, I probably would.
“To have been as successful as he has, a horse has to have something about them, and if you can channel that and train him in the right way…then it’s all great.
“It’s so rewarding to be around a horse like Purple Moon who’s been all around the world. He’s now 12 years old and he’s still acts as though he’s a three year old. He’s taken me places I wouldn’t have even dreamed of going.”
RoR, is British Racing's official charity, responsible for facilitating an ever increasing range of careers open to racehorses when they finish racing, from dressage to team chasing, from showing to polo. There are currently over 10,000 former racehorses registered with RoR as active in other equine disciplines.