Retired racehorses ready to conquer premier equestrian event

Racing Victoria (RV), through its Off The Track (OTT) program, has once again partnered with Equestrian Victoria to sponsor the prestigious GM Specialty Vehicles Melbourne International Three-Day Event (MI3DE) taking place at Werribee Park across the King’s Birthday Weekend, 10 – 12 June 2023.

Over a third of the horses competing are retired thoroughbreds who achieved varied success on the track, from Country Cup winners to those who never made it to the racecourse, who are now competing at one of Australia’s highest rated equestrian events.

Among the retired racehorses participating is Mr O'Postrophe, who will be making his MI3DE debut in the CCI2*-L class and will be ridden by Rochelle Adams, his former trackwork rider and amateur jockey who steered him to victory in the 2014 Yea Cup.

After being purchased for $480,000 as a yearling, Mr O'Postrophe had some success on the track and was eventually retired with nine wins and $92,236 in prizemoney to his name.

Another notable competitor is Willingapark Clifford, who never made it to the racetrack but has become a legend in the equestrian world being the only horse in history to have won the 5* Adelaide International Three-Day Event three times, earning a place among an elite group of horses worldwide.

The former Eventing NSW Horse Of The Year and Australian Domestic Horse Of The Year will be partnered with Hazel Shannon, who has competed the gelding on the world stage including in the Millstreet 4*L in Ireland and as part of the Australian team for the Nations Cup in France, where they were the highest placed combination on the team.

Group 1-winning trainer Mick Kent previously trained Seattle Park, who had a relatively successful racing career with three wins from 23 starts, accumulating $113,000 in prizemoney for connections.

Before retiring in 2019, the gelding competed in the Stony Creek Cup and trialled over hurdles and will now compete in the CCI3*-L class, being ridden by accomplished rider, and RV Acknowledged Retrainer, Sophia Hill (née Landy).

The MI3DE, known as an equestrian triathlon, tests the partnership between horse and rider across the disciplines of dressage, cross country and showjumping.

On Monday 12 June, visitors to the OTT marquee will have the unique opportunity to have their photo taken with the trifecta of trophies, the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, between 12pm and 2pm.

OTT is the naming rights sponsor of the CCI2* class as well as the CCI2* Junior class, considered the entry level to international elite level competition and will present an award for the best performed OTT horse in each class.