On Friday 10th May, HM The Queen’s Barbers Shop was crowned champion of the National Hunt division of the Challenge Championship, organised by Retraining of Racehorses, British Racing’s official charity for retired racehorses, at the Royal Windsor Show.
Queen Elizabeth II was there herself to watch the show and Katie Jerram, the winning rider and producer of Barbers Shop, was able to pass on both the winner’s rosette and a Tesco Voucher to the winning owner – which her majesty proceeded to put in her pocket! The winners’ trophy was taken straight to Windsor Castle and put on display that same evening.
Barbers Shop, who is now 11 years old, is the Queen’s best known National Hunt horse. He was trained by Nicky Henderson and won 8 races during his career. However, pundits contend that his best performances have actually been in defeat, coming 3rd to Kauto Star in the 2009 King George VI Chase at Kempton and 2nd to Imperial Commander in the 2008 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Meanwhile, the winner in the Flat Division was Purple Moon, who was produced by Sara Cumani, wife of the horse’s former Trainer Luca, and ridden by Chantel Wootten. Before Purple Moon retired from racing, he won the 2007 running of the Ebor at York, Europe’s richest staying handicap, and came second in the Melbourne Cup.
Di Arbuthnot, Retraining of Racehorses Chief Executive said “Barbers Shop and Purple Moon were both beautifully mannered and produced. I was particularly impressed with how the horses coped with the surprise of a 6 gun salute and ride past!”