Event rider Piggy March met racing stars Lizzie Kelly and Tea For Two

Features | 16th December 2021

International event rider, Piggy March and retired jockey, Lizzie Kelly recently met for a retraining lesson with Grade 1-winning racehorse, Tea For Two.

The equestrian stars discussed the talents of the magnificent animals that power horseracing and also life for racehorses after racing.

Piggy March, 41, one of the UK’s leading event riders, gave advice on retraining 12-year-old Tea For Two, who retired from his successful career in 2019, as he transitions into a new pace of life.

Lizzie Kelly, 28, who retired as a jockey in 2020, became the first woman in Great Britain to win a Grade 1, in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park.

Tea For Two continued to help Kelly make a name for herself, becoming the first woman in 33 years to compete as a jockey in the prestigious Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017.

In April 2017, Kelly and Tea For Two won the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree, a phenomenal last win of Tea For Two’s decorated career. Since retiring, Kelly has been retraining him with the aim to compete in Retraining of Racehorse classes and cross-country events.

March, who won the Badminton Horse Trials in 2019 with Vanir Kamira, has experience retraining racehorses, most recently with Our Old Fella, who was in training with flat trainer, Mark Loughnane. In 2021 the pair won two events together at Oasby and Barbury.

During the lesson, March shared her knowledge of introducing racehorses to a different way of working and lifestyle with Kelly.

Lizzie Kelly and Piggy March retraining Tea For Two

Speaking on retraining racehorses March said: “I always think of a racehorse a bit like a collie dog. They want to work, they’re incredibly intelligent, they enjoy life and are very able animals.”

“They are bred to race, and love to race, it’s what they have always done and known. That’s not to say they won’t love doing something else.”

The Northamptonshire-based rider continued: “Racehorses are smart and athletic animals, and they all have their quirks in some way or another, but it doesn’t stop them wanting to be a performer or learn something different.”

“Tea For Two has a lot of potential, he moves very nicely and has a good attitude towards his new career and a different way of working. The important thing is to take time and have fun with the retraining.”

Speaking on her relationship with Tea For Two Kelly said: “I owe him an awful lot. It never crossed my mind for him to move onto a new home when our careers ended. The way I view it is, there is no one in the world that knows him like I do.”

She continued: “He loves his show jumping and because of his boldness on the racecourse he’s a brilliant jumper and loves cross country. I hope that in time, we will compete in Retraining of Racehorse classes and at local competitions.”

“He is still young and after he retired in 2019, we gave him a nice long holiday, so this stage of his new career is still very new.”

Part two of Changing Tack which contains footage of a jumping lesson with March and Kelly will be available on Thursday 23rd December.