Among the 90 horses set to compete at this weekend’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials are six former racehorses and the highest placed of the racehorses turned top-class eventers will win a cash prize offered by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), British Racing’s official charity for the welfare of former racehorses.
It will be the second year that there has been an official prize for the best placed former racehorse at the world’s premier three-day-event and the RoR initiative got off to a tremendous start in 2016 when the winner was Arctic Soul, ridden by Gemma Tattersall, who finished third overall. The pair were awarded their RoR prize and cheque by HRH The Duchess of Cornwell.
Representing Great Britain, Arctic Soul and Gemma Tattersall are back again this year competing for the RoR prize against racehorses bred and raced in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. The six former racehorses eligible for the £1,000 cash prize, along with their riders are: Arctic Soul (Gemma Tattersall - GB), Galley Light (Ben Way - GB), Kaapachino (Jesse Campbell - NZ), Donner (Lynn Symansky - USA), Simply Priceless (Elisa Wallace - USA) and Balladeer Durban Hills (Sarah Parkes - GB).
As well as Arctic Soul, Galley Light and Kaapachino also completed Badminton last year. Galley Light finished 12th and Kaapachino finished 33rd. The remaining three former racehorses will be making their Badminton debuts.
The 14-year-old Donner stands over 17hh and will be ridden by Lynn Symansky. The pair were the reserve for US Olympic team for Rio and they have competed in several CCI4* and in 2013 Donner won the award for leading ‘off the track thoroughbred’ in the USA.
The second American based horse, Simply Priceless, raced in Australia for three seasons. Elisa Wallace took on Simply Priceless in 2013, and together they were the highest placed American pair at Burghley Horse Trials last year, finishing 14th.
The youngest horse, at 12-years-old, running for the RoR prize is the British partnership of Balladeer Durban Hills and Sarah Parkes. Durban Hills, as he was previously known, started his career in Irish point-to-pointing and has competed at CCI3* since 2015.
The prize, like last year, is open to any thoroughbred horse that has raced under the rules of a recognised racing authority. The RoR prize will be awarded in the main ring as part of the official awards ceremony for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR said:
“It was a real thrill last year to see the likes of Gemma Tattersall on Arctic Soul and Ben Way on Galley Light flying the flag for former racehorses at the world’s premier three-day-event. For the inaugural winner of the RoR prize to finish third overall was brilliant
“This year we have another strong line-up and we are hoping the RoR prize will continue to raise awareness of the versatility and talents of former racehorses.”
The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials run from Wednesday 3rd May to Sunday 7th May, for more information visit: www.badminton-horse.co.uk
For more information about Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) visit www.ror.org.uk
Photo caption: Ben Way and Galley Light, the pair are among the former racehorses competing at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this weekend.