Stars On Show For Treo Eile Thoroughbred Classic

John Osborne, Jane Davis, Ian Cassells, Rachel O'Callaghan, Aine O'Connor, Lucia Keane | Alex Cairns

If it was racing stars you were looking for, the Treo Eile Thoroughbred Classic was where you could find them, as Rachael Blackmore, Robbie Power, and Charlie Swan turned out to support the event last Thursday night at the Emerald Equestrian Centre in County Kildare. 

Treo Eile was set up to connect, support and promote the retraining of thoroughbreds and legends of the racetrack Tiger Roll, Douvan and the recently retired dual Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo were all strutting their stuff on the evening. 

A celebrity show jumping competition generated fierce competition and illustrated how racehorses can be retrained for other disciplines after their racing days are over.

There were 10 teams captained by leading lights of the weighroom and show jumping and eventing circles and the parade of thoroughbred champions was sponsored by Moyglare Stud. 

The 'Jonbons team,' captained by leading amateur Aine O'Connor, whose riders finished with a zero fault score, took the Horse Racing Ireland Perpetual Cup and prizes that were sponsored by Connolly's Red Mills. 

HRI's Director of Welfare, John Osborne commented, “This event brings all equestrian industries together and shows how versatile the thoroughbred is in terms of adjusting to a different lifestyle after racing and it's wonderful to see these horses still going strong 10 years later.”

O'Connor was joined by event riders Rachel O'Callaghan and Ian Cassells and pony rider Lucia Keane in victory while the Robbie Power-captained 'Lagoons team' claimed second spot.

Rachael Blackmore's 'team Honeys' took the yellow ribbon in third with all riders competing about retired and retrained racehorses. 

A special appearance from Irish international show jumper, Jessica Burke, also added a new dimension to the night as she took Brendan McArdle on a course walk, explaining the technicalities of her craft. 

Veteran jockey Charlie Swan, whose daughter Olivia rode a clear round on her former racehorse Clonakilty Bay, was delighted with the evening.

He said, “These horses are very intelligent and easy enough to retrain. It's a great crowd and there's a great buzz around. The more people that get into equine sport the better.”

Established as a not-for-profit in 2020, the Treo Eile project aims to encourage the retraining of ex-racehorses, once their racetrack careers are concluded. 

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