Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude among six finalists in Racing to Hunting Challenge
The 17-year-old former Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude is one of six finalists in contention to win the 2023 running of the Ri-Dry Clothing Racing to Hunting Challenge, organised by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).
The winner will be chosen following a day’s hunting with the Kimblewick Hunt in early November. Now in its sixth year sponsored by waterproof riding wear specialists Ri-Dry Clothing, the challenge is judged by a panel of experts, both mounted and unmounted, monitoring the horses’ all-round behaviour and manners in the hunting field before deciding which former racehorse has best adapted to a second career.
The six finalists range from 14 to 17 years old and combined they amassed over £430,000 in prize money during their racing careers. The biggest earner was the 2012 Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude.
Formerly trained by Michael Scudamore in Bromsash, Monbeg Dude’s racing owners included Mike Tindall and the syndicate enjoyed some memorable days at the races with victories not only at Chepstow, but at Cheltenham too, as well as finishing third in the 2015 Grand National.
Earlier in his racing career, to iron out some jumping issues, Monbeg Dude benefitted from some schooling from Mike Tindall’s wife, the three-day-event rider Zara, which no doubt put him in good stead for his second career in the hunting field, where he is now partnered by Jade Steinsdorfer.
Also featuring among the six finalists is the 15-year-old, War Singer. Bred for flat, War Singer won several races in France for leading flat trainer Jean-Claude Rouget before moving to England when he joined David Pipe’s yard. He subsequently ran over hurdles and fences, latterly for Johnny Farrelly before retiring in 2017. He now enjoys his hunting with the Taunton Vale ridden by Kate Berry.
The six finalists, and two reserves, are as follows:
- Bills Bank, 17-year-old, ridden by Kathleen Jarrett, North Staffordshire Hunt
- Horatio Caine, 15-year-old, ridden by Cordelia Chugg, Cotswold Hunt
- Milgen Bay, 16-year-old, ridden by Tor Sturgis, Duke of Beaufort Hunt
- Monbeg Dude, 17-year-old, ridden by Jade Steinsdorfer, VWH
- Silver Steed, 14-year-old, ridden by Jess Short, Ledbury Hunt
- War Singer, 15-year-old, ridden by Kate Berry, Taunton Vale Foxhounds
- Tribunel (1st Reserve)
- West Of The Edge (2nd Reserve)
The winner will receive the Meriel Tufnell Trophy at the RoR Awards ceremony held at The Jockey Club Rooms in January, along with a cash prize provided by the RoR and a waterproof Ri-Dry Classic Coat courtesy of Ri-Dry Clothing.
Di Arbuthnot, RoR Chief Executive said:
Following the success of last year’s challenge, when for the first time the finalists were judged on a day out hunting with the Ledbury, we wanted to repeat the format but in a fresh location. We look forward to seeing our finalists in action with the Kimblewick.”
Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses that have retired from racing. RoR annually stages over 40 separate competition series across 15 different disciplines, catering for all levels of ability, from grassroots to elite. The disciplines include dressage, showing, polo, eventing, show jumping, endurance, hunting and horseball.