Mark's policy is to find as good a home as possible for all our retired horses. He chooses their new owners very carefully and, as you can see from the pictures below, very successfully. He usually has a waiting list of prospective owners but, if you are interested, please e-mail the office for details of any horses needing new homes in the future.
Astrowizard turned out at his new home
Becky with Singing Hinnie
Astromajor at his new home with Janine
Smokey Oakey has found a new home with Little Brook Equestrian Centre in Surrey. In the pictures above you can see him with Dame Judi Dench on his first day at his new home, and his progression from racehorse to riding horse. We are hopeful that one day he will provide riding as therapy for RDA.
Dolls House has found a new home in Malta. She has settled in really well and loves having the sun on her back. It did take her a little time to get used to the transition from mare to riding horse, but as you can see from the photos, she has now taken to her new discipline and is being ridden with confidence.
Sharon Goddard, a long standing owner, has recently given Qilin a new home. As you can see she has settled in really well and looks a million dollars. She is turned out with another mare, Fortune, and has bonded so well you would think they have known each other for years.
Dine Out ( on the right) is with Deia Sakal whose father, Peter, bred her. She is really enjoying her new life and doing very well.
Star enjoying doing dressage
He is having a great new life in London even coming into the office.
Outside Buckingham Palace Showing how it should be done
The above two pictures have just arrived showing how versatile Mystery Star has become. Not only has he gone on a sponsored ride around London with a visit to Royalty, he also stopped outside a famous pub and took refreshments before moving on. The other picture shows how well he is jumping, with a great shape over the poles and such an alert head. He absolutely loves life.
Cat Island is now known as Kitty. She is such a kind filly and is doing really well in her different life.
Kitty (on the right) out at exercise
Cat Island has got on so well in her new home and showing great aptitude for dressage and jumping, that we are hoping to find someone with a bit more experience to take her to the next level. If anybody knows of somebody looking for a young eventer, please give us a ring.
Here is a picture of Sleigh Bells in her new home with her new friend Molly. She will now be turned out for a couple of months with Molly to give her a real chance to relax and get used to her new home before coming in and starting her new training programme.
No Rules has got a lovely home in the north of England. There are plenty of sheep for him to graze with.
Astroverdi, Astrovenus and Bird of Faith
These three lucky horses are having the winter off and then will be re-trained to the stick and ball as polo ponies.
As you can see Astrovenus (above) has really made it as a polo pony, she is happy and relaxed and loved by Holly.
Lucky Astromoon has a new home with Jackie, who is a top class rider and is really looking forward to re-training the filly.
We have recently heard from Jackie and, as you can see, Astromoon is doing really well. The weather has been on her side and she has been able to stay out. She gets a short feed every day - it took her a while to get used to the system but now she's always first to the gate. She certainly is the boss and has the other two exactly where she wants them.
Jackie has now started lungeing her after having her turned out for six months. She's is apparently learning quickly, but can be a bit cheeky when she thinks she's had enough!
Miss Moon is doing very well as a novice dressage horse. Everyone is delighted with her aptitude for this sport.
Holly Butler schooling Finger Spin. Holly says: "Finger Spin has taken to polo as if she's done it all her life".
In the paddock of her new home
Finger Spin (or Deli as she is know at home) has settled in brilliantly and hasn't fussed about a thing. She will be retrained to do showing and she will be contesting the large riding horse classes at county level next season all being well. The ultimate aim is to be contesting the Horse of the Year Show ROR classes.
Tracy Robinson on Connect, competing at her local hunter trial.
Spirit Land, above and below, enjoying himself in the snow at the home of his new owner, Anne Ratcliff
Captain Clint has settled well into his different life and is enjoying his new role
More recently he has been doing riding club competitions. He has a brilliant nanny, Polo (the grey pony in
the photos), who is helping him with the new things that he faces in his life after racing.
Enjoying her retirement with Becky, who is our blacksmith.
Astrobrava was home-bred by Mystic Meg at Dullingham Park. She was from the only British crop of Falbrav, who stood for one season at Cheveley Park Stud before going back to Japan. He was a very good racehorse and won many top races with the Japan Cup, the Juddmonte and the Eclipse among his eight Group 1 victories in five countries. We were very excited about the mating but, unfortunately, he turned out to be a poorish sire and Astrobrava didn't fulfil our hopes. She has found a fantastic home with Becky and is winning competitions galore. It looks as though she is going to make a really good eventer.
Westminster with his owner Cheryl Townson and young jockey
Westminster was owned by John Bull, a marvellous man who died a few years ago. He ran a family business which still exists today in London's New Bond Street specialising in silver. John was the Lord Mayor of Westminster, hence the horse's name, and had racehorses in training for many years before meeting me and purchasing Westminster. He had failed to have a single winner in all those years but this horse gave him his first two in very quick succession. Westminster has found a top-class home where, as you can see, he is part of the family.
Westminster (left) playing in the snow
Ringmaster, or 'Charlie' as he is now known, arrived with his present owners as long ago as April 1997 for Emma Tritton, then aged 10, to ride. He is still going strong, aged 25, and enjoying life as much as ever.
'Charlie' asleep in the shelter with his friends
He won some nice races but his best effort was in defeat when he was second in the Magnet Cup at York, beaten a head. He was ridden by a Hong Kong apprentice who was substituted at the last minute for Philip Robinson who had hurt himself the day before. Ringmaster has made the transition from racehorse to riding horse with no problem at all. I still hold very fond memories of him.
Fortune's Maid, ridden by her owner Sharon Goddard and accompanied by her friend Willow, ridden by Lia.
Fortune's Maid ran for one of our syndicates without too much success but was a very kind filly and it was ideal for her to carry on her life as a riding horse. She is very much loved by her new owners which is just as we like it at Flint Cottage.
Sky Dome at David and Jean Tompkins' home in Yorkshire
Sky Dome is a very special horse. He was owned by Dena and Leslie Arstall who race their horses under the name Pollards Stables. He was one of those horses who never let you down. He won many races and gave so many jockeys marvellous days. He is now being completely pampered by my sister-in-law and family, who absolutely dote on him. Many of my owners go and visit him and feed him packets of Polos as they have as fond memories of him, just as we do.
Tortola, or Norman as he is now known, being schooled in preparation for his first show by his new owner, Millie Green
Tortola was not very quick as a racehorse and quite difficult to train but he has found a fantastic home with the Greens, who are relations of Michael Bowring, one of our stalwart owners. He is loved and cherished and the time he has had out of training has enabled him to mature and become what he is today.
One of Babodana's first crop, the young stock champion at a show in Somerset
Babodana was bought as a yearling at Fairyhouse sales in Ireland and, as Angie keeps reminding me, it was she who spotted him. What a fantastic racehorse he turned out to be. Owned all his life by Michael Bowring, he won the Lincoln and was placed so many times in Group races they are too numerous to mention. A very sound horse who was a great character, he is now at stud in Somerset with Rosie and Derek Scott. His first foals are on the ground and really look the part, as the photo above shows. I am hoping I can acquire some of the offspring and have his first runners from Flint Cottage. He was just a pleasure to train
Blurred being ridden by Sarah Hilton, Mark's niece
Blurred was a great, big, gentle giant, who was a good racehorse and always did his best. He has now found a lovely home with my sister in Derbyshire with both mother and daughter riding him out among the sheep and the hills.
Happy Birthday Blurred, 21 years young
It only seems like yesterday that Blurred was running for us and giving us plenty of excitment. It is amazing he is 21 and still in fantastic shape and heart. He gives everybody so much pleasure.
Etoile d'or at her first show
She was another of the syndicate horses who gave her band of supporters a great day at Yarmouth when she won by a very long way. She could be a little bit headstrong but had no malice and she has taken to her new career with zest, as the picture above shows.
Astrobrava, or Ginger as she is now known, competing at the Horse of the Year Show where she behaved amazingly and finished 10th. She is now in the top ten show horses in the country in her ROR classes.
Old Boy Ted
Old Boy Ted, or Obi as he is now known, jumping a few weeks ago
We were delighted to receive this picture of Old Boy Ted, who is being re-trained as an eventor. He has adapted to his new life really well and his calm and measured temperament will be a great asset in his new career. Hopefully we will get some more pictures in the future, with cups and rosettes.
Arakelton & Astrogold
Both Arakelton and Astrogold have recently found new homes. They have settled in really well and are living the high life in Essex.
Astrogold has been with her new owner for just over a year now and she has started taking her showing and dressage. She is coming home with a rosette every time, she is such a dream to own and Katie is hoping to start doing British dressage with her next year.
The picture above show Astrosapphire at her first show where she came a respectable second and third. She has settled in well to her new career and is now going to spend the rest of the winter putting on some weight ready for her busy season planned for next year. She has gone to our farrier, Becky, who I am sure will keep us up-to-date with her progress.
Astrosapphire has recently be rehomed to Sophie Harris. She has been working mainly on her flatwork, and is doing very well and always does her best to please. She still needs some work on her canter as she sometimes still thinks she's a racehorse! Sophie has been doing little bits of jumping with her, which she really enjoys. She has been to one dressage show where she came 5th out of 8 and the judges said that she is very pretty and should show her. She has settled in really well in her new home and has made lots of new friends with the other horses. Sophie will keep us updated with her progress.
Like Clockwork settled in his new home
We are delighted to see that Like Clockwork has settled in well at his new home and has already become a firm favourite. He was always a great ride with a very calm temperament and I am sure he loves his new life.
JOE THE COAT
Having a very enjoyable roll
Joe is just starting to settle in really well and as you can see from the picture above, is thoroughly enjoying himself. It is a good job that it is an artificial surface he is having a roll on, or else the girls would be having a real job cleaning the mud off his grey coat. He is starting to move really well and the transformation is remarkable. I will keep you updated as to his progress.