Denman a novice in new chasing career

Denman in flight

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman returned from his summer break for a last look around his old box at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat before heading off for a new career. Following the injury which led to the end of his racing career, owner Paul Barber took his time in deciding what would be the best for his star chaser in his retirement.

The outcome of those deliberations is that Denman is to follow in the hoofprints of another horse formerly trained by Paul Nicholls, and head to his friend Charlotte Alexander. There, the 12 year old will take over the role left empty by the death of Earthmover earlier this year and retrain in the sport of team chasing.

This is something of a throwback to the earliest days of steeplechasing, with teams of three or four horses and riders setting off at intervals over a natural cross country course, usually of around 2 miles and between 20 and 25 fences. When Denman starts his team-chasing career we’ll have the interesting attraction of the Gold Cup winner competing in novice events!

Alexander said, “It’s an honour and a privilege to get such an amazing horse. Paul knew I had lost Earthmover and I was so touched when they wanted me to have Denman in his place. He is only 12 and once the vet said he was fully recovered from his tendon injury they were keen for him to have an active retirement.”

No doubt Denman will prove a huge attraction to this fledgling sport, which was only started in 1974.

Di Arbuthnot, of the charity Retraining of Racehorses told Horse and Hound, ““RoR is all about horses having a life after racing - and an active life. Charlotte will provide the most wonderful home for him and he will still take part in racecourse parades so the public will get to see him on Hennessy day at Newbury.”

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