The countdown to the 2017 RoR Awards night is underway and the list of eleven candidates in the running for the prestigious award of RoR Horse of the Year has been unveiled.
The 2017 RoR Awards will take place on Monday 11th December, hosted by RoR Patron, Clare Balding. The event will once again be staged at the historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket, the home of horseracing.
The awards acknowledge and celebrate the versatility of former racehorses across a range of disciplines, with prizes awarded to the RoR elite winners in dressage, polo, eventing, endurance and showing. The final award on the night is the prestigious RoR Horse of the Year, sponsored by The Jockey Club, and won in 2016 by Monet’s Garden.
This year a long list of contenders has been drawn up, each horse nominated from one of the eleven RoR regions. A panel comprising RoR Patron Sir Anthony McCoy, ITV Racing and At The Races presenter, Luke Harvey and RoR Chief Executive, Di Arbuthnot, will review the list and identify three horses to go forward to the shortlist with the eventual winner announced on the night.
The eleven horses nominated for 2017 RoR Horse of the Year are:
|Musical Legend||South East||9 y.o gelding||Zoe Gould|
|Chuckamental||Central||6 y.o gelding||Emma Lebutt|
|Danny John Boy||Northern||14 y.o gelding||Leanne Crawford|
|Maigold Rose||North East||10 y.o mare||Bethany Slinger|
|Right You Are||North West||17 y.o gelding||Charlotte Bowery|
|Blue Thor||Scotland||11 y.o gelding||Caroline Pennycock|
|Wild West||East Mids||9 y.o gelding||Lizzie Harris|
|Mumaathel||Southern||14 y.o gelding||Gaalan East|
|Jive Master||South West||14 y.o gelding||Paige Smart|
|Beware Chalk Pit||East||13 y.o gelding||Rebecca Court|
|Buckingham Boys||Wales & Sev||15 y.o gelding||Clare Poole|
This week we include quotes and details on five of the eleven horses. The background and stories for the remaining six will be posted next week, after which the three horses who have made it to the short list will be announced.
Musical Legend, a son of Midnight Legend, was bought as a once raced 4 year old and has gone to enjoy a wonderful second career, primarily in eventing. He has brought joy to his rider, Zoe Gould, who herself was returning to the saddle after giving up riding while she was at university and then pursuing her career.
Zoe describes Musical Legend as “the horse of a lifetime, not just of the year. I would trust him with a newborn on his back, yet he still has the fire and talent to take me round Novice BE..…As clichéd as it may sound, he is my best friend and I wish everyone could have a horse like him!
Chuckamental ran twelve times, being placed twice, when trained by Bryan Smart. Despite being only 15.1hh and just a 6 year old he has already played horseball, worked in a riding school, been to the Racehorse To Dressage Horse finals twice, evented to BE100, won a Retrained Racehorse Challenge class and finished 3rd at the RoR National Championships.
Rider Emma Lebutt says of Chuckamental,“He really is a normal little horse with a big heart who will have a go at anything asked of him – as are many of our RoRs, which for me is the reason I love and promote former racehorses. I think he's a great poster boy for any horse owner to show what they too could achieve with a former racehorse.”
Danny John Boy has overcome injury and adversity to shine in multiple disciplines. The 14 year old by Classic Cliché won three races under rules but he has had much more success since retiring from racing, with victories in eventing, dressage and showing, including at the 2015 RoR National Championships at Aintree.
Owner and rider, Leanne Crawford says:
“My journey with Danny has been a rollercoaster, we have had the biggest highs and worst lows but for me he has always been my legend. We have worked so hard, from him coming back from multiple injuries to gain achievements that I have only dreamed off.”
Maigold Rose’s racing career finished when she was a 3 year old. She then spent five year quietly as a hack before he started competing, since when she has never looked back. Notable victories have included 2017 Champion at the 3 Phase Challenge Final at Floors Castle, while at this year’s RoR National Championships at Aintree Maigold Gold and Bethany Slinger were there all week competing in all disciplines, winning the Amateur ridden qualifier and being awarded with the Best Mare award.
Maigold Rose’s owner and rider Bethany Slinger says “When Zeva (Maigold Rose) came to me she had not done much at all, apart from hacking, a little bit of schooling and was introduced to jumping. I've ridden throughout my childhood competing all activities but I never thought then I would have had the chance to have the experiences I have had with Zeva.”
Right You Are was retired from racing in 2010 due to injury and has since overcome significant adversity, undertaking the journey from being a vulnerable horse in need of welfare care to competing successfully in British Dressage classes.
Right You Are’s owner and rider, Charlotte Bowery says, “I am very proud of how far he has come and how much he has achieved when his future looked so bleak. He has been the most rewarding and at times most challenging horse that I have ever worked with but once you have gained his trust he gives you his all. “I feel Righty deserve the recognition because his journey has been far from straight forward and he has overcome many physical and psychological issues. He has proved that against all odds he is enjoying a successful life after racing. He is a great example that with dedication and perseverance he is proving the adaptability of the former racehorse, to be successfully retrained to compete at not only RoR events but at British Dressage too.”