Magical Memory off to Hickstead in his new career
It is always so lovely to hear of what our former horses are up too. Magical Memory of course was a complete legend for KVT and please read the below article by Aimi Clark in Your Horse.
An ex-racehorse who won over £500,000 in prize money during his time on the racetrack is showcasing how versatile these horses can be by successfully turning his hoof to the show ring.
Magical Memory, a former Charlie Hills-trained multiple group winner who won the Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood under Frankie Dettori six years ago, retired from racing last year due to a hind suspensory injury.
The nine-year-old gelding was rehomed by Tayler-Jane (TJ) Stark in January 2021 and has been retraining for a second life in showing and dressage.
Last week, Magic made his showing debut at Wincanton Show and finished third in his Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) class, securing his place in an amateur RoRs Hickstead qualifier.
It comes after a BBC Panorama documentary exposed the high number of ex-racehorses being sent to abattoirs to be killed, including some who have been very successful on the track.
“It was very ambitious going to this as my first show,” confessed TJ. “It’s very loud and busy, and there are lots of qualifiers going on, but I knew he was ready so I thought let’s just give it a go and see what happens.
“There was a lot of music and horses around and he didn’t take a blind bit of notice; he was so chilled and happy.”
TJ added that she felt Magic “strutted his stuff” when they went into the ring.
“To qualify for finals at our first show is unbelievable. He’s come so far in such a short space of time.”
‘Finding a good home is important’
TJ heard about Magic’s availability through a friend who thought they’d be a good match and so she went to see him.
“He had a temperament to die for and as soon as I saw him trot round the arena I said, ‘let’s do it’,” said TJ.
“I wrote a letter to his owners, Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, as they were keen to find him a really special home. He’d been such a nice horse for them and they wanted to ensure they did him the same service in retirement.”
Piers Winkworth, Racing Manager for Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, added: “It is really important for us to ensure our horses go on to good homes when their racing careers come to an end.
“Magic was a real star for us — a proper racehorse — and it is brilliant to see him so loved and excelling in his new career.”
Following Magic’s retirement, Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds ensured Magic had extensive veterinary support, rest and rehabilitation to recover from his suspensory injury before he was re-homed.
“They provided me with full and detailed vet reports when I took him on,” said TJ.
“We keep in touch on a regular basis, so his owners know what he’s up to and they’re so supportive. I’m connected with some of them on Facebook, including his groom Nicola who absolutely loved him to bits, so it’s really nice to stay in touch.”