At Stockton Hall, as with other racing yards, the team have a genuine love of horses with many having ridden and cared for horses since an early age.
The care that the team show for the horses that they are responsible for demonstrates how much they feel about them and so when the time comes for our racehorses to be retired and move on to something new, we feel a great deal of responsibility to find them a home and activity that they will enjoy the rest of their life.
It is our job to ensure they get the best chance to have a good life after racing. Horses have to retire from racing for different reasons which can be age, injury or just not going to make it as a racehorse.
If they are injured, we rest them until they are fit and ready to be rehomed. We are lucky being in the location we are, and all the horses get ridden around the farm so they are used to jumping natural obstacles and different environments so that they can cope in their new homes. We have to assess what they will be like and then find the right person for them.
They all have different characters, so it is so important to find the right person and level of rider for the horse. We do are upmost to keep in touch with the new owners but this can be difficult if a horse subsequently change hands and then ends up with someone who isn't experienced enough to deal with an ex-racehorse. We therefore always stress that people can always bring the horses back to us if circumstances change or people can't cope with the particular horse.
With some horses we will have a “loan” agreement in place so that we always have the option to bring the horse back to Stockton and it cannot be sold on to anyone else.
In past newsletters and social media posts we have featured some of our ex-horses and their achievements after leaving racing and this is something that we will continue to do.
Here are brief snippets of what four more have been up to recently:
Global Anchor - Ran for Jonjo O'Neil and then came here and Toby, who works for us, rode him in points. Although he won, we knew he wasn't quite good enough for a longer career so Poppy Wynne, Toby’s sister re-trained him and he took to his new life very well and is loved by his new family.
The Stockton team see him regularly out exercising and this gives us a great deal of satisfaction.
Lord County - Lord County won 4 races for us but sadly picked up a tendon injury. He had a year off here at Stockton to recover and we then retrained him before finding him a lovely showing home.
Grand Coureur – Grand was purchased by some real National Hunt enthusiasts who have had many horses and are very mindful of what happens to them post racing. He was a fantastic horse for the yard either winning or being placed on all bar 3 of the occasions on which he ran for us. He was always straightforward and loved going down to the river and jumping round the farm. It was very easy to find him a new home where he will learn the art of dressage and we can’t wait to see how he does in this new discipline.
Rastaman – Rastaman was a little different to the horses listed above. He was such a talented jumper as a young horse but he just wasn't going to make it as a racehorse. We therefore decided not to race him and were very lucky that a friend spotted him jumping and Sam Ecroyd and his family came to look at him and loved him. He started a new career eventing where he has done really well and won a novice.
Watch this sapce for updates on more ex-Stockton horses in the near future.