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Congratulations to Que Sera: Oxfordshire’s Retrained Racehorse of the Year

Que Sera   Horse of the Year fkps8a

Que Sera - Horse of the Year

Kirtlington-based former racehorse, Que Sera was the winner of the Retraining of Racehorses Horse of the Year Award at a ceremony held in February.

Founded in 2000, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Horseracing's official charity for the welfare of retired racehorses. Each year, they stage over 40 separate competition series, catering for all abilities, across 15 different disciplines, including dressage, polo, eventing, show jumping, endurance and hunting. Their Horse of the Year Award is one of its most coveted titles.  

Que Sera’s owners, Jo and Ben Hales, were at the ceremony in Newmarket, and were presented with the iconic bronze trophy. Jo Hales is a vet who has owned horses since she was 14. When Que Sera suffered a life-threatening injury, she was able to nurse him back to health before building up his strength and conditioning, so he was ready to compete again. Not only has Jo enjoyed great personal success with him, but Que Sera has helped raise significant money for charity, and has also helped children learn to ride for the first time. In the future, Jo hopes to move him up the dressage levels and continue having success in many different fields of equestrian sports. She comments: "Owning and retraining Que Sera has been a privilege. Beyond his remarkable versatility and gentle temperament, he's a true family member. He graciously allows my children to climb aboard effortlessly, showcasing his sensitivity and willing attitude." 

Sandy Dudgeon from The Jockey Club presenting The Jockey Club RoR Trophy to Jo Hales

Following a short racing career (2014-2016) which including one win at Towcester and career earnings of £3,438, Que Sera was rehomed by Jo nearly seven years ago. Despite not being suited to horse racing, he has since gone on to demonstrate remarkable versatility with a run of success across a variety of disciplines, including dressage, side-saddle, combined training, show jumping and hunting.  

From a long list of achievements, the 14-year-old’s standout dressage accomplishments include winning the 2019 Novice Southern Championships at his third ever dressage competition; winning the 2022 Elementary Championship at Aintree; and finishing second in the Medium League Championships last year. In addition, he has also excelled at side-saddle, winning in at least six disciplines, including classes at Royal Windsor Horse Show, and the National Side Saddle Championships.  

David Catlow, Managing Director of RoR, added: “The extraordinary success Que Sera has achieved since retiring from racing highlights the versatility of former racehorses, and is a true testament to the exceptional aftercare Jo and Ben Hales have provided.”  Launched in 2014, the Awards are the charity’s annual flagship promotional event. Held at the prestigious Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket, they showcase aftercare, and highlight the versatility of the thoroughbred.


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