Voting closes at the end of this week for the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Awards 2024. Ex-racehorses Papineau, Dreamisi and Goldream are finalists for the new Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust RoR Community Impact Award, while Clancy’s Cross, Que Sera and Red Inferno are in the running for The Jackey Club RoR Horse of the Year Award.

“The extraordinary stories of each of our finalists highlight not only the adaptability of former racehorses to a wide range of second careers but also the remarkable commitment to the horses’ well-being of so many involved in aftercare,” said David Catlow, managing director of RoR. “The RoR Awards are an important opportunity to recognise these inspirational Thoroughbreds.”

The public vote is open until 5pm this Friday, 19 January. Winners will be announced at the awards evening in Newmarket on Wednesday, 31 January. Find out more about the awards and cast your vote here.

Read on to watch videos of each of the finalists.

Meet the finalists: Community Impact Award

The RoR Community Impact Award is new for this year and acknowledges the contributions of individuals, former racehorse partnerships, and/or organisations that have had a substantial impact on people’s lives through their involvement with former racehorses.

Papineau, Dreamisi and Goldream are finalists for the RoR Community Impact Award

1 Dreamisi and Matt Bannon

Dreamisi was gifted to Strength and Learning Through Horses, which provides mental health and education services for young people, and he has become a brilliant therapy horse.

Watch Dreamisi’s video below:

“Dreamisi really picks up on the energy of the people in the sessions and works with that. If they’re anxious and angry, he stays away from them; if they’re calm and gentle he goes towards them, and that’s the balance that makes him a really good horse. He’s really good at picking his place and he goes wherever is appropriate until people have done and changed what he feels he needs for them to interact with him. It’s really special to have a horse who can do that,” said equine specialist and programme leader Matt Bannon.

2 Goldream and New Beginning

Goldream was a successful 5 furlong sprinter and he now lives with the ex-racehorse charity New Beginnings. He is a York Racecourse Ambassador and has met thousands of racegoers — during National Racehorse Week he met over 1,200 children and families in 24 hours — and also visits hospices and schools. Goldream once surprised 400 Clifton Green Primary School pupils during their assembly!

Watch Goldream’s video below:

3 Papineau and Godolphin

The chestnut Papineau’s successful racing career including winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2003. Now a Godolphin Lifetime Care ambassador, Papineau visits patients at Newmarket Hospital and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Watch Papineau’s finalist video below:

“We are absolutely thrilled when Pappy visits us at Newmarket Community Hospital. There is a sense of excitement that just grows as the day goes on,” said Sue Smith, head of fundraising for My Wish. “We manage to get patients outside in the fresh air, who sometimes are not interested in going outside at all. Patients become engaged with others and each other which we hope forges relationships, as it can be very lonely in hospital sometimes. The staff too absolutely love it when Pappy comes to visit, it brings smiles to their faces and having him here is a welcome release when the day is a challenging one.”

“It was a joyful afternoon and amazing to see the looks and smiles on people’s faces. Papineau was just wonderful — sensitive, intuitive, and brilliant with the families. It was like he knew he had to be extra gentle with the children. He seemed to know if they were a bit apprehensive and it really was magical,” said Joely Allard from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

View all three finalists and cast your vote here.

Meet the finalists: RoR Horse of the Year

Now in its 10th year, The Jockey Club RoR Horse of the Year Award recognises the outstanding achievements of RoR-registered former racehorses that have smoothly transitioned into new careers spanning various disciplines, highlighting their remarkable versatility.

Ex-racehorses Clancy's Cross, Que Sera and Red Inferno are finalists for the RoR Horse of the Year Award 2024

1 Clancy Cross

Clancy’s Cross retrained with Jenny Bennett and enjoyed cross-country and showjumping until he suffered a life-threatening injury in the field. He defied the odds and went on to make a full recovery, and had a stellar year in showjumping and the show ring in 2023. Clancy’s Cross is also a favourite with visitors from a local day care centre for adults with learning disabilities.

“He’s competed in eight disciplines since leaving racing, winning in all of them,” said Jenny Burnett. “No matter what you ask for he does it. He’s a star and his results speak for themselves.”

Watch Clancy’s Cross’ finalist video here:

2 Que Sera

Jo Hales bought Que Sera out of Phillips Hobbs’ training yard in 2017 with plans for the ex-racehorse to be a family hack for her husband. Since then he has excelled in multiple disciplines, including dressage and side-saddle.

“I can put my children on him for a hack, I can lend him to my 5yo son when he didn’t have a pony and he’s equally at home looking after babies in the field. I’ve never had a horse whose been quite so consistently successful as he has,” said Jo. “We really love him. He’s such a versatile horse.”

Watch Que Sera’s finalist video here:

3 Red Inferno

Hayley Ward bought Red Inferno as a four-year-old and found him to be a straightforward horse to retrain. He has evented up to two-star level, competes in medium-level dressage and open-level team chasing, as well as hacking and hunting.

Hayley described Red Inferno as “a real family horse”: he taught a friend’s daughter side-saddle (having only been ridden in a side-saddle twice), while Hayley’s mum did the Wobbleberry challenge on him, her dad hacks him out and canters up the field bareback, while her sister rides the ex-horsehorse too.

Watch Red Inferno’s finalist video below:

View all three finalists and cast your vote here.

Images and videos by RoR

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