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RoR Horse Personality of the Year Award 2022

in honour of Paul Mellon

Entries now closed

Does your former racehorse have an amazing temperament? Is he or she your rock when times get tough?

Does your horse enjoy lots of different disciplines or demonstrated incredible will to overcome adversity? Or has your horse just got a huge personality?

Hollie Doyle

Credit Beth McCabe Photography

This is your chance to nominate your former racehorse for our RoR Horse Personality of the Year Award. Open to all RoR eligible former racehorses who have raced or been in training, the nominations will be judged by record breaking and leading jockey Hollie Doyle.

If you are one of the lucky three finalists, you and three guests will be invited to the prestigious RoR Elite Awards at The Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket on Saturday 22nd January where the winner will be revealed. Each of the three finalists will also receive an RoR rug, and the winner will be presented with the RoR Horse Personality of the Year Trophy.

Nominations are now closed.  The three finalists will be notified by 10th December and will also be shown below.

The RoR Horse Personality of the Year Award is an RoR Award to celebrate all former racehorses and to honour Paul Mellon, who gave a bequest of $3.5m to the charity soon after RoR was founded in 2000.

PREVIOUS WINNER

Ned Causer

Owner/nominee

Sarah Peacock

“To win this award is just an amazing moment and I can’t believe that Ned has done this. He has really changed my life. I’ve suffered from depression which is quite a debilitating illness and Ned has been such a turning point since we got him.”  Sarah Peacock

This year's finalists

ONE PEKAN

Name: Kerry Humphries
Horse age: 12
RoR Registration Number:  28648
Location: Suffolk

My horse is extra special as Pekan is more than just a horse to me he’s my best friend.  I got given him to look after in training and fell in love with him instantly. Four years later the boss retired him to me. Many people kept saying you won’t be able to do anything with him due to his quirky behaviour as a racehorse and how grumpy he was. I’ve now had him out of racing four years, and we’ve proved them wrong.

We’ve had lots of fun trying new things, showjumping, cross-country, beach rides, fun rides, in-hand showing, forest rides.  Pekan has also helped me through some tough times, he is my safe place and after sadly recently losing my mum unexpectantly Pekan has been my rock.  When days are hard, he’s always there to give me a cuddle and a kiss, or a canter through a field, giving time to reflect.  I can spend hours with Pekan telling him about my day, letting things off my chest, he doesn’t judge me, it’s good for the mind letting things go.

I’ve cried into him plenty of times this last year, and a simple nuzzle back, let’s me know he’s there, he’s got me. Pekan isn’t perfect, he challenges me, but we’re learning together, he’s a proper character, and far too clever for his own good sometimes, but we wouldn’t have him any other way. I really would be lost without him. He’s my absolute world.  I can never leave him without saying goodnight, stay safe, and I love you.

DAFFERN SEAL

Name: Esmé Foster
Horse age: 18
RoR Registration Number:  27089
Location: Carmarthenshire

My RoR, Dixie, is my world. Our partnership began three years ago, he needed to be shown a different way of life.. as a loved pet, not a competition machine.

Dixie and I are the same age and as I was too young for RoR we had to wait for 12 months. My goal was to event him, so with much patience, commitment, tears of joy and frustration our RoR journey began.

Just before covid struck, I sadly suffered an horrendous accident. I was kicked in the face (not by Dixie) and suffered multiple facial fractures. Some may have given up with horses but Dixie was my soulmate, my rock that gave me determination even when I was in so much physical and emotional pain. It was his turn to be patient, as the numerous metal plates in my face needed time to settle into place. He helped me to regain my confidence and with baby steps I was back in my saddle. He knew not to ask too much of me but gave me courage to do what I love the most.

In August 2021 Dixie and I did our first one-day-event, my first big competition since my accident. Although at times I was terrified I knew Dixie was more than capable and all I needed to do was put my trust in him. He looked after me every step of the way, not putting a hoof wrong! We were placed in the top six out of a huge class. What more can I say.. Dixie is my everything, my best friend.

HENRI DE BOISTRON

Name: Anastasia Choma
Horse age: 12
RoR Registration Number:  24164
Location: Warwickshire

I bought Henri in April 2018. There was no way that I couldn’t bring him home, I knew there was something so special about him. We had a fun year of getting to know each other but in summer 2019, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, at the age of 29. My life came crashing down around me and I was thrown into a whole new terrifying world of hospital appointments, surgeries and chemotherapy.

Fortunately, I had minimal side effects and I was able to continue riding and looking after Hénri. A hack with Hénri would help with the brain fog following chemo and he always looks after me and puts a smile on my face.

We often meet up with my friend Clare, and her pony Frankie, who had been through the same diagnosis. We’d hack for hours, chatting about our experiences, and that really was my therapy.  We decided to enter the hotly-contested Lands Eventing pairs class that December. I was still in the middle of treatment but we thought we’d give it a go, in our pink tutus. Hénri led round the course and we only went on to win the class, beating 62 other combinations!

We have done a few competitions together to raise awareness since then and also hacked 100km throughout October 2020, raising over £2000 for Breast Cancer Now.

I am now cancer free and Hénri and I enjoy eventing, being asked to compete at the RC Championships in the 90cm horse trials this summer was definitely a highlight! Hénri is a fantastic example of how versatile and wonderful former racehorses are. He is the most loving and funny best friend anyone could ask for.

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