It is always lovely to hear how are former inmates are doing in their lives after racing and Vikki Sweeney has sent in this lovely picture of three former greats.  Vikki has Wahiba Sands and is pictured after winning on ex-racehorses showing class (left), while Akarus finished second and Royal Predica third.  It is fantastic to see them all looking so well and enjoying life after racing.

Wahiba&Akarus& Royal
Wahiba Sands, Akarus & Royal Predica

Wahiba Sands started his racing career as a two year old when running on the flat for John Dunlop.  He moved to Pond House as a five year old after topping the Doncaster August sale for 105,000 guineas and he went on to prove very versatile by winning under all codes - on the flat, over hurdles and over fences.  He ran a total of 62 times; winning 11 and a total of £270,593 in win and place prize money.  During his second season over fences he beat the great Best Mate by half a length at Ascot.


When Wahiba looked to have lost interest in National Hunt racing he moved to Lucy Bridges' yard near Shaftesbury where Lucy spent a year hunting, point to pointing and hunter chasing the giant Wahiba - he stands at about 17hh!


Wahiba Sands now spends his days with Vikki Sweeney who worked at Pond House for eight years and continues to ride out when time allows.  During Vikki's time at Pond House she looked after many good horses including Far Cry who took her to Australia, the quirky but talented Challenger du Luc and the gorgeous Cyfor Malta but Vikki always said that Wahiba was one of her favourites and when the time came for him to retire she had a stable waiting.  At the age of 12 he was delivered to his new stable at Netherclay Livery yard near Taunton Racecourse - a course he has never visited.  He was given three months holiday with his new friend, Frisco before starting the long road of being retrained.  After many hours hard work he was making good progress doing grid work so Vikki decided to step his program up a gear and started to introduce some small show jumps.  This was going well until one day when he was jumping over the obstacles loose he decided to hop over the six bar gate out of the arena to make his way back to his stable where he could find food!


royal predica
Vikki and Wahiba Sands Show Jumping


Picture Courtesy of Martin Hill -

Vikki and Wahiba have taken part in some local show jumping clinics and have been competing in some ex-racehorse classes at local shows and events.  He stills gets excited when the horses canter around the show ring together, he hasn't quite realised that he doesn't need to get his nose in front! Aug '06

Here are two pictures of horses that we had at Pond House that have retired to a happy home.  Both Akarus and Royal Predica have gone to the same home and are still in Devon.




Royal Predica

While at Pond House they both ran over the famous Aintree fences in the Grand National and Royal Predica won the Kim Muir at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival among many of his successes during a career that started in his native France.  They have both been working hard re-schooling at their new home and are enjoying the showing season.  Akarus is pictured in a show jumping class and he has also been doing some working hunter show classes.

The time had come to draw the curtain on Seebald's racing career although everybody at Pond House was saddened to see him retire.  He has been thought of as a star since the day he arrived and everybody enjoyed riding him at home.  Vikki and Frankie both looked after him and they were both be sad to see him leave.

mark equal
Picture by Bill Selwyn

The German bred gelding has been a wonderful horse and given his proud owners Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler lots of fun times on the racecourse since arriving at Pond House from Germany in 1999.  He has proven to be a very versatile performer running a total of 55 times and winning 15 races under all three codes, flat, hurdles and fences and a total of £372,165 in win and place prize money.  Although he has won 11 times, all under A P McCoy in England, he has also run some great races in defeat.  His most notable defeat was when finishing second to the great Best Mate in the William Hill Chase at Exeter in 2004 under Tom Scudamore - he was only beaten by a short head!

Seebald is enjoying his retirement just outside of Tiverton with Tom and Charlotte Scudamore.  He has been a welcome addition to their menagerie of other animals.


Sadly Horus passed away in 2010 at the age of 15 following a short illness.  He was a tremendous servant to his owner/breeder Mr Brian Kilpatrick and family and had been retired to a loving, happy home.  He was born in Ireland at Jeremy Maxwell's Glebe House Stud out of Mr Kilpatrick's mare Jennies First.  He has also bred Hollyhock, Henrietta and Cheltenham Festival winner An Accordion from the same mare.  

Horus started his racing career in point to points under the care of David Pipe.  He struck up successful partnerships with both Lesley Jefford and Ashley Farrant to win five point to points and two hunterchases.  Horus then moved to Pond House to join the big boys and has proved what a star he is.  He won three chases on the trot under A P McCoy at the start of his career under rules and including the hunterchases has run 32 times since his pointing days.  He has won on no less than eight occasions and a total of £206,481 in prize money.  He has contested many good races that include The Ladbroke Handicap Chase, Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase, Martell Cognac Handicap Chase, Peter Marsh Handicap Chase, Aon Chase, The Edward Hamner Chase and the list goes on!  His last victory was in February 2006 when winning the Vodafone Gold Cup Chase at Newbury in a dead heat with Cornish Sett - he was also born at Maxwell's Co. Down stud.

Although Horus has been ridden by many top jockeys during his career including A P McCoy, Barry Geraghty, Rodi Greene, Jamie Moore and Tom Malone he has only been successful under A P and Jamie Moore.  Jamie was one of Horus' biggest fans as he had given him some of the highlights in his career as a jockey.  He will be sadly missed by us all.

Horus with devoted lass, Tina and owner, Mr Kilpatrick


Mark Equal was retired by his owner/breeder Heeru Kirpalani at the age of ten.  He was one that Heeru bred out of his mare Dissolution and is by Nicholas Bill.  He also bred Maid Equal and Mite Equal.

Mark won a novice hurdle and three handicap chases and was placed an incredible 18 times from his 35 runs during his career, which span five years from 2001 to 2006.  He was a very consistent gelding who gave his owner and the stable a lot of pleasure winning a total of £38,722 in prize money. He won under A P McCoy and Timmy Murphy and was also partnered by Tom Scudamore on many occasions.  The handicapper made him pay for his common placed performances and he reached a career best rating of 138.

Mark Equal will be missed by all at Pond House although we are all sure that he will enjoy a long and happy retirement.


Stormez is a grand little horse and he has now been retired after a career, which saw him run 48 times in his native France and more recently in Britain.  He won a total of 12 times and amassed a total of £333,496 in win and place prize money.  He won four times over hurdles and a further eight times over fences and he also ran on the flat in his younger days.   He won £32,000 under A P McCoy when winning the Summer National at Uttoxeter and also two listed chases at the heart of National Hunt racing, Cheltenham.  He was a versatile performer who won on soft and good ground.


The race that he will be best remembered for winning was at Cheltenham in 2004 when the last fence had been removed because of low sun and he stayed on strongly from behind under Timmy Murphy to beat Ballycassidy by three lengths.

Stormez is a pint sized pony with a heart the size of an elephant and will be missed by all at Pond House while enjoying a long and happy retirement in his new home.  Stormez has gone to live with one of his greatest fans, Lucie McKenzie and her family.  During his time at Pond House David used to get regular packages in the post containing polos for Stormez but now Lucie can save the postage!

Copeland and Carryonharry have both been retired from racing and have returned home to their owners.

Copeland has been retired after an excellent career at the highest level, spanning 8 years in which he won 11 races and was placed numerous times from 63 runs.  He has campaigned in the top staying races on the flat as well as the best 2-2½ mile hurdle races.

His most notable wins were in the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury in 2002 in which he beat Rooster Booster and the 2004 Scottish Champion Hurdle.  He has also won several top handicap hurdles as well as being placed in the Tote Gold Trophy, Champion Novice Hurdle, Scottish Champion Hurdle, Lanzarote Hurdle, Axminster Hurdle, Welsh Champion Hurdle, the County Hurdle and many more, including finishing second to Best Mate in his novice hurdle career.  Tony McCoy, David Casey, Barry Fenton and Jamie Moore were the jockeys privileged to win on him.

He has amassed over £370,000 in prize money and ran creditably throughout last season in some high class races at the age of 10.  His owners, Professor and Mrs Silk have decided to retire him while still in good form and at the top.  There are not many opportunities for him and rather than see him come down the handicap it was decided to retire him sound and in good health and to finish his career on a high.  He will be looked after at home and used to educate the young horses.  He is a wonderful horse to deal with, a real character who has a wonderful temperament.  Copeland will be missed at Pond House where he has given so much pleasure over the years but we wish him a long and happy retirement.

Below are listed some of his career highlights:


1999        WON William Hill Handicap Hurdle Sandown              D J Casey

2000        2nd Tote gold Trophy (Hcap Hdle) Newbury               G Tormey

2000        2nd Martell Mersey Novices Hurdle Aintree                A P McCoy

2002        WON Handicap Hurdle Cheltenham                          A P McCoy

2002        WON Tote Gold Trophy (Hcap Hdle) Newbury           A P McCoy

2002        2nd Axminster Hurdle Wincanton                             A P McCoy

2002        2nd Welsh Champion Hurdle Chepstow                     A P McCoy

2002        WON Masai Hurdle Sandown                                   A P McCoy

2004        3rd County Hurdle Cheltenham                                J E Moore

2004        WON Scottish Champion Hurdle Ayr                         J E Moore




Picture By Bill Selwyn


Carryonharry gave Gerry Supple his biggest career win at Kempton in December 2002 after a superb display of jumping.  He also went on to provide Andrew Glassonbury with his first winner under National Hunt rules and will always be remembered as a very special horse by these two jockeys.  He went on to win nine races in his time at Pond House from 1999 to 2005 and is another that will be missed by all.

Everybody loved Harry at Pond House mainly because of his cheeky character - all of the boys knew that they had to sit tight when he came back into training, as he would do his best to dislodge them!  The girls in the office enjoyed the stories from Mrs Silk when he was on his summer holidays and kept jumping out of his paddock into the rose garden!

Harry is enjoying his retirement at home with Mrs Silk and her daughter Emma, who takes Harry hunting with the Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds.  He still has his spectacular jump and is showing the younger horses how it is done.





During Carlovent's time at Pond House he was a wonderful servant for his sporting and loving owners, the Batterham Family.  He had a total of 53 runs during his six-year career and he won on no less than 14 occasions.  He won at ten different racecourses in his native France and Great Britain including winning twice at Aintree at the Grand National meetings in 2001 and 2003.  As a three year old he ran up a sequence of three wins at Chepstow over distances up to 2m4f.  This included winning the Free Handicap Hurdle, which shows the beginning of 'proper' jump racing.  As he advanced in years he was stepped up in distance and he was running against good stayers, which included Baracouda and Deano's Beeno.  Although he had his own style of jumping he did win four races over fences as well as the ten over hurdles!



Carlovent now lives about five miles from the yard with Katie who used to be one of the secretaries at Pond House.  He has become inseparable from his companion, Murphy and they are like double trouble - where you find one, you find the other!  During the winter months when he is used to being in full work he must think that he is on a permanent holiday as time only allows for him to be ridden once a week, but he is ridden most evenings in the summer.  He has competed in a local fun ride over 12 miles where he was awarded his first rosette.  Carlovent was not the only retired racehorse on this ride as he met up with Kendal Cavalier who ran in the 1999 and 2000 Grand Nationals!

Carlovent, now known as Dewberry, has settled into his new life very well although he is a bit mischievous - he loves to squeal and to play in the field.  He is thought of as one of the family and is thoroughly spoilt!


Doualago, who retired from racing to continue his career as a successful eventer has turned into a dragon!  Doualago lives a happy life with the Hibbitt family in Leicestershire where he regularly hunts and competes.


Doualago (in green) as the Dragon

Their local Pony Club staged a dragon hunt in the celebrations of St George's day.  St George and the pony club followers chased Doualago and it looks like a good day was had by all.

Also a team of ex Pipe trained horses competed in the Fernie team chase - the team included Please Ring Me, Refute (still going strong at the age of 23), Flawed Logic and Fabulon.  They all had a wonderful time.  It is lovely to keep hearing of these horses and their success, we are all so happy that they have happy and loving retirement homes.