In a remarkable display of versatility, Native River, the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, has successfully transitioned from a racing career to the equestrian show ring. This incredible feat is a testament to the potential of thoroughbreds beyond the track, and Native River's achievement is all the more impressive given his seamless qualification for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on his first attempt.

A Successful Transition

Native River, affectionately known as Garfield or River at home, retired from racing with an impressive £1 million in prize money. His owners, Brocade Racing LP and Tom Malone, have been instrumental in his transition to the show ring, where he has quickly adapted to the new discipline. Under the guidance of rider Emma Vine, Native River has demonstrated a natural aptitude for the equestrian world, making his HOYS qualification a remarkable achievement.

Potential of Retraining Racehorses

Native River's transition from racing to show jumping is a shining example of the benefits of retraining racehorses for different equestrian disciplines. This process not only provides a new lease of life for retired racehorses but also showcases the incredible versatility of thoroughbreds. As Native River's story gains attention, it is likely to inspire others to explore the possibilities of retraining racehorses, highlighting the potential for a successful and fulfilling post-racing career.

Role of Supporting Organizations

The success of Native River and other retrained racehorses serves as a testament to the dedication and hard work of owners, trainers, and riders. Organizations like the Jockey Club and the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) play a crucial role in supporting the transition of racehorses to a post-racing life, providing resources and guidance to help them thrive in new careers.

A Strong Reminder

Native River's achievement is a reminder that thoroughbreds are capable of so much more than racing. His story is a powerful reminder of the importance of exploring alternative careers for retired racehorses, ensuring they can continue to thrive and bring joy to their owners and the equestrian community.


As Native River takes to the show ring, he serves as a shining example of the incredible potential of thoroughbreds, inspiring a new generation of horse enthusiasts to explore the possibilities of retraining racehorses.

Reference: Article based on "Cheltenham Gold Cup winner thriving in new career as he qualifies for HOYS on first attempt" by Becky Murray, published in Horse & Hound.