Former Racehorses on the Road to Rio

Gemma Tattersall and her former racehorse, Arctic Soul (pictured, left), have been selected for the long-list of potential competitors in the four strong Eventing team that will represent Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Another former racehorse, Summon Up The Blood, previously trained by Mick Channon, is in the running to represent Brazil.

Arctic Soul, who started his career in training with Colm Murphy in Ireland, secured a place on the long-list following a third place finish with Gemma Tattersall at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, where the pair also took the RoR sponsored prize for best performance by a former racehorse. With clear rounds in both the cross-country and showjumping phases, Gemma and the 13-year-old Arctic Soul completed Badminton without adding any penalties to their dressage score.

Summon Up The Blood is an 11-year-old gelding by Red Ransom who scored a hat-trick of wins on the Flat in 2008 when trained by Mick Channon. Now he is set to represent the home nation at the Rio Olympics under Brazilian event rider Carlos Parro.

Based in the UK, Carlos Parro has had the ride on Summon Up The Blood since 2011. The horse started his eventing career in RoR Classes for former racehorses before graduating to open competition and earlier this year the combination successfully qualified for Rio.

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, said: “It’s great news for Gemma that she and Arctic Soul have been long-listed. It was a fantastic effort by the pair at Badminton and it would be marvelous if they made the final four and went to Rio representing not only Great Britain, but RoR as well. Likewise, we wish Carlos the very best of luck in his efforts to make the Brazilian team. Both horses are testaments to a racehorse’s versatility and show what fulfilling second careers horses can enjoy after racing.”

Also included in the long-list for Team GB is Tina Cook and her thoroughbred, the unraced Star Witness, and Laura Collett, with a horse owned by Kauto Star’s owner Clive Smith, called Pamero 4. The final selection date for Team GB is 5th July.