In exciting news for Off The Track (OTT) Thoroughbreds, last month’s Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout, regarded as the ‘Melbourne Cup’ of the horse showing world, saw a retired racehorse take home the title for the seventh consecutive year.
The Garryowen has been part of the Royal Melbourne Show since 1934 and has a strong affiliation with retired racehorses. This year’s event saw Racing Victoria’s Off The Track program come on board as premier supporter.
The 2018 edition featured 23 ex-racehorses among its 40 entrants andOTT’s involvement was the logical fit given the dominance of retired racehorses in recent years.
The theme of a former galloper continued this September as Rebecca Farrow and her gelding Stage Presence were victorious.
Stage Presence, more affectionately known as Percy, is a one-start son of Testa Rossa and the 2017 OTT National Show Horse Championship winner, was in red-hot form coming into the competition.
Racing as Persistency and retired following his only race start in 2012, after he bowed both front leg tendons when he slipped upon jumping out of the barriers.
While his racing career might have come to an abrupt end, the show ring beckoned for flashy bay Percy.
Farrow and Percy came into the event with red-hot form, including winning the OTT Championship at the Australasian Show Horse & Rider Championships and Reserve Champion – Barastoc Equestrian Victoria Horse of the Year.
Farrow is a top-level Show Rider and has always competed with thoroughbreds, who she believes are made for the job.
“I’m a huge fan of thoroughbreds, they’re all I’ve shown for many, many years and I’m in love with retraining them,” she said.
“It feels amazing to have won, it’s something we set our sights on, so feels fabulous to have come out and won,”
Showing is a disciplined sport and requires full cooperation and a strong partnership between horse and rider, something not all horses are able to do.
“Percy has got an incredible temperament, he’s a little quirky to handle on the ground but he’s an incredibly trainable horse, fantastic work ethic and he really loves it.”
Farrow is now a two-time Garryowen winner and believes thoroughbreds are ideal for the show ring.
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