OTTB charity adds leading jockeys as advocates

Richard Johnson pictured on Noble Request at the 2006 Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Richard Johnson pictured on Noble Request at the 2006 Fighting Fifth Hurdle. © Citrus Zest

Leading British jockeys Richard Johnson and Frankie Dettori have been appointed Ambassadors for the charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).

The pair have first-hand experience of racehorse rehoming, both having provided homes to horses who played a pivotal role in their respective careers.

Frankie Dettori at Newmarket in 2005.
Frankie Dettori at Newmarket in 2005. © Indomitable

Looks Like Trouble, who Johnson partnered to victory in the 2000 Cheltenham Gold Cup, has spent his retirement from racing being looked after by Richard and Fiona Johnson at their home in Herefordshire. Frankie and Catherine Dettori provided a home for Fujiyama Crest, the horse that gave Dettori his seventh winner of his magnificent seven at Ascot back in 1995, until he died recently at the age of 23.

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, said:“It’s wonderful news that Richard and Frankie have agreed to be RoR Ambassadors. They are two of the most respected riders in the country and a credit to the sport. What is more, they both recognise the importance of racing demonstrating its support for the work of RoR and, from their own first hand experience, they know exactly what is involved with giving a racehorse a second home.”

As part of their ambassadorial duties, Johnson and Dettori will attend RoR’s Parades on racecourses and make presentations at RoR competitions and events during the course of the year, including the annual RoR Awards, which were held for the first time in 2014.

Johnson said it was important that all involved in racing – owners, trainers and jockeys, consider – what happens to horses when their racing careers are over. “We promote the fact that they can excel in other disciplines long after they finish racing.

“One would expect a Gold Cup winner such as Looks Like Trouble to want for nothing in his retirement, but it should not matter what they achieved on the track, they all deserve the chance of a fulfilling second career,” Johnson said.

Dettori said that thanks to the work of RoR, there are now many more options for former racehorses, such as polo, showing, dressage and eventing. “That was not the case when I bought Fujiyama Crest at the sales 15 years ago. I don’t know what would have happened to him had we not bought him. He meant a lot to all the family and all my children rode him.”

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British horseracing’s official charity for horses who have retired from racing. The four main strands of its work are, to raise funds so that the charity can carry out its responsibilities; to promote the adaptability and versatility of racehorses in other equestrian activities; to facilitate the retraining and rehoming of former racehorses; and to provide a safety net for vulnerable former racehorses facing an uncertain future.

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR)

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