The Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge, organised by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), is set to name its 2023 champion following a day’s hunting with the North Staffordshire Hunt in early November. Sponsored by Ri-Dry Clothing, which has been producing high-quality, waterproof riding wear since 1980, the challenge is now in its seventh year.
The competition features six finalists, ranging from 10 to 17 years old. These former racehorses collectively ran in over 205 races and earned more than £400,000 in career earnings during their racing careers. A panel of experts, both mounted and unmounted, will judge the challenge based on the horses’ all-around behaviour and manners in the hunting field, determining which former racehorse has best adapted to a second career.
Among the finalists is Guitar Pete, a Grade 1-winning gelding previously trained by Nicky Richard. Guitar Pete ran in a total of 55 races, including nine wins, one of which was the 2014 Juvenile Hurdle, ridden by Paul Carberry. Additionally, Guitar Pete finished third in the 2018 Gold Cup Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, behind the mighty Frodon.
Shadows Lengthen, formerly trained by Michael Easterby, is another of the six finalists. This 17-year-old gelding was bred for flat racing and had a total of 23 top three placings, competing in races ranging from 5 furlong flat races to 3 mile chases.
The six finalists and two reserves for the 2023 Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge are as follows:
1. Battle Of Shiloh, 14-year-old, ridden by Paul Ikin, Quorn Fernie & Readfield Bloodhounds
2. Golden Loch, 13-year-old, ridden by Joe Neal, Ledbury Hunt
3. Guitar Pete, 13-year-old, ridden by Laurence Kirby, Brockelsby Hunt
4. Shadows Lengthen, 17-year-old, ridden by Melissa Rose, Halcombe Harriers
5. Third Intention, 16-year-old, ridden by Charli Hiscock, The South Dorset
6. Wayside Magic, 10-year-old, ridden by Emily Garfield, The Kimblewick Hunt
7. Benahavis (1st Reserve)
8. Bit Of A Legend (2nd Reserve)
The winner of the Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge will be invited to the RoR Awards ceremony held at The Jockey Club Rooms, in Newmarket on 31 January. The champion will also receive a cash prize from RoR and a waterproof Ri-Dry Classic Coat courtesy of Ri-Dry Clothing.
David Catlow, Managing Director of RoR said: “Many former racehorses turn to the hunting field when their racing days come to an end due to their sheer athleticism and adaptability. Following the success of last year’s challenge, we look forward to seeing our finalists in action with the North Staffordshire Hunt.”
Dan Watt, Managing Director of Ri-Dry Clothing said: “We are delighted to continue our support for RoR through sponsorship of the Racing to Hunting Challenge. It is a great fit for our Ri-Dry waterproof clothing range, which is renowned for its durability and adaptability in all weathers, as these are also the attributes shown by all the former racehorses now excelling in the hunting field.”