Stop! This is part 3 of a series. ?Be sure to watch part 1, introducing an ex-racehorse's arrival from the world of racing, and part 2, transforming a horse's shape with training and feed so you can see how the project has evolved.
The Jurga Report has been following the transformation of an Irish racehorse in the hands of equestrian entrepreneur?Lucinda Kelly and eventer?Brian Curran Cournane. They bought "Lloyd" (a.k.a. Paris to Berlin) with the plan to make a rough, cheap racehorse into a sleek, polished show horse--in just under eight months!
Is it the same all over the world? Are ex-racehorses wound up and, if they are, what--or who--does it take to unwind them?
The goal is to enter Lloyd in one of Europe's most prestigious equestrian events, the Dublin Horse Show, which has just added a Racehorse to Riding Horse class. The class attracts some of the top ex-champions in the country, horses whose names are well-known. Lloyd--if he makes it--would be an outsider, and a longshot, just like he was at the track.
Mr. Lloyd Episode 5
[vimeo width="560" height="350"]http://vimeo.com/13688194[/vimeo]
Lloyd's at his second show now, at Tattersall's, no less. But who's that in the saddle and why is Lucinda sitting it out? It is a big step up for Lloyd to be in this class, which is populated by racing champions like Beef or Salmon and Hardy Eustace. (How will he handle it?)
One aspect of showing in these classes in the UK and Ireland is that the judge has the prerogative to ask the rider to dismount, so s/he can take the horse for a spin. That can be a very tall order for a high-strung ex-racehorse--but a true test to see if he really has transitioned to being a legitimate show horse under showing protocol in those countries.
Mr. Lloyd Episode 6
[vimeo width="560" height="330"]http://vimeo.com/13840402[/vimeo]
Luckily, this is Ireland and there's not only a show every weekend--in fact, there's probably one every day. How to conquer Lloyd's show nerves? And how bad can it get, anyway? (Don't ask!)
What are Lloyd's chances of going to Dublin after his adventures at Tattersals and Tinahealy? Dublin Horse Show is looming on the calendar, only a week away. Is this horse ready for the big time in front of thousands of people?
The remaining installment of Lloyd's story will be posted here on The Jurga Report on equisearch.com.
To learn more:
From Racehorse to Showhorse: Wendy Wooley's blog detailing her retraining of the beautiful ex-racehorse, Jaguar Hope, offers some American-style insight into the process.
Off-Track Thoroughbreds blog by Susan Salk reports on the growing culture of re-training, owning and riding ex-racehorses in the United States.
Retraining of Racehorses is the mother ship web site for the vision and organization of the British program dedicated to responsible ownership, committed trainers and a proud new tradition in almost every horse sport for the ex-racehorse in Britain.