A former racehorse who has been transformed into a star of the show ring by Helen Newbold of Wicken, Milton Keynes, has been invited to parade shoulder to shoulder with racing's equine superstars on the opening day of this year's Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday 11th March.
Under the care and tuition of Helen Newbold, Deep Reflection has excelled in his second career in the show ring, far exceeding his achievements as a racehorse. His success in this new sphere has secured him a place in the Retraining of Racehorses Parade at Cheltenham, where he will be joined by former champions Kauto Star and Denman.
After his racing career concluded in January 2011, Deep Reflection was taken on by Helen, who quickly realised he had potential as a show horse. Only two months later, following a period of retraining, he was winning at local shows. In his first year of showing he qualified for an event at Hickstead - the equivalent of Cheltenham for show horses. In 2012 he was named a champion at Hickstead winning the Elite Performance Award and then last year Deep Reflection won the "Racehorse to Riding Horse Of The Year" title at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
Deep Reflection’s owner, Helen Newbold, said:
“Deep Reflection was a good racehorse, but he has been little short of a revelation since turning his hand – or hoof rather- to being a show horse.
“Having never made it to Cheltenham, it is great for him to now go, with an equivalent win under his belt. He is a great example of what retrained racehorses can do.”
Deep Reflection's transition to a new career was facilitated by Retraining of Racehorses, the sport's official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing. The charity, which is funded by British racing, stages classes in a range of disciplines specifically for former racehorses, providing an infrastructure for such horses to find the career option which suits them best.
Di Arbuthnot, Retraining of Racehorses Chief Executive, 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 around 9,000 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 at Cheltenham is a celebration of not only previous Festival winners, but also of horses like Deep Reflection who have gone to achieve great success in other disciplines.
“Clearly not all racehorses go on to star in a different sphere but 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.”
As well as parading with Kauto Star and Denman, Deep Reflection will also be joined by Monkerhostin, Blazing Bailey, Crystal D’Ainay and HM The Queen’s Barber's Shop.
Retraining of Racehorses organises a yearly Cheltenham Festival parade for former racehorses to show their ability to adapt to different lifestyles – often being very successful in their new career.
For more information about Retraining of Racehorses, please visit: http://www.ror.org.uk/
Photograph courtesy of Real Time Imaging.