The Ballroom at the Grange City Hotel, London, was packed for the glittering British Horse Foundation Breeders dinner and Awards Ceremony held on Saturday the 11th January. The evening incorporated the South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) and the charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Elite Performance Awards for ex-racehorses. Leading equine insurance brokers, SEIB, instigated the awards over 10 years ago.
The awards provide a focus for ex-racehorses competing in the disciplines of Eventing, Dressage, Show Jumping, Endurance and Showing and have encouraged more riders to recognize the talents and versatility of the thoroughbred and their potential for success in another sphere. The winner of each award was presented with a cheque for £2,500 and the runner up in each section received £500 donated by RoR.
Equestrian Life area was well represented with the winner of the endurance award and the dressage award coming from the region. Lorna Kidson won the endurance award with Paul Wright and Margaret Donnolly’s ex racehorse, Jack Dawson and Karen Harrison from Stoke-on-Trent and her parents’, Schuh Shine took the dressage award.
Endurance winner Jack Dawson was owned by the Premier Cru Syndicate in his racing days. He had success on the racecourse both on the flat and over hurdles winning around £120,000 in prize money. Upon his retirement from racing, two members of the syndicate, Paul Wright and Margaret Donnolly from Equilibrium Products became his owners and he participated in some riding club shows. Lorna said, “Back in 2009, Equilibrium Products had recently started sponsoring me when Paul and Margaret suggested I might like to ride Jack Dawson. Paul and Margaret are really supportive owners and whenever we are off competing they provide me and Jack with a really supportive crew”.
Lorna and Jack Dawson won a total of 1605 Endurance GB Trophy Points throughout the 2013 season to take the SEIB and RoR Elite Performance Award for Endurance. The pair took 2nd place at the Cranwich 80k endurance ride and 2nd place at Kings Forest in March. Lorna plans to compete seventeen year old Jack Dawson in the Veterans Championships at Cirencester in June this year and also to tackle a 100 or 120km ride.
Lorna fits in her busy endurance riding schedule around her day job as an insurance underwriter at Royal Sun Alliance. Alongside the talented Jack Dawson she has a young horse to compete this season. Lorna added “Its so pleasing how well Jack has done this year and that he has gone from success in one career straight on to the next!”
The Harrisons bought Schuh Shine as a six year old and trained by Venetia Williams he enjoyed great success over fences, winning a total of £68,946. After his retirement from the track, Schuh Shine had twelve months off and Karen’s sister, Tania started his retraining. Karen said, “Tania rode in point to points and likes eventing. She and Schuh Shine competed in several BE90 classes and won one at Rodbaston. 2013 is the first season he has been registered with British Dressage. I am delighted with how well he has done, it is a real team effort for all the family”.
Schuh Shine accumulated a total of 127 British Dressage points in 2013 to win the SEIB and RoR Elite Performance Award for dressage. He has qualified for the Winter Regional Finals at elementary level and Karen added, “We are aiming to compete at medium level this season, it will be the first time I will have competed at medium. I am really looking forward to it, I always wanted to compete Schuh Shine ever since he began his racing career and I am thrilled to have won this award with him”. This will be Karen’s fourth time winning an award at the breeder’s dinner, having won the RoR eventing series in 2007 and 2008 with Native Caption and in 2009 winning the RoR dressage series.
Equine Insurance brokers, South Essex Insurance Brokers who provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more, instigated the Performance Awards in order to support the retraining of the thousands of racehorses who come out of training each year. “The Performance Awards also provide a platform to show how a correctly re-schooled ex-racehorse can be successful in a new career and continue to have a bright future, competing successfully in many different disciplines. This year’s competition has proved yet again the versatility and resilience of the thoroughbred”, says Nicolina Mackenzie, Marketing Manager of SEIB.
To find out more about the ROR and SEIB Elite Performance Awards visit www.racehorse2ridinghorse.co.uk. Or, www.ror.org.uk
To be eligible, horses must have run in the UK and be registered with ROR, details of the 2013 competition will be available soon.