Gold Cup Champions among Retraining of Racehorses Parade

On the first day of The Festival, Champion Day, Tuesday, March 10, two previous Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Kauto Star and Denman, will be among the former racecourses appearing in the Retraining of Racehorses' (RoR) parade.


They will be joined by Big Buck's, who created history in 2012 by becoming the first four-time winner of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and who participates in the parade for the first time.


The RoR parades were introduced in 2008 by the charity to showcase the adaptability of racehorses when re-trained for a second career and they are now an established part of the major Jump racing festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree, as well as featuring at British Champions Day at Ascot in October.


Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, said: "To have Gold Cup, Grand National and World Hurdle winners in the parade is fantastic and it will be great for the Cheltenham racegoers to see so many old favourites. However, just as important from the charity's perspective are those horses that have channelled their talents into a whole new discipline.


"For example, Grand Crus who is now showjumping, Jack The Giant is now a champion in the show-ring and both Comply or Die and Kauto Star have successfully adapted to dressage.


"Also parading will be Ortolan, a horse less well known to racegoers, but the joint RoR Elite Eventing Champion ridden by Polly Stockton, a member of the British World Class Performance squad.


"For RoR to have the opportunity to parade horses at events such as the Cheltenham Festival is a real privilege and forms an important part of our strategy to increase awareness of the work the charity does facilitating the retraining of racehorses."


Details of the horses participating, together with their riders and their current activities are below.


1. BIG BUCKS (Hunting) - Lucy Tucker

12 years old by Cadoudal

He ran 40 times over hurdles and fences, earning over £1.3 million in prize money. The only horse to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle four times (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). Won a record 18 consecutive races over hurdles. 

Trained by Paul Nicholls

Following his retirement from racing in 2014 Big Buck's moved to Locketts Farm in Dorset with Lucy Tucker.  Here his days vary from hacking, hunting and being a work companion for the point to pointers.  He is hunted regularly with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hounds ridden by either Lucy or senior master Mike Felton.  Lucy is planning on giving him a short break before bringing him back in and starting to do some jumping work with him before aiming to compete in some RoR classes over the summer months.


2. BLAZING BAILEY (Hunting) - Sarah Welford

13 year old bay gelding by Mister Baileys

He ran 48 times on the flat, over hurdles and fences notching up over £380K in prize money. He won a total of 12 races. He ran four times at the Cheltenham Festival finishing 3rd in the Triumph Hurdle and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

Trained by Alan King

Blazing Bailey has been looked after by Sarah Welford since arriving at Alan King's yard as a three year old, so upon retirement his owners, Three Line Whip, decided that they would give him to her. Following his retirement from racing he has been hunting on a number of occasions.  They have been competing in hunter trials and team chases as well as lots of hacking.  He also has a new role in leading the babies on the gallops at the stud that Sarah is now running.  Sarah says Bailey is thoroughly enjoying his retirement.


3. COMPLY OR DIE (Dressage) - Verity Green

16 year old by Old Vic

Ran in 31 races both over hurdles and fences. Won 8 races and over £798,000 in prize money.  In 2008 he won the John Smiths Grand National and was runner-up in 2009.

Trained by David Pipe

Following his retirement from racing 2011 Comply Or Die spent his time with Verity Green being a lead horse for the young horses on the gallops.  He started hunting in 2011 and continues to go out as much as he can.  Although good to ride and handle, Comply Or Die still has great spirit and likes to remind anyone on board that he still has it!  Verity took up dressage with him last year and qualified for the RoR dressage finals in Leicestershire in November at introductory level.  This year will see them continuing with dressage and they hope to move up a level and qualify for the finals again.


4. DENMAN (Team Chasing) - Charlotte Alexander

15 year old by Presenting

Ran 24 times winning 14 races and over £1.1m in prize money. He ran at the Festival for six consecutive seasons, winning the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup and 2007 Royal & Sun Alliance Chase. He was three times runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and twice won the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Trained by Paul Nicholls

Denman moved to Charlotte Alexander at the beginning of September 2012. Once fit he was introduced to sponsored rides and then hunting.  Denman took to hunting like a duck to water.  He jumps everything from walls and rails to hedges and ditches.  However, in April 2013 disaster struck when Denman went lame due to a bone infection, this was then followed by a blood disorder resulting in five months in equine hospital.  Thanks to the care given and overseen by Ian Wright at the Newmarket Equine Hospital, the support of his owner Paul Barber and Denman's renowned fighting spirit he is now back to full fitness.  Recently has been back out in the hunting field in preparation for the coming team chase season. 


5. GRANDS CRUS (Showjumping) - Nicola Topper

10 year old by Dom Alco

Had 20 starts in NH flat races, over hurdles and fences. Winner of 7 races and over £249K in prize money. He was 2nd to Big Buck's in the 2011 Ladbrokes World Hurdle 

Trained by David Pipe

Following his retirement from racing at the end of 2013 Grands Crus moved to Julie Reynolds to start his retraining.  Since then he has taken to his new career very well and he debuted in a class at the Three Counties Show last June finishing fourth.  He has since completed two dressage competitions and been placed eighth and fifth.  Julie is having regular lessons and has now started showjumping with him.  Julie is looking forward to retuning to the Three Counties Show again this year and is also starting to train for eventing.  He will be in the parade by Nicola Topper who has been doing a combination of flat and jump work with him.


6. JACK THE GIANT (Showing) - Allister Hood

13 year old by Giant's Causeway

26 starts on the flat, over hurdles and fences. Winner of 9 races and over £223K in win/prize money. 

Trained by Nicky Henderson

Following his retirement from racing in 2010 a syndicate was set up of six Newmarket ladies called "The Jack Pots" to buy Jack and send him to Allister Hood to retrain for a career in the show ring.  Jack The Giant took to this very well and soon became a name within the top show classes.  His biggest win was in the Tattersalls/RoR Championship at Hickstead last year.  The pair were also second in the RoR/Jockey Club Novice Championship at Aintree and fourth at the Horse of the Year Show. The plan is to continue in the show ring in 2015 and again qualify for the RoR Championships.


7. KAUTO STAR (Dressage) - Laura Collett

15 year old bay gelding by Village Star

Ran 41 times over hurdles and fences winning over £2m and 23 races. He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2007 and again in 2009, the King George a record breaking five times and the Betfair Chase three times. He ran a total of six times at the Cheltenham Festival during his career.

Trained by Paul Nicholls

Since arriving with Laura Collett, Kauto Star has taken to his retirement routine very well. Laura says he is a pleasure to work with and is enjoying all the work that has been asked of him at home. Along with his retraining for dressage, he enjoys hacking out, spending time in the field and having the occasional jump. Kauto Star has done demonstrations at Newbury, Barbury Castle and Burghley, together with his annual trips to Kempton Park and the Cheltenham Festival. He will start competing in dressage competitions this year.


8. MIKO DE BEAUCHENE (Hunting) - Tracey Phillips

15 year old bay gelding by Nashamaa

He had 43 runs under rules including hurdles and fences. He won 4 races and over £203K in prize money. His wins included the Coral Welsh National in 2007 and the Vodka Red Square Gold Cup at Haydock in 2008. 

Trained by Venetia Williams

Since finishing his racing career, Miko De Beauchene and Tracey Phillips have been hunting several times with the North Cotswold Hunt and have completed fun rides in the Cotswolds, which he thoroughly enjoys. He is now enjoying taking part in some hunter trials, eventing and showjumping competitions.  He has also been taking part in the RoR showing classes and has been placed in these.


9. ORTOLAN (Eventing) - Polly Stockton

10 year old chestnut gelding by Next Desert

Ran 6 times, placed on one occasion. 

Trained by David Pipe / Donald McCain

After an uninspiring racing career, Ortolan's owners Allan and Stella Stennett sent him to event rider Polly Stockton in 2012. Polly, a member of the British World Class Performance squad, has brought him on and he has now been competing for three seasons, regularly delivering double clears in cross-country and showjumping and going up in grade. His 2014 season culminated in victory in the Intermediate class at Little Downham. At the inaugural RoR Awards in 2014 Ortolan was named joint Elite Eventing Champion.


10. SENTRY DUTY (Hunting) - Emma Carpenter

13 year old by Kahyasi

He ran 47 times on the flat, over hurdles and fences. Winner of 11 races and over £264K in prize money. 

Trained by Nicky Henderson

Emma Carpenter took Sentry Duty on in September after he had spent some time with her mother relaxing and switching off after his retirement from racing.  He then went pre-season hunting for the first time in October last year followed by attending the opening meet in November.  He has continued to hunt all season with the Clifton-Upon-Teme Hunt and the North Cotswold.  He is also used by Emma to lead her daughter's pony on.  Emma has even taught at Pony Club on him.  He has started schooling over poles and is preparing to take part in the RoR Challenge classes this year.

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