Equine champions return to the racecourse for British Champions Day parade

Returning to the racecourse as champions in a new discipline, eight former racehorses will be taking part in a parade promoting Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 18th October.

The RoR parade will take place in the main paddock before racing with each horse showcasing how well they have adapted to their second career, highlighting the versatility of Thoroughbreds. Prior to the RoR parade, there will be a Musical Ride involving eight former racehorses which is taking place beside the pre-parade ring from 12:10pm. The parade in the paddock will commence immediately after the Musical Ride.

The parade will feature Grand National winner Comply Or Die, who has since turned his talents to dressage, a very different discipline and experience to that which he enjoyed at Aintree and to which he has taken to very well. He will be joined in the parade ring by fellow dressage star Quadrille, who was formerly owned by The Queen. It’s not just dressage that former racehorses go on to take part in: showing champions Jack the Giant and Purple Moon, and eventing stars Special Constable and Valemount will also be showcasing their versatility, alongside Hilda Odgen, now pursuing a career in polo, and Haxton who since retiring from racing has excelled at Team Chasing.

The Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) parades were introduced in 2008 and are now an established part of major jump racing festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree, and now British Champions Day.

Retraining of Racehorses, British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing, and the parades allow former racehorses to show their ability to adapt to different lifestyles – often being very successful in their new careers. 

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls holds that “Racing forms only half a horse’s lifetime” and this is certainly the case. There are currently over 10,000 horses registered with Retraining of Racehorses as active in other equine disciplines outside of racing, including Polo, Showing, Dressage and Eventing, as well as those horses happily engaged in hacking and exercising.

RoR Chief Executive, Di Arbuthnot, said:

“Everyone involved in horseracing shares a passion for horses. On the track they provide us with so much enjoyment and excitement and it is wonderful that through Retraining of Racehorses or otherwise, former racehorses can find a fulfilling second career. We have over 10,000 horses currently registered on our database as active in disciplines outside of racing, including polo, showing, dressage and eventing, as well as all those happily engaged in hacking and exercising. 

"The Parade on British Champions Day celebrates these former racehorses who have gone to achieve great success in other disciplines.

“Many racehorses go on to star in a different sphere and the more we can raise awareness of how adaptable they are, the more riders will think about taking on a racehorse on when they are looking for a new horse.” 

The former racehorses who will take part in the parade have been lovingly retrained and are excelling their new careers, are:

Purple Moon (Showing) – Chantel Wootten

Jack the Giant (Showing) – Allister Hood

Quadrille (Dressage) – Louise Robson

Comply Or Die (Dressage) – Verity Murphy

Haxton (Hunting) – Yvonne Goss

Special Constable (Eventing) – Elaine Tragett

Valemount (Eventing) – Dan Jocelyn

Hilda Ogden (Polo) – Henry Brett



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