WE have all been treated to a wonderful week of top-class National Hunt racing at Cheltenham with record-breaking crowds on course and no doubt, global viewership. It’s great to see such resurging interest in racing and there’s little doubt that when the time is right, some of those stars of the turf we witnessed this week will go on to enjoy second careers in the equestrian industry.
Well done to Treo Eile for supporting Eventing Ireland’s Thoroughbred Eventing League (see News page 106), building on the foundations laid by all those who have consistently supported the racehorse to riding horse ideals and classes over the years. The exploits of former track stars and non-winners alike have shone in these pages over the years.
There’s many alternative careers for racehorses when their racing days are over - there is a myriad of disciplines that could suit them in the equestrian scene. There is good homes out there for them and it’s not surprising that one of the biggest crowds around the rings at the RDS all week during the Dublin Horse Show is for the Racehorse to Riding Horse class.
Some racehorses who lose their inherent racing soundness are entered into sales. Trainers and owners want to move on such geldings in particular as they well know they won’t stay racing sound and there is no future paddock potential either.
Are they doing anything ‘wrong’ as such - of course not! Equally however, they are not doing the right thing either. How fair is that practice on the next unwitting buyer of such an animal? Simply ask yourself does such an action enhance your reputation as the vendor in the eyes of the equine industry or lessen it?
Money aside, reputation is all.
Imagine seeing your former racehorse go on to once again carry the winning sash, this time on the show circuit, all the way to possible RDS glory. Think outside the proverbial box a little and see where the ‘right’ answer takes you.