Strong entries for the latest Racing SA-sponsored Equestrian SA (ESA) Track to Hack event – held at a recent ESA show – underline growing interest in the initiative.
ESA’s Summer Gala Show was held at Talunga Park, Mount Pleasant, on February 14 and spokesperson Gayle Manning said the Track to Hack classes – aimed at highlighting “life after racing” – were a feature of the day.
“We had record entries for this show, with Track to Hack horses making up close to 20 per cent of all the entries,” Ms Manning said.
“Several of the horses competing in the Track to Hack classes are of the highest quality and are sure to be representing our state at future national championships.”
ESA is running its Autumn Gala Show at Glenelg on April 18, with Track to Hack classes to be held again. Ms Manning said ESA hopes to run special championship classes for Track to Hack horses at all its future shows, plus Equestrian Australia-affiliated shows across the state.
She said ESA aims to continue to attract more ex-racehorses to the sport.
“These classes will hopefully become more popular over time,” she said.
“We have to build it first and give people the opportunity to produce their horses for these classes.
“Of course incentives like prizes and qualifying for bigger things will help to grow things quicker.
“Everybody needs a 'carrot' to make it seem worthwhile. Just seeing these horses have a second chance of a quality life makes me happy.”
Ms Manning explained that the Track to Hack classes are a relatively new inclusion into the ESA Show Horse programs.
“So we’re pleased with the numbers so far,” she said.
“Our first show that hosted these classes was the 2020 Horseland Adelaide Horse of the Year Show which was held on December 12-13, 2020 at Talunga Park, Mt Pleasant.
“This is the pinnacle show in each state as it is the only show where competitors can qualify to become state representatives at the Equestrian Australia National Show Horse Championships.
“It always draws out the best horses that each state has to offer. Winning a place on the state team is highly regarded and is considered the 'golden ticket' to compete amongst the nation’s best.
“We split the Track to Hack classes into Show Horse and Show Hunter types. Across the two days of competition we had 17 horses entered. We included led classes into the program to allow newly retired racehorses a class to compete in without the pressure of performing under saddle with the sometimes 'electric' atmosphere of a show.”
SA Derby winner Zabeelionaire was the most notable ex-racehorse in action at Talunga Park, finishing second in the led class.
Jettyjettybangbang, now shown as Hexham, won both the led and ridden Track to Hack Hunter classes.
“He’s campaigned by a 12-year-old girl named Acacia Horyhec,” Ms Manning said.
“That helps to show the temperament and versatility of the thoroughbred.”
Class 40 - LED TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER
- Torque - Lesley Burrows, 2. Zabeelionaire - Amy Shadbolt, 3. Mr Hong Kong - Carey Blizzard.
Class 41 - NEWCOMER TRACK TO HACK SHOW HORSE
- Torque - Lesley Burrows.
Class 42 - SECOND SEASON TRACK TO HACK SHOW HORSE
- Differing Fortunes - Lauren Thomson.
Class 43 - TRACK TO HACK SHOW HORSE NE 16HH
- Belarusian - Eloise Giustozzi.
Class 44 - TRACK TO HACK SHOW HORSE OVER 16HH
- Torrential Rain - Orleans Graetz, 2. Differing Fortunes - Lauren Thomson, 3. Torque - Lesley Burrows.
CHAMPION TRACK TO HACK SHOW HORSE: Torrential Rain - Orleans Graetz.
RESERVE CHAMPION TRACK TO HACK SHOW HORSE: Belarusian - Eloise Giustozzi
TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER HORSE:
Class 7 - LED TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER
- Jettyjettybangbang - Acacia Hryhorec, 2. Mint Lad - Gayle Manning, 3. You Remembered Me - Jacki Anderson.
Class 8 - NEWCOMER TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER
- Mint Lad - Gayle Manning.
Class 9 - SECOND SEASON TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER
- You Remembered Me - Jacki Anderson.
Class 10 - TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER UNDER 16HH
- Jettyjettybangbang - Acacia Hryhorec, 2. You Remembered Me - Jacki Anderson, 3. Poitier - Jacki Anderson
Class 11 - TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER OVER 16HH
- Mint Lad - Gayle Manning.
CHAMPION TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER: Jettyjettybangbang - Acacia Hryhorec.
RESERVE CHAMPION TRACK TO HACK SHOW HUNTER: Mint Lad - Gayle Manning.
IMAGE: Lauren Thomson and Differing Fortunes, winner of the Second Season Track to Hack Show Horse, at Equestrian SA’s recent Summer Gala Show at Mount Pleasant. PHOTO: Kerri Afford Photography