"Bruce" with Peter & Kay Ivory

“Bruce” with Peter & Kay Ivory

DON’T LOOK DOWN, aka “Bruce”, who ran in the colours of Solario Racing, was retired earlier this year, following an injury but is now enjoying a new life at Welwyn Equestrian Centre, the home of two of his owners, Peter and Kay Ivory.

The 5yo son of Aussie Rules (hence the nickname “Bruce!”) ran four times as a 3yo on the all-weather and was always in the money with form figures of 4322.  On his second run, he was involved in a three-way photo finish and the 25/1 shot (backed down from 40/1!) was beaten two noses while his two seconds were behind horses who went on to be rated 90 and 94.  Adam Kirby who rode the horse at Kempton on the fourth occasion, could not speak highly enough of the improving grey and was looking forward to riding him again.

Bruce over poles

Bruce over poles

Unfortunately for horse and Solario Racing(Tring) owners, Bruce suffered an injury on the gallops on 1st November 2019 just before he was going to try and win his first race, at Redcar.  He had a long period of box rest both at Harper Lodge Farm and Childwickbury Stud and although he improved, sadly he wasn’t sufficiently sound to continue as a racehorse.  The very good news is that he didn’t have to be put down which was a distinct possibility at one stage.

Syndicate owners, Peter and Kay Ivory kindly took him in early May and he’s been a real hit with everyone at the 60-box livery yard.  I went to see him yesterday going through his paces in the large outdoor arena.

Bruce outside his box with two fans

Bruce outside his box with two fans

“Bruce” has a large box with an automatic water feeder and even his own hanging basket outside!  His groom, Jade Bayliss dotes on him and two university students, Zoe Weir and Imogen Longman, who have been riding him this summer, have clearly been schooling him well.

I saw him walk, trot and canter and he even popped over a few poles and didn’t knock one under Zoe Weir.  Zoe said she thought he could probably do dressage and the way he moved yesterday you could see why.

Of course, racehorse training places very different pressures and challenges on a horse compared with dressage and other equestrian disciplines.  However, it is important to find good homes for racehorses once they’ve retired and to give them a new lease of life.

“Bruce” has certainly gone to a good home and should have plenty of years ahead of him enjoying other equestrian pursuits.