Former Hong Kong stars begin new career

Trentham racecourse will host the first appearance of NZ Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) welfare ambassadors Werther (NZ) (Tavistock) and Ping Hai Star (NZ) (Nom Du Jeu) on Saturday.

The duo, both former Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winners, are retired from racing and currently enjoy life as “nannies” at Palmerston North’s Highden Park.

Libby Bleakley, who along with husband Sam owns Highden Park, was delighted the geldings would be given the opportunity to promote horse welfare and the many opportunities available for retired thoroughbreds.

“These horses love having something to do, they love having a job. They look after weanlings for us and they go on the truck to keep mares company, and I think they will thrive with this next step,” she said.

Werther, a dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year, and Ping Hai Star, who fashioned a brilliant record from a limited career in Hong Kong, will be paraded after the second race at Trentham, around 1.20pm.

Online bloodstock sales company is also supporting the welfare ambassadors, having decked both horses out with custom made halters.

The concept of Welfare Ambassadors is a new one for NZTR and is part of an ongoing programme around welfare and traceability.

“While those within the industry are well aware of the fact that our thoroughbreds, even in retirement, are extremely well looked after and often go on to rewarding second careers in other equestrian pursuits, there is a lot of misinformation out there,” Martin Burns, NZTR’s GM Welfare & Sustainability said.

“Allowing people to see horses like Werther and Ping Hai Star who have been foaled in New Zealand, raced here and offshore, and have now come back here to retire, helps reinforce the message that thoroughbreds are for life.”

Related posts