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Showing Your Retired Racehorse

The popularity of retired racehorses has increased immensely in the last few years as they have become more widely recognised as incredibly versatile, well mannered and well bred horses that can excel in the show ring.

To support this new trend, the concept of showing classes for retired racehorses was devised in 2002 by judge Peter Gunn. Since then, dedicated organisations have been set up to provide a wide range of classes and activities for all ‘types’ of ex-racehorse.

The RoR (Retraining of Racehorses) is British horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing.

TARRA (The Thoroughbred And Retired Racehorse Association) is a national showing organisation that runs in hand and ridden classes for all thoroughbreds.

A quick internet search will also reveal a number of regional societies and general interest ex racehorse clubs that operate from riding club events, and can provide all sorts of activities from racecourse parades to fun rides.

The epitome of showing for your retired racehorse would of course be the RoR/ SEIB Racehorse2RidingHorse final at the Horse of the Year Show. This is not to be confused with the ‘Search for a Star’ series that SEIB sponsor – although some of the qualifying classes are held alongside SFAS qualifiers, they are an entirely different entity. The HOYS finalists are true stars of the show ring – many of them holding their own in Riding Horse classes alongside the Racehorse2RidingHorse series.

The RoR’s own show series, in conjunction with Tattersalls, culminates with a national final at the Hickstead Show Jumping Derby meeting in June. This is a class judged as per a normal Riding Horse show class, and entrants must have been raced.

The Retrained Racehorse Challenge involves competitors jumping a small course of mixed working hunter/showjump style fences. The judge does not ride, instead a set display of stipulated movements is required. This culminates in a final held at the National Hunter Show, Addington Manor.

For Thoroughbreds that may have been in training but not raced, or those which are not a specific show type, the TARRA show series offers both in hand and ridden. Horses are judged as good examples of Thoroughbreds rather than being a riding horse/hunter type. TARRA classes are supported by the RoR who provide rosettes, and Blue Chip who provide prizes in kind. The in hand series runs at shows throughout the country, and culminates in a grand final held on Newmarket Racecourse. A national final is held in September. TARRA is unique in that it requires no paid membership from entrants, and the two national finals are also free to anyone possessing a valid qualifying card. They also run showing clinics and seminars with judges and producers throughout the year.

To find out more about competing under RoR or TARRA, please contact:

Di Arbuthnot diarbuthnot@ror.org.uk www.ror.org.uk

Peter Gunn & Emma Lebutt enquiry@tarra.co.uk www.tarra.co.uk

Website designed, maintained and © of M Hughes and J Saxby 2008