Racing Victoria (RV), through its Off The Track program, has this year partnered with Equestrian Victoria to sponsor the prestigious 2019 Australian Eventing Championships, held at Wandin Park this weekend (23-24 March).
Off The Track thoroughbreds are well represented across all classes of competition, with more than 400 of the 740 horses bred to race.
Off The Track will sponsor the Best Performed OTT in all of the Equestrian Australia classes, including the CCI4*, CCI3*, CCI2*, CCI1* and both the 95cm and 80cm classes.
Seven of RV’s Acknowledged Re-trainers will be campaigning their Off The Track thoroughbreds, including Simon Tainsh, Jen Duffy, Sophia Landy, Molly Barry, Louise Abey, Lyn Shand and Callum Buczak.
Young gun Sophia Landy, who is the current Australian Young Eventing Rider Champion, will compete at the highest level in the CCI4* aboard her former Gai Waterhouse-trained galloper Humble Glory, who has a unique story of his own.
Dropped off at her property in a stock crate in July 2017, Landy did not know what to expect but after retraining the gelding, who had previously been working on a cattle property, she soon discovered his magic.
“My plan was to produce and sell him, but within weeks he was jumping, and I was blown away by his combination of scope, honesty and bravery,” she said.
“He had his first eventing start three months after I bought him, and won the EvA 95 at Spring Horse Trials. At this point I was starting to realise I had something pretty special on my hands.”
The pair will this weekend tackle their first CCI4* event in elite company as Tokyo Olympic hopeful Amanda Ross and her Bianconi mare Koko Popping Candy step out to impress selectors.
Other former gallopers set to compete at the top echelon are Rosso Assiago, with rider Chelsea Priestly, plus Jen Duffy aboard Grand Amour.
RV’s Equine Welfare Manager, Jennifer Hughes, said, "Racing Victoria is thrilled to be involved with such a high-calibre event as the Australian Eventing Championships through our Off The Track program.”
“The impressive number of retired racehorses competing in eventing is testament to their suitability to all equestrian disciplines following retirement from the racetrack.”
For anyone keen to head along and watch the ex-racehorses show off their skills, entry to the event will be free with the option of a gold coin donation for motor neurone research.
More information can be found at http://www.wandinpark.com