Monet's Garden back to defend his crown at Aintree extravaganza
Former star chaser and last year's Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) champion Monet's Garden is among over 1,000 entries for the national championships, which start on Tuesday at the International Equestrian Centre near Aintree.
The record entry includes 290 ex-racehorses, including Nicky Richards' grey, fellow Grade 1 winners Grand Crus and Peddlers Cross and the enigmatic Mad Moose, in an event that runs until Sunday.
Also involved are many established ROR stars of the show ring, including previous winners at the national championships, Beware Chalk Pit, Master Of Arts and Nicene Creed, along with winners of major showing classes this year such as Barbers Shop and Imperial Ruby. The showing championships are sponsored by the ROA and Goffs UK.
Notable horses holding dressage entries include two of the Queen’s horses, Quadrille and Prince’s Trust, as well as Namibian, who has enjoyed success in para-dressage.
In addition to the top-class line-up of equine talent, Chanelle McCoy will be judging the glamour stakes and sporting soprano, while Aintree ambassador Laura Wright will be performing a repertoire of classical hits at the gala evening.
Carly Sage, Aintree equestrian centre manager, said: “We’re thrilled with over 1,000 entries and 290 ex-racehorses competing in the ROR Championships this year. It’s also great to see equine legends such as Monet’s Garden, Midnight Chase, Mad Moose and Grands Crus joining us, which shows great depth in the quality of horses as well as an exceptional growth in numbers competing in such an important event for the sport."
Di Arbuthnot, chief executive of ROR, said: “It's going to be a special week for the charity, one where the former racehorse will truly hold centre stage and show off their talents in a range of disciplines against the best of their peers."