Posted on 21st July 2015

Success stories for Retrained Racehorses at Upton

The Final of the new RoR Grassroots Eventing series, which is aimed at ‘amateur’ riders of retrained racehorses, was run in two sections BE90 and BE100 and 17 year-old Bristol based rider Zara Brewer took the top spot winning the championship title in the BE90 section at Upton last week (15 July).

Zara has been riding from a young age and took on former racehorse, Fervent just two and a half year’s ago. During his racing career 11 year-old Fervent was trained by Milton Bradley and ran 11 times on the flat. He was bred by legendary racing trainer Sir Mark Prescott , by sire Kyllachy (GB) out of dam is Romancing (GB).Since retraining with Zara, he has proved to be a superb all rounder and a good event horse. Zara says:

“He’s such a polite and mannerly horse! He’s been eventing at 80, 90 and this season he’s got from strength to strength. Last week we won at Chepstow in a BE90 scoring 17.8 dressage score and in May we won the U18’s Riding Club Intermediate Dressage Championship at Aston-Le-Walls. We are just thrilled to win this new RoR series.”

Seven-year-old former racehorse Drakes Drum (pictured), by Dansili out of Perfect Echo, was ridden by Francesca Richardson (nee Peters) to take the 1st Prize in the inaugural RoR Grassroots Eventing Series in the BE100 section. Tommy as he is known at home is now owned by Fran’s mother Jane Peters, who travelled with her daughter from Northumberland to the final at Upton, Oxfordshire on Thursday 16th July.

Mother and daughter were thrilled to win as looking after and competing with Thomas is a family affair. “My whole family have been supporting me. My parents and also my husband’s parents, Sally and Dick Richardson are involved with exercising him, turning out and bringing in and feed times. So everyone is delighted.”

Drakes Drum was formerly trained by Clive Cox, and was placed in four of his seven races during his 2, 3 & 4 year-old career and although he showed great potential at home he struggled to reproduce his full potential on the racecourse.

In May 2012, he changed careers and came from Lambourn to Northumberland to start a new life out of racing. Francesca who works full time as a Senior Occupational Therapist for Gateshead Council, took on the job of Tommy's re-education. She says; “Things went pretty slowly to start with, particularly in the jumping department. My coach Pauline Wakefield, who has helped me with horses show jumping, loved Tommy from the start and together we have persevered for months whilst Tommy learnt to actually jump an obstacle with all 4 feet off the ground!”

"Tommy was ready to start his eventing career by 2013 and slowly and steadily gained in confidence and has developed into a reliable competitor at BE100 level and is now ready to consolidate his move up to Novice level. Tommy has been out hunting and was very well behaved. Tommy’s most favourite person is Fran's husband Shane, but Tommy's awful habit of having a good go at taking chunks out of us is completely indiscriminate. Including the farrier at Upton House! Hence Tommy's more familiar nickname of 'Sharkey'!

RoR Grassroots Eventing Series is a new initiative from RoR to encourage amateur rider into eventing with their former racehorses. Find out more here: