Riverside Mymugatea is the perfect illustration that the end of a thoroughbred's racing career doesn't have to be a sad milestone and that the best times may still be ahead of the horse.
As Mugatea, the now 12-year-old gelding hardly set the world alight, registering just one placing at Mildura from four starts. Fast forward eight years and Riverside Mymugatea is achieving the results he couldn't garner on the racecourse - as a Grade 1 winner at the Pony Club Association of South Australia's (PCASA) Southern Zone Supercross on June 19.
The Supercross event held at Monarto Equestrian Centre comprised five Pony Club and five open Equestrian Australian classes, with off the track thoroughbreds (OTTB) making up all the competitors in the Grade 1/103 cm class.
Designed to give an opportunity to showjumpers looking to get into eventing, while providing eventers important showjumping and cross country schooling, the Supercross event was made possible by the eight clubs of the Southern Zone. The day was a huge success for horses and riders, with around 300 spectators and supporters braving a cold but fine winter's day to witness some quality competition.
Major sponsor Racing SA was represented by former champion jockey Clare Lindop and John Cornell of Thorough Care SA. Lindop was on hand to award winners with a selection of prizes including Thorough Care SA rugs and Multivite Cool Vitality packages.
PCASA Southern Zone vice president Debbie Cook said the success of the day was a credit to the eight Southern Zone clubs which worked so well together. Officials were stationed at all 22 jumps and each club had their own responsibility to ensure the event runs like clockwork.
"The great work done by the clubs aside, it was also very encouraging to see so many of the competitors in all classes on the day were former thoroughbreds," Cook said.
"The thoroughbreds really shine in this sport and it's just another very encouraging sign that there's a great life to be had after racing."
As an endorsement of the industry's commitment to retired racehorses in recent years, 29 of the 90 horses competing at the Monarto event once had racing careers. Some were very successful, some not so. Regardless, the number of horses competing has almost tripled over the past two years.
As Riverside Mymugatea proved at Monarto, when they line up for Supercross events, they're all potential champions.