BHA’s charity highlights adaptability of ex-racehorses
Kauto Star was today assessed for the first time by Yogi Breisner, World Class Performance Manager and Chef D’Equipe to the Great British Eventing team, as the process of identifying the most appropriate post-racing activity for the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup and five-time King George VI Chase winner got underway.
Accompanied by Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses, Breisner watched Kauto Star being exercised in an indoor school ridden by leading dressage and three day event rider Laura Collett. Kauto Star is currently based at Collett’s Wiltshire yard.
Yogi Breisner said:
“I am in regular contact with Retraining of Racehorses and often undertake projects on their behalf. It is a pleasure and privilege to have been asked to assess Kauto Star with a view to finding him an alternative activity now he is retired from racing.
“Due to the excellent way they are taken care of in training, most racehorses find it easy to adapt to being a riding horse and on the evidence so far, Kauto Star will be no exception.”
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses, the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) charity, said:
“A short while ago, we were contacted by the horse’s owner, Clive Smith, seeking advice on options for a post racing activity for Kauto Star. We were able to offer him the opportunity for the horse to be subject to assessment from Yogi Breisner and Laura Collett.
“Kauto Star appears to have settled well in his new surroundings and has started to do some flat work in the indoor school. It is encouraging, while also not surprising, that he is already demonstrating his intelligence and adaptability when being exercised. That he has settled so quickly into his new routine, as well as showing his new rider that he is no stranger to flat work, is a great credit to Paul Nicholls and all his team at Ditcheat. These assets will increase the options for him as to what he does next. Yogi and Laura will continue to work with and assess Kauto’s progress over the coming weeks before deciding which option would suit the horse best.”
“It is sometimes overlooked that many trainers take advice and help from professionals in other equestrian disciplines to try to improve racing performance, this also subsequently helps with the transition from racing to a new career after racing. The advice and help we have given to Clive Smith is the same as that which the charity does for hundreds of other owners of horses seeking a new career.”
“Retraining of Racehorses is now in it’s twelfth year as a charity and supports five charitable centres. It is self-funded through the Racing industry and we are very grateful to the generous gifts from the Mellon Trust and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed which are responsible for 30% of the annual budget.
“While over half of the income goes to the five centres, the charity runs a comprehensive event and competition programme in all equestrian disciplines and at all levels. The total registrations of eligible horses and riders is 7,333 and rising, a figure British Racing should be proud of as it shows the industry takes it responsibilities seriously with regard to what happens to a racehorse once it’s racing days are over.
“The charity is not just about the well known horses, although the recent successes of retraining by Straw Bear, Monet’s Garden and The Tatling in showing, as well as Neptune Collonges in dressage and Denman in hunting, has raised the profile. The majority of horses on the database are horses that for one reason or another have not been successful as racehorses but have given their new owner/rider a great deal of pleasure as well as receiving a happy retirement in return.
“Retraining of Racehorses offers extensive advice to potential new owners as well as their present owners through a ‘asktheexpert’ service, workshops and clinics nationwide and a series of training. There are also a number of recently appointed regional advisors established as a points of contact to provide further help and support.”