Once again proving their versatility–and disproving the hothead OTTB stereotype–British ex-racers faced 500,000 people and Darth Vader for a New Year’s Day parade in London.
A handful of ex-racehorses braved massive crowds, screaming fans, traffic, the potential for royal humiliation and this…
…as they marched down the streets of London during the annual New Year’s Day Parade. They were part of “All the Queen’s Horses,” a special section of the huge parade dedicated to celebrating horses. (Don’t you just love the Brits?)
Three of the four thoroughbreds were trained by racehorse trainer Jim Boyle. “The NYD parade was a great showcase for ex-racers, especially as they behaved impeccably in some pretty atrocious conditions,” he said. His wife, Pippa Boyle, rode in the parade. “It was something I had always wanted to take ex-racehorses to, as I thought it would be a fantastic platform to show how versatile and sensible these horses can be,” she told horseandcountry.tv.
The horses included Isingy Red (a 6-year-old last raced in November 2012, rehomed in early 2013), Regal Approval (a 6-year-old last raced in August 2012, rehomed a few months later), Tatawor (a 7-year-old who last ran in 2010 and rehomed that year), and Tatawar, 21.
“They were beautifully behaved,” said Pippa Boyle. “It was all a bit exciting the first 100 meters or so when we first joined the main parade route with the blaring music and the howling wind and rain but the girls just kept walking and within five minutes the horses all through it was old hat.”
Clearly, these Thoroughbreds were totally bombproof, judging from the fact that 500,000 spectators and the following fellow paraders didn’t lead to any equine meltdowns:
Members of the public patted the horses along the way. The parade ended at the gates of Buckingham Palace, and then the horses enjoyed a canter in Green Park.
Boyle promotes the potential of ex-racers here on his Facebook page:
All photos used with permission from Jim Boyle.