Moorcroft’s events deserve support

A PAINTED horse will be part of the latest demonstration at Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre in West Sussex on Saturday July 11 at 11am.  Former racehorses will also be long-reined and ridden at various stages of their expert retraining at this centre of excellence at Huntingrove Stud, Slinfold, near Horsham.

Bridgefield Physiotherapy will present a painted Moorcroft horse and discuss the muscle system in more detail, explaining why certain muscles become short and tight, along with the concept of stretching.

Demonstration with the painted horse. Photo: Mark Beaumont

Demonstration with the painted horse.
Photo: Mark Beaumont

The presentation will also cover how muscles respond to injury and pain and why a muscle should be stretched after injury. Ideas leading to the rehabilitation and strengthening of muscles will also be discussed.

This year Moorcroft has been busier than ever with many ex racehorses sent there by caring owners or trainers to be retrained expertly by highly qualified manager Mary Henley-Smith.  Just a few of the new arrivals  in 2015 include Tribulation, Gold Weight, Diamond Sweeper, American Bling and Robin Hoods Bay.

Robin Hoods Bay made a name for himself when winning the Group 3 Winter Derby at Lingfield Park trained by Ed Vaughan, for owner Alan Pickering, a Yorkshireman who has been blind since his mid-30’s. But Alan is able to remember the colourful spectacle of racing from before he lost his sight, when he used to go to York races in his native county .All his horses are named after Yorkshire landmarks- with his latest known as Primrose Valley, and he wants the to have a life outside racing when they retire.

Robin Hoods Bay when he arrived at Moorcroft

Robin Hoods Bay when he arrived at Moorcroft

Mary reports that seven-year-old Robin Hoods Bay is enjoying his retraining at Moorcroft and is progressing well, ensuring that he has a bright future to look forward to.

Robin Hoods Bay  in fine condition after several weeks of retraining Photo: Mark Beaumont

Robin Hoods Bay in fine condition after several weeks of retraining Photo: Mark Beaumont

Sadly, the charity Retraining of Racehorses is removing funding from the beginning of 2016 for horses sent by registered owners or trainers to its four centres in the country, including Moorcroft.

Instead RoR has chosen to invest money in more competition classes for ex-racehorses which have already been retrained, with a nationwide league system.  It is also promoting ‘one-stop’ sale of ex racehorses at horse auctions, subsidising entries to encourage owners to enter their horses.

It is even more essential that Moorcroft receives the support it deserves to enable it to continue with its good work. Another event there is a long-reining course to help general horse owners in two sessions, each two hours long, on Saturday July 18 and Saturday July 25, starting at 10.30am and finishing just before 1pm. Participants will get the chance to long-rein Moorcroft horses learning or improving skills at long-reining. The cost is £50 for the full course. To book contact Mary on 07929 666408 or  email:

Moorcroft’s big fundraising event of the year – its Plumpton Raceday- takes place on Monday October 19 this year. Please support this great day at the races to help the this fine charity continue its excellent work Call 01273 890383 for more details.

CAPTION:  Robin Hoods Bay looking in outstanding condition thanks to his retraining programme at Moorcroft. Photo: Mark Beaumont


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