1st, Purple Moon, owned by Sara Cumani and ridden by Chantal Wootten of Newmarket, Suffolk
2nd, Astrobrava, owned by Rebecca Lowe and ridden by Katie Jerram of Great Dunmow, Essex
The largest class of the day with 44 entries, the penultimate qualifier for the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championship gave the judges, Liz Morley (conformation) and Faye Hesketh (ride) a tough job to sort them out.
After three sections of preliminary judging, the top horses came back into the arena for the final placings and Purple Moon took the top honours, owned by Sara Cumani and ridden by Chantal Wootten. Purple Moon had a highly successful racing career, winning over £1m while in training with Luca Cumani. He came out of training 2 years ago and Chantal, 29, who works for the Cumanis at Fittocks Stud, took him to the Newmarket in-hand show for horses that have retired from racing. He won three classes and the championship but was soon back in the racing yard helping with the youngsters and as lead horse on the gallops. Last year Chantal took him to the Newmarket in-hand show again, and he won the same three classes and was champion for the second year running. “It was then that I thought he should have a go at showing under saddle and he started his retraining in September”, explained Chantal. “We did the local riding club show and qualified for the ex-racers championship”. This year the pair started doing Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) qualifiers and achieved wins at Royal Windsor in the flat section, and at Suffolk, South Suffolk and Norfolk shows before heading to Hickstead for the ROR final where they finished second. “He was not straight forward to retrain, I needed lots of patience”, said Chantal.
Second place went to Katie Jerram with Becky Lowe’s Astro Brava. Becky, a farrier in Newmarket, was placed in the Search For A Star class earlier this year and was 4th at the ROR Hickstead final, but needed help with his education and after attending a lecture given by Katie in Newmarket, she decided to forego her place in the SFAS final and put him with Katie. “I like him, he is a lovely moving straight forward horse. Becky is really hooked on showing, which is great as it brings new blood into the sport, and she is already looking for her next ROR horse”, said Katie. “Becky will do Burghley next and he will go on to do more Hack classes and continue to further his education”, said Katie.