As a long-term owner of ex-racehorses, I am a member of the Retraining of Racehorses association, often known as RoR. To be eligible for RoR status, your horses must have a Wetherby's passport with a registered name. This allows you to compete in dedicated RoR leagues in many disciplines. Mister Mister, who I purchased back in August 2022, has turned his hoof to a variety of things during his retraining, and I decided this year to enter an unaffiliated RoR dressage league at preliminary level. The league started in April and finished in September, with the Championships in October.
During this league, Mister (as we call him) has just gone from strength to strength and over the year we have obtained four first places, two second places and one third place. We are very excited to be attending the awards ceremony on 2 December this year to find out where we placed in the league overall.
Unaffiliated shows are such a great way to introduce horses to dressage without the high costs of affiliated events, and often without the strict rules too. For horses who are fresh off the track, dressage is usually a calm and controlled environment to introduce them back into the competition world, with most horses prone to getting fizzy when jumping or in a busy showring. Often at unaffiliated shows the judge will also let you carry on completing your test if you have a little “drama”, whereas at affiliated events you would be eliminated or forced to retire.
Mister has been a testament to this process, starting at a very unbalanced and unsteady Intro level and finishing the year dipping into Novice level with a very respectable 64+%. Even if dressage is your worst nightmare, it can be such a great starting point if you wish to get out competing.
Hopefully, I will be able to share some great news after the Championship Awards on 2 December!