Parades to be backed by Peter O'Sullevan charity trust
The popular series of Retraining of Racehorses parades at tracks around the country are this year to be sponsored by the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.
RoR is British racing’s official charity for horses that have retired from racing, and since 2008 it has staged raceday parades as a way of demonstrating to the public the versatility and adaptability of racehorses.
The displays are a chance for racegoers to see how former greats are progressing in their new careers and are now an established part of the major jump racing festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree, with the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr also now part of the roster.
In addition to the spring jumps festivals, RoR parades are due to be held on Lockinge day at Newbury, at Ascot on King George day and, as last year, at Newmarket on Future Champions Weekend.
Di Arbuthnot, chief executive of RoR, said: “It’s a wonderful gesture by Sir Peter’s trustees and we're very grateful. I'm sure that Peter would have enjoyed seeing how popular the parades have become, especially at the likes of Cheltenham and Aintree, where crowds gather to see former stars of the track looking fantastic and clearly enjoying their second career.
RoR horse of the year for 2016 was the former Nicky Richards-trained chaser Monet's Garden, who is now handled in the show ring by Richards' daughter Jo.
Nicky Richards said: "It's a great gesture to have these parades sponsored and hopefully Monet's Garden can dance every dance, as he did last year. He's so well I nearly schooled him over six fences this morning!"
On behalf of the trustees of the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, Nigel Payne said: “The trustees consider the RoR parades to be an excellent initiative and a worthy cause. We have no doubt that Peter would have enjoyed seeing his charitable trust associated with them as they not only highlight the excellent work done by RoR in promoting a new life for horses after racing, but they also bring a lot of pleasure to racegoers.”
As part of the sponsorship agreement, the horses in the RoR parades will carry branded number cloths and the trust will be acknowledged in the promotion of the parades as well as on the day itself.
In 2016 the RoR parades were supported by the Racing Post, who donated the proceeds from the sale of its Christmas jumpers to the charity.