Palace House, The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, in Newmarket is inviting owners to prepare their horses for life after racing with a stay in the historic Rothschild Yard.
Working in partnership with Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), British Horseracing’s official charity, Palace House is looking for up to eight recently-retired thoroughbreds to enjoy a break of up to four months and enjoy their life after racing at its flagship yard, in the home of racing.
As its name suggests, Palace House is part of the original palace built by Charles II in the 1660s, and is today composed of three principal parts, including the galleries housing the art of all sports gathered from public and private collections, the old trainer’s house which now hosts the National Horseracing Museum and the large, airy stables which form the flagship yard for Retraining of Racehorses.
The oldest racing establishment in the world, the Palace House Stable has played a vital role in Newmarket’s history as an equestrian centre in the 1850s and today, the Rothschild Yard maintains its links to the past by providing a temporary home to some of the superstar racehorses of the past, including Champion Chase winner Sire de Grugy (right, top) and Ascot Gold Cup victor Big Orange (right, bottom).
Palace House now has opportunities for up to eight horses, from all levels, to enjoy the transitional phase of a life after racing.
The setting is a fitting one for retired competitors in the sport of kings, Palace House offers its equine guests a three-month stay during a life after racing in its beautifully refurbished Rothschild Yard, complete with daily paddock turnout, exclusive use of the all-weather Peter O’Sullevan Arena, highly-trained yard staff who care and exercise their charges. Indeed, the duration of the horse’s stay comes with no fees, other than those for any required veterinary and farrier care.
“I suppose you could say it’s Champneys for race horses,” says Palace House Chief Executive, Dr Steven Parissien. “The standard of care really is first-rate and the horses benefit from being brought back into light work with general purpose tack. The RoR team teach them to stand at a mounting block, understand leg aids and work into an outline to start to develop the muscles and attitude of a sports and leisure horse. Pole work is also used to develop rhythm and balance, and to prepare for jumping, if they go onto that phase. These elements keep the horses’ brains active and prepares them for new phases of their careers; whether that be in dressage, eventing or show jumping.”
Whilst at Palace House, the horses also represent a rare chance for racegoers and animal lovers to meet their equine heroes during their life after racing and also demonstrate an often-unseen aspect of horseracing: that British owners and trainers have unrivalled care and compassion for their horses, both during and after their original careers.
Sue Molloy, RoR Yard Manager at Palace House, said: “During his time here we worked on Sire de Grugy’s flatwork; teaching him the different leg and weight aids and to accept a rein contact, by working over his back to develop these important muscles. This helped him to make the changes from r racehorse to riding horse. Like the other former racehorses on the yard, his days included ridden work, turn out, horse walking and relaxing in his stable.”
Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of Retraining of Racehorses (Ro R) adds: “The versatility of the racehorse is often underestimated and it is wonderful to have a facility such as that at Palace House where the public can see for themselves how racehorses can adapt, how good their temperaments are and how they can be retrained in a range of different activities.
“We recommend owners take up this opportunity to have their horses cared for and retrained at Palace House, or in the case of our retired equine heroes, to simply go there for a holiday and as a visitor attraction.”
For more information, plus complete terms and conditions, gallop over to www.palacehousenewmarket.co.uk, or call Emily Davey on 01638 667314/ 07904 401 168