What next? 6 successfully retrained horses

Features | 24th November 2016

In a week which saw the much-loved Kingsgate Native take up a new residence at the British Racing School in Newmarket, we take a look at what other much-loved stars of our sport have done since retiring.

Bobs Worth

THEN: Winner of four Group 1 races, including the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Bobs Worth was always one of the most popular National Hunt horses around. Famed for his bravery as well as his ability, his trainer Nicky Henderson hailed him as “amazing, an absolute legend.”

NOW: Following his retirement earlier this year, Bobs Worth now spends his days being kept busy by Tracy Vigors at Hillwood Stud. As well as hacking most days and partnering up with other horses on the gallops, he is used as ‘a cuddle machine’ most days, especially by his biggest fan – 7-year-old Harry.

Tracy also provides regular updates and heart-warming pictures of Bobs Worth on her Twitter page.


THEN: 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, dual Hennessy winner and victor at two different Cheltenham Festivals, ‘The Tank’ as he was affectionately known had a legion of fans which still runs strong to this day. His friendly rivalry with stablemate Kauto Star was one of racing’s most famous.

NOW: In the care of rider Charlotte Alexander since 2012, Denman has forged a new career for himself in hunting and won his first rosette when finishing second in a team chase. Alexander said afterwards that Denman “absolutely loved it”.

Pic: racingfotos.com

Summon Up Theblood

THEN: Trained by Mick Channon, he won three-races in a row back in 2008 before his retirement and subsequent retraining.

NOW: Began eventing classes staged by the charity Retraining of Racehorses before going on to represent Brazil in the recent Rio Olympics. Partnered by jockey Carlos Parro, he also entertained crowds at QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and is proof that a retrained horse can reach the very top in a new discipline.

Summon Up Theblood (red) on the way to victory. Pic: racingfotos.com

Kingsgate Native

THEN: The 11-year-old has been one of the most-loved Flat horses of recent times. Winning a race for the first time in the prestigious Nunthorpe Stakes, Kingsgate Native went on to win two Temple Stakes at Haydock – three years apart (2010, 2013) and retired earlier this week with eight successes under his belt.

NOW: Arrived this week at the British Racing School in Newmarket where he will be cared for daily and ridden by aspiring jockeys at the school. Noted for his speed and exuberance, they may have to hold on tight!

Purple Moon

THEN: Winner of the 2007 Ebor Stakes, Purple Moon was trained by Luca Cumani and was also third in Gold Cup at Ascot in 2010, as well as runner-up in the 2007 Melbourne Cup.

NOW: Having been retired, Purple Moon then took up eventing and was a natural, winning a charity event at Newmarket immediately. Since then he has won at regional shows, and qualified for the prestigious Horse of the Year show, where he finished eighth in 2013. He also is a good sport and poses for many photos, no matter how ridiculous…

Barbers Shop

THEN: Trained by Nicky Henderson, Barbers Shop is owned by Her Majesty, The Queen and was the last horse to be homebred by her mother, Queen Elizabeth I. He retired after 24 races with 8 wins to his name.

NOW: Retrained to compete in showing classes, Barber Shop was a natural and won his first ever event. He has since gone on to be a winner at the Royal Windsor Horse Show earlier this year, causing scenes of delight for one onlooker in particular who scooped a £50 supermarket voucher at the same time.