Jonnie Skull - From Racehorse to Riding Horse

28th January 2018

From Racehorse to Riding Horse - find out how Jonnie Skull has done since he retired from the racetrack.

Jonnie Skull began the Retaining of Racehorses (RoR) programme at Palace House Newmarket in October following his retirement from the racetrack earlier in the summer. Since arriving at Palace House he has flourished and is enjoying life outside of racing.

jonnie Jonnie Skull - First week of retraining

On 11th February he will graduate as a riding horse and travel to Guernsey where he will enjoy a second career with his owners.

Jonnie Skull Jonnie with his owners and previous trainer Phil McEntee

Formerly trained by David Elsworth and then Phil McEntee, Jonnie’s race record speaks for itself, having run 205 times and winning 21 races. He was a very sound and genuine racehorse and his wonderful willing attitude has meant that retraining him from a racehorse to riding horse has been a smooth process. He is ridden out daily in the Peter O’Sullevan Arena where his work has focused on building his ‘topline’ – these are the muscles over his back and neck which help him to work in an outline (something racehorses don’t tend to have). Over the past three months, there has been a visible change in his physique as he develops these muscles needed for dressage and jumping.

In December Jonnie and Yard Manager, Sue Molloy, took part in their first jumping clinic – which of course he took to like a duck to water.

He is a super horse to have in the yard, he has a fantastic temperament and loves doing the meet and greets. Having run on the track so many times, he has a huge fan club and it has been wonderful to see so many of them come to visit him. He goes out in the paddock daily for a few hours and is very calm making him a good ‘nanny’ to other less relaxed horses. He loves interacting with children and has met many that have been on school visits, as well as posing as a model for our Camera Workshop, and for a birthday photo shoot arranged by the Jockey Club.

jockey-club-pic Jonnie Skull tucks into his birthday cake from the Jockey Club on 1st January 2018

If you would like to come and see Jonnie Skull before he leaves then make sure you visit before 11th  February. BUY TICKETS>>