We are absolutely thrilled to be able to share the fantastic news that BTRC Right You Are has made it down to the final three in the running to become ROR Horse of the Year 2017.
The ROR awards acknowledge and celebrate the versatility of former racehorses across a range of disciplines, with prizes awarded to the RoR elite winners in dressage, polo, eventing, endurance and showing. The final award on the night is the prestigious RoR Horse of the Year, sponsored by The Jockey Club, and won in 2016 by Monet’s Garden.
BTRC staff member Charlotte Bowery has had Righty on loan since 2012 and has put so much hard work into producing him. Right You Are was retired from racing in 2010 due to injury and has since overcome significant adversity, undertaking the journey from being a vulnerable horse who’s welfare was at risk to one that competes successfully in British Dressage classes.
Charlotte says, “His history following his retirement from racing is unclear, however, a kind lady thought she could offer him a home. Unfortunately, he proved difficult to manage and so to secure his future she gifted him toTthe British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre (BTRC) in April 2011. When he came to the Centre he was very poor and it was uncertain whether anyone would be able to ride him again. I worked there at the time and he was on my list of horses to assess and look after.
“He was unsound most days, his future was unsure and the vet told me not to get too attached to him. On the days he was sound I carried on working him and he was starting to show potential. As soon as he had put on enough weight to carry a saddle I tried to get on him; he completely freaked. His reaction was so bad we were doubtful that anyone would be able to get on him again. I wanted to persist with him and took him to the mounting block every day, eventually winning him over. I had such a strong bond with him that I decided to take him on loan in 2012 to continue his rehabilitation.
“And then at the end of February 2013 he had a horrendous accident. He slipped whilst in a turn out paddock and got trapped in a metal gate by a front and a back leg. I stayed by his head to keep him calm until the vet sedated him and the fire brigade cut him out. He partially severed his extensor tendon and broke five ribs.
Upon his recovery, Charlotte and ‘Righty’ began competing in Racehorse to Riding Horse Classes and qualified for Hickstead 2014. However, showing unsettled him, as he still had issues with people getting on him her instructor suggested they try dressage and the rest is history.
In 2015, the pair qualified for the Racehorse to Dressage Horse Championships at Houghton Hall at Intro and Prelim Level. Righty won the Intro Championship and from there he has continued to work up the levels in British Dressage, a feat achieved by very few thoroughbreds.
“I am very proud of how far he has come and how much he has achieved when his future looked so bleak. He has been the most rewarding and at times most challenging horse that I have ever worked with but once you have gained his trust he gives you his all.”
The 2017 RoR Awards take place on Monday 11th December, hosted by RoR Patron, Clare Balding. The event will again be staged at the historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket, the home of horseracing.
This year eleven horses were nominated as contenders for Horse of the Year. The credentials of each horse were reviewed by a panel comprising RoR Patron Sir Anthony McCoy, ITV Racing and At The Races presenter, Luke Harvey and RoR Chief Executive, Di Arbuthnot, and three horses have been selected for a final shortlist.
We would like to wish Charlotte and Righty good luck for the evening and hope to see them crowned champions!