Friday, January 27, 2023

Australia: There’s nothing standard about these versatile ex-racehorses

Donna Crebbin photo - full article

By Fran Cleland, The Regional
27 January 2023

The honest Standardbred was once the poor relation of the racehorse world.

While the Thoroughbreds had a chance of finding a life after racing, the Standardbred was far less likely to get that opportunity.

In the past 20 years – and especially since 2015 when Harness Racing Victoria set up its “HERO” rehoming program – things have really changed and they can be found in any number of occupations, without a sulky in sight. They are cherished by pony club kids and can be found every weekend at a club, playing games and doing their lessons. Those who work with them are quick to praise the generous animals.

Professional trainer Mitch Fox, who is currently campaigning the Hero champion Kasbah Kid says they are “trainable, sensible, willing and well-exposed”.

“Some trainers canter their horses as part of their race training regimes, this is something Kasbah Kid did and it’s meant that his transition to saddle has been easy,” he said.

“He’s the most reliable horse we have on our show team. We can always count on him to put his best hoof forward and not be overwhelmed by atmosphere...”

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