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Thursday, March 23, 2023

First Fandango retrained racehorse of the 12 months

  • The “versatile” First Fandango, who has tasted success at each self-discipline he has tried, has been topped The Jockey Membership Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) horse of the 12 months by broadcaster Clare Balding.

    The 16-year-old, previously skilled by Tim Vaughan, ran 50 instances together with at 4 consecutive Cheltenham Festivals earlier than becoming a member of Hannah Chisman to begin his new life in 2017. The pair have hunted, team-chased, evented, showjumped and tasted success within the present ring.

    “He might be successful showjumping Saturday, at a top-class present Sunday, and instructing my little boy on Monday. There’s nothing he can’t do,” mentioned Hannah, whose days begin round 4.30/5am earlier than she heads off to work full-time as travelling head woman for coach John Spearing.

    “I really had his full brother. I hunted him down and requested his coach, Tim, very properly if I may have him when he had completed.”

    She added that “Freddie’s” “perspective to life” is what makes him so particular.

    “There’s nothing he’ll say no to,” she mentioned. “He’s so loving. Once you stroll into the barn, he’s the primary to speak to you.

    “He’s at all times given me his all in every thing we do – from herding cows to displaying off on the Horse of the 12 months Present.”

    She mentioned “phrases won’t ever clarify how wonderful he’s”, thanking her associates for his or her assist “whether or not I want a pram pushing or tack cleansing – it means a lot”.

    “That horse is an absolute legend. One factor is I want my mum was nonetheless round to witness all of what I’ve accomplished with my horses. She was the principle girl in my life who acquired me going,” she mentioned.

    “He’s a part of the household and has given me a few of the finest days of my life. Simply doing what I do day by day with him is already a win for me and all of us love him.”

    Clare urged house owners to showcase the “love and reward that goes each methods” and the “unbelievable versatility, bravery, willingness and intelligence” of retrained racehorses to assist change misconceptions.

    “They’ve introduced a lot to the lives of people who experience them now, that personal them now, and you’ve got accomplished a lot for them. It’s only a actually pretty virtuous circle,” she mentioned.

    “I’d urge you to maintain filming stuff, placing them on social media, speaking about them. As a result of collectively we’re reinventing the best way individuals assume racehorses are and what they’re able to.”

    She additionally inspired racing to talk to the broader equestrian world extra.

    “Racing can usually exist in a little bit of a vacuum,” mentioned Clare. “I feel this can be a vastly essential manner during which we attain throughout totally different equestrian disciplines. I’ve at all times tried to say to racing ‘You could be speaking to eventing, it’s essential to be speaking to showjumping, to dressage, and to endurance worlds and the displaying worlds and the looking worlds’, as a result of we don’t work as one on this nation.

    “All of us love horses, all of us have partnerships with them that imply various things, when really we very hardly ever get to be collectively. And this can be a essential alternative for that.”

    RoR chairman Philip Freedman echoed comparable ideas in his opening handle.

    “By no means has it been extra essential for racing, and certainly for all equestrian actions, to showcase what they do for his or her former equine athletes as soon as their first profession is accomplished,” he mentioned.

    The horse of the 12 months runners-up have been William Grant’s “lovable character” Skipper Robin, 17, and 2014 Grand Nationwide winner Pineau De Re, owned by Richard Newland and John Provan. Pineau’s rider Lizzie Brunt credited the 20-year-old with serving to her re-find her love for eventing.

    Elite champion awards have been introduced throughout disciplines. In displaying, Time Down Below – who by no means beat a single horse on the monitor – claimed collection champion with owner-rider Justine Armstrong-Small, with Morean Hamilton’s Wealthy Man Poor Man, ridden by Kirstine Douglas, topped supreme.

    Finch Fancy, co-owned by rider Ben Liles with Phil and Charlie Might Ainsworth, gained the eventing prize, whereas Vicky Heal’s Tribunel, who has accomplished greater than 200 days with 15 packs, gained the looking award. Judith Barker’s My Diss Sire took the dressage title, Hazel Jackson-Genoa’s Far Tune the polo award, and Sam Tomlinson’s Lilbourne Prince the endurance accolade.

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