Tribunel wins over the judges to take first prize in Ri-Dry RoR’s Hunting Challenge
In another example of the lengthy, active and fulfilling second careers that racehorses go on to enjoy after they finish racing, first prize in this
year’s Ri-Dry RoR Racing to Hunting Challenge went to the 18-year-old gelding, Tribunel.
After the judging panel had reviewed entries for the challenge from all over the country, six chosen finalists gathered on Saturday 5th November for a day’s hunting with the Kimblewick. Of the six former racehorses in contention, the horse that got the panel’s vote as the best hunter was Tribunel, owned and ridden by Vicky Heal.
Based in Somerset, Vicky Heal has had Tribunel over ten years and regularly hunts with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale. Reflecting on the result, she said:
“Tribunel is the most reliable hunter I have ever known and I am thrilled to have won this award with him. He’s a machine over hedges and just as careful over a gate or a trappy ditch.”
Tribunel had an undistinguished racing career that lasted just over a year, during which time three different trainers had him in their care but all with similar results. His nine race National Hunt career included races over hurdles and over fences but not once was he placed.
Retired from racing in 2010, Tribunel has since pursued a career in the hunting field and has flourished under the care and guidance of Vicky Heal, culminating with victory in the 2022 Racing to Hunting Challenge, now in its sixth year of sponsorship by Ri-dry Clothing. As winners, Vicky Heal and Tribunel receive the Meriel Tufnell Trophy and a £1,000 cash prize that will be presented at the upcoming RoR Awards ceremony at The Jockey Club Rooms in January.
Runner-up was the 17-year-old, Bills Bank and Katheleen Jarrett from the North Staffordshire Hunt, and in third place was Milgen Bay, a 16-year-old ridden by Niki Sturgis. The second and third also each received prize money and a Ri-Dry voucher.
The chair of the judging panel Sir Jonathan Clark said:
“Today was a very enjoyable day’s hunting with the Kimblewick and proved to be a real test for the finalists. The format of the challenge worked brilliantly and is an excellent way of selecting our winner.”
Di Arbuthnot, RoR Chief Executive, added:
“Congratulations to all the finalists, they were all a real credit to their owners and each showed how well they have adapted to their second career. A big thank you to all involved, especially the Kimblewick Hunt for hosting the final, our sponsors Ri-Dry and our fantastic panel of judges.”
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1st. Tribunel and Vicky Heal
2nd. Bills Bank and Kathleen Jarrett
3rd. Milgen Bay and Niki Sturgis
4th. War Singer and Katy Berry
5th. Horatio Caine and Cordelia Chugg
6th. Silver Steed and Jess Short