THIS October, the much-anticipated Sunday Evening Gala Performance of Horse of the Year Show, held at the Resorts World Arena, NEC, Birmingham from Wednesday 2nd – Sunday 6th, is set to host an impressive showcase of racing heroes never seen at the show before.
Leading the charge of spectacular equine stars is French-bred, four-time Cheltenham Festival winner: Big Bucks. He will be joined by a host of established racing icons of both the equine and human variety, with combined career winnings in excess of £10 million, in what is set to be a stunning parade of true equestrian excellence.
Big Bucks, a hurdler trained by Paul Nicholls, famously won 18 races in a row and amassed over £1,300,000 in prize money throughout his illustrious career before retiring in 2014 and pursuing a second career in the hunting field. When asked about Big Bucks’ retirement in 2014, Paul remarked that Big Bucks was “among the best of his generation” and continued to say that “he’s been a legend.”
In addition to Big Bucks, Sunday evening visitors are set to experience a defining moment in racing history as one of the finest ever chasers, renowned for his power and grace, Sprinter Sacre joins some of the best Grand National winners in a one-off HOYS appearance.
Big Bucks in the World Hurdle:Photo copyright Martin Applegate
Headliners include another Paul Nicholls graduate, Neptune Collonges; Pineau De Re who famously jump-started the career of his trainer Dr Richard Newland; Bindaree, the son of Roselier, and winner of the 2002 Grand National; the first novice winner of the Gold Cup in over 41 years: Coneygree; and the ever popular hurdler with seven wins at Cheltenham: The New One.
In association with British Horseracing’s official charity, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), the showcase will provide visitors with the opportunity to see many of the top horses together for the very first time in the Andrews Bowen International Arena.
Sprinter Sacre in action
Photo: John Simpson
Founded in 2000, following consultation with the racing industry, the charity is committed to providing retired racehorses with a career away from the track. It is a testament to the charity that these superstars will be parading at HOYS, revealing to all the versatility and intelligence of the racehorse.
Emma Williams, event director commented: “I am extremely proud and excited to bring the best of the racing world to Horse of the Year Show this year in what will unquestionably be an evening to remember. Recent years have seen a huge rise in the popularity of retraining racehorses, and it is a clear demonstration of their adaptability and popularity that we see this incredible line up come together.
“I can’t thank the owners, trainers and riders enough who have made this showcase possible and I would strongly encourage everyone to come and see this one-off spectacle.”
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) said: “It is wonderful to be given a platform such as HOYS on which to stage a parade of retrained racehorses. As a charity, RoR is very grateful for such an opportunity.
“The purpose of the parade is really twofold; firstly, it is a chance for the public to see up close an array of former racing stars of varying ages and see how wonderful and healthy they are looking. Whatever the sport, be it human or equine, it is always a thrill to see genuine living legends in the flesh and in good form.
“Secondly, the parade highlights the versatility of the thoroughbred. As despite being bred with one clear purpose in mind, racehorses are in fact very adaptable. Indeed, RoR now stages series and championships exclusively for former racehorses in over a dozen different disciplines, from showing to polo, from eventing to endurance.
“Although the parade is comprised of Grand National winners, Gold Cup winners and public favourites, we also want to demonstrate that there is an active second career awaiting every racehorse, whatever their ability on the track.”
Sunday evening at Horse of the Year Show presents the crème de la crème of champions and is filled with edge of your seat moments, making it the fitting backdrop for a parade of these horse racing legends. Visitors will also enjoy an entertaining display from the famous performer Mélie Philippot and the culmination of all the showing championships to crown both the Supreme Horse and Pony of the Year.
Horse of the Year Show takes place from October 2 – 6 2019 at the Resorts World Arena, the NEC, Birmingham and plays host to five days of breath-taking displays and unbeatable competition. The racing legends showcase will take place as part of the Sunday Evening Performance of the show.
Tickets are still available for all performances, for further information or to book tickets, please visit www.hoys.co.uk/tickets. Hospitality options are also available, please contact 02476 858205 or view the HOYS website for further information.