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08 March 2024

Former racehorses set to shine on Cheltenham Festival’s opening day

If being at the Cheltenham Festival wasn’t enough, racing fans who visit the racecourse on the first day of the Festival will be treated to the annual parade of ex-racehorses that takes centre stage in the parade ring at 12.30.

David Catlow, Managing Director of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), said “There is a lovely cross-section of horses in the parade. They are all high performers on the racecourse, but some have had notable success in their second careers, while others simply enjoy an active and fulfilling retirement, competing at lower levels. The varied lives these horses lead highlights the care and dedication to aftercare we have in Great Britain. However, this also underscores the need for further support and resources, as set out in the RoR Strategy 2024-2026, to ensure every retired racehorse finds a fulfilling second career or retirement.”

This year, the 2014 Grand National hero Pineau de Re joins the parade, who has forged a second career in eventing and dressage after retiring in 2016. He will be joined by Native River and former festival winner Saphir de Rheu.

The parade will feature other racing legends such as,Balthazar King, Bristol De Mai, Champagne Fever, Coneygree, a four-time Cheltenham Festival runner-up, Melon, and Smad Place. Each horse has its unique story of successful transitions and fulfilling second careers, highlighting the diverse paths that former racehorses can take.

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