Retired racehorses shine at MI3DE

Off The Track thoroughbreds showed why they are the breed of choice for many of Australia’s top eventers with fantastic results at last month’s Saddleworld Melbourne International 3 Day Event at Werribee Park.

Former gallopers were well represented across all five classes of competition with more than a quarter of the 176 entrants competing aboard Off The Track thoroughbreds.

The highlight of the weekend was the top-level CIC3* class being taken out by local rider and former Olympian Amanda Ross on retired racehorse Koko Popping Candy.

A ten-year-old daughter of Bianconi, the mare raced as Gothic Medusa for Cranbourne trainer Nikki Burke and retired in 2012 after a seven-start racing career that yielded a single maiden victory at Wodonga.

The pair performed incredibly across the three phases of the competition at Werribee Park over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend finishing on a score of 32.9, also collecting the Racing Victoria-sponsored award for the Best Performed Retired Racehorse in the class.

Ross was thrilled with the gutsy little mare's efforts and praised her performance in all stages of the event.

“She’s just become so much more established and stronger in herself. She went out today and had plenty of ping left after her cross country, she’s light off the leg, easy to manoeuvre and not a heavy horse to ride,” said Ross.

“She’s a tenacious woman, and even better to have an Off The Tracker to promote the sport."

The Racing Victoria-sponsored award in the top CCI3* class went the way of former Antonius Prius gelding Friday Street, a six-start bay who raced as Libius.

In the CCI2* , the best performed Off The Track and top 10 place getter was Chelsea Priestly and her Barely a Moment gelding, Rosso Asiago, who raced in South Australia as Constant Momentum and retired in 2014 following a 27-start career with two wins and $38,622 in prizemoney to his name.

In the Off The Track CCIJ1* (Junior) class former NSW trained galloper HH Hawke and young rider Jaimie McElroy came out on top.

The 12-year old chestnut gelding raced as Wheel of Time and was retired following four less than impressive barrier trials, in which he ran last in nearly all.