We are delighted to share some personal news from the team: our E-commerce Logistics Manager Emilie's horse Cloudy has been shortlisted for The Jockey Club’s Retraining of Racehorses Horse of the Year Award 2024.

What is the RoR Horse of the Year Finalist?

Every year, the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) organisation recognises and celebrates the incredible achievements of retired racehorses in their new careers.

These horses have transitioned from the fast-paced world of racing to excel in various disciplines, proving their versatility and adaptability.

RoR Horse of the Year Finalist Cloudy

Cloudy (racing name: Cloud Creeper) retired due to a damaged tendon and is now one of the RoR Horse of the Year finalists, showcasing his remarkable journey from the racetrack.

He’s been an absolute star since he recovered from his injury and we thought we'd ask Emilie a few questions to get to know them both better.

How long have you had Cloudy?

I’ve owned Cloudy for seven years now. Before that, I rode him when he was in training with Philip Hobbs. He sustained a tendon injury, which meant the decision was made for him to retire and I was given him by the Mick Fitzgerald racing syndicate.

What's Cloudy's background?

Cloudy was bred in Ireland, won his first point-to-point as a five-year-old and was then brought over to England.

He was initially in training with Donald McCain and from there he changed trainer to Philip Hobbs and that is where I met him.

I was lucky enough to be his work rider for the last few years that he was in training before he retired and he was given to me.

What was his rehabilitation like?

When I was given him there was no guarantee that his tendon would heal and if it did, I wouldn’t know for definite what type of work it would cope with.

I knew it was worth the risk, and at that point, it was just a waiting game. He had six weeks box rest, cold hosing his tendon twice a day. Then he had a year off, with a tendon injury time is the best healer.

Luckily for me, when I had his tendon scanned after that year it was completely healed. There will always be less elasticity to the tendon so you do still have to take care with it.

I have been incredibly lucky that his tendon healed so well and that it has withstood all of the fitness training and jumping necessary to compete in all of the disciplines that we have done.

What are your favourite things about him?

His best quality is his enthusiasm for everything that I have asked of him; in every picture I have of him he always has his ears pricked forwards.

What’s your proudest achievement together?

That is a really hard one to answer, as to be honest there have been so many. But if I had to pick one, it would be our first point-to-point together.

The fences were massive, there was a huge field of novice riders, there were loose horses everywhere - it was terrifying. But he looked after me so well and we managed to finish 4th which I was absolutely thrilled with, especially as I owned, trained and rode him myself.

Thank you to Emilie for sharing her story and please join us in celebrating Cloudy's journey and all the other remarkable RoR Horse of the Year finalists. These horses are a testament to the power of retraining and the endless possibilities that await retired racehorses beyond the racetrack. 

To be amongst the 12 horses shortlisted is such an honour; we are so proud of their accomplishments and wish them luck in the finals.

Both images are courtesy of Jayphotos.

December 20, 2023 — Verm-X