A stellar line-up of retired racehorses will show off their new skills across three Off The Track classes at the annual Barastoc Horse of the Year, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend.
One of the feature show horse events in Australia, Barastoc attracts the state’s premier horses and riders and is traditionally a happy hunting ground for thoroughbreds.
Several former stars of the track will be in action at Werribee Park Equestrian Centre, the most exciting of which is ‘the horse with the heart’, Lankan Rupee.
Crowned Australian Racehorse of the Year in 2013/14, Lankan Rupee won five Group 1 races and amassed over $4 million in prizemoney during his illustrious career, with his former trainer Mick Price proclaiming him “probably the best we’ve ever had.”
“Not only was Lankan a winner on the track, he was extremely popular off it and everyone who came into the stables wanted a photo with him because he’s got that big heart on his head and he’s such a lovely horse,” said Price.
The nine-year-old gelding now lives with Racing Victoria (RV) Acknowledged Retrainer Caroline Price. An elite showjumper in her own right, Price knew Lankan Rupee was more suited to the showring than anywhere else.
“Lankan has always been a special horse and when he retired we knew he would come to live with us,” said Price.
“He made his debut as a TV star in the Jump Off series but decided he preferred life as a show horse, so he is now competing with Channelle Jenkins and they are doing very well.”
Lankan Rupee will line-up in the Freshman’s Ridden Class, for horses who were racing post-2017, along with nine other newcomers to the showing circuit, with the class kicking off at 8am on Sunday, 10 February.
The ridden class will also feature a star-studded line-up of former legends of the track and champion show horses in their own right, including this year’s VAS Show Series Final winner Revelry RP, 2017 and 2018 Garryowen champions SLM Mercedes and Stage Presence, and former stars of the showring Entourage and Eye of the Tiger.
The Led Off The Track class, held on Saturday, 9 February at 12.20pm, features a grand total of 19 former racehorses including the winner of the 2014 Geelong Cup, Caravan Rolls On, who is making his Barastoc debut with seasoned show rider Fiona McIntyre.