What some of our retired horses are doing now…
Not all of the horses spend their entire racing life here at Paul’s yard, however if they do the team works hard to ensure a new home is found for that particular horse, so they can spend what will hopefully be a long, healthy and active retirement in the care of someone who will keep them to the same standard they have been throughout their competitive careers.
On this page you will meet some of our heroes from yesteryear who now enjoy loving homes around the country doing a variety of activities.
BIG BUCK’S (FR)
2003 b.g. by Cadoudal (Fr) ex Buck’s (Fr) (Le Glorieux (GB)
The winner of 23 races earning a total of £1,309,055, in his pomp Big Buck’s was unbeatable. In the same period of his career that he won four consecutive Stayers Hurdles Big Buck’s went 16 races unbeaten and will forever be known as one of the greatest staying hurdlers of all time. He was retired at the age of 11 in good health and enjoys a happy life in retirement with Lucy and Mike Felton.
DODGING BULLETS (GB)
2008 b.g. by Dubawi (Ire) ex Nova Cyngi (USA) (Kris S (USA))
Bred by Frankie Dettori, Dodging Bullets, a son of Dubawi was the winner of 10 races and three Grade ones with the 2015 Champion Chase his career highlight amassing a total of £545,838. He was dearly loved by his owners Sir Martin Broughton and friends and when he was retired after running his last race in March 2017, he was given away to Lucy Sharp who cared and looked after him for his whole life in Ditcheat. He now enjoys a relaxed and happy retirement not far from Ditcheat alongside Pacha Du Polder who is also in Lucy’s care.
NEPTUNE COLLONGES (FR)
2001 gr.g. by Dom Alco (Fr) ex Castille Collonges (Fr) (El Badr (GB))
The winner of 16 races including two Punchestown Gold Cups amassing £1,313,675 in prize money Neptune Collonges will always be remembered for his heroically, brave final performance in winning the 2012 Grand National, showing the guts, resolution and bravery that defined his high-class career. Neptune now enjoys a wonderful retirement with his owners the Hales family at their home and has raised thousands of pounds for Alderhey children’s hospital in the years since his retirement, parading at many shows around the country and every year before the Grand National itself at Alderhey he gives many terminally ill children the chance of a lifetime to meet a winner of the famous race. Courageous and powerful on the track he is calm, kind, and placid off it and is a very special horse indeed.
1997 b.g. by Baby Turk (GB) ex Temara (Fr) (Rex Magna (FR))
A quite brilliant two mile chaser at his best, Azertyuiop was the winner of the 2003 Arkle before a year later landing his most famous victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, a sparkling win that cemented him as one of the finest chasers of his generation alongside fellow top class horses Moscow Flyer and Well Chief, the three of who served up some truly special races. He won 14 times in his racing life earning £605,529 all together before retiring back to his adoring owners. Azertyuiop has lived a long and happy life and continues to be looked after by his the Hales family, who endeavour to either re home or continue to care for their horses after their racing lives.
2007 b.g. by Azamour (Ire) ex Zarkasha (Ire) (Kahyasi (Ire))
Zarkandar was a fabulous little horse. The winner of 11 of his 35 races and amassing £911,734 winning four Grade One’s his highlight reel including the 2011 Triumph Hurdle, 2013 Aintree Hurdle and 2014 Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil. When he retired in February 2018, he moved to Hampshire to live with Lucinda Sims and her family who adore him. Zarkandar now competes in ROR showing classes, paraded at the Horse of The Year show in 2019 and has even turned his hand to being ridden side saddle. He is looked after like a king and will be for the rest of his days.
PACHA DU POLDER (FR)
2007 b.g. by Muhtathir (GB) ex Ambri Piotta (Fr) (Caerwent (GB))
Pacha Du Polder was a fabulous horse to have in the yard, a brilliantly safe jumper Pacha was a great ride and gave some young inexperienced riders some memorable days in the saddle, none more so than when winning the Cheltenham Foxhunters on two occasions, most notably when launching the career of Bryony Frost. When Pacha retired in March 2019 having run his 35th race Lucy Sharp took care of him who had ridden him for so much of his career at Paul’s. He now enjoys a more relaxed life occasionally hunting and spending time with his next door neighbour Dodging Bullets, who is also in Lucy’s care at her family’s local farm.
SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)
2009 gr.g. by Al Namix (Fr) ex Dona Du Rheu (Fr) (Dom Pasquini (Fr))
The winner of 9 races and £339,849 in prize money Saphir Du Rheu enjoyed excellent days over hurdles and fences, his career highlight coming when winning the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2015. He was also second in a Stayers Hurdle and fifth in a Cheltenham Gold Cup before retiring to Charlotte Alexander in March 2018. Saphir is now making great strides in his second career, aiming to compete at Intermediate level eventing this year and if things go to plan in a 2 Star three day event. He is a fantastic example of a horse who after racing still had so much to give and will continue to have a superb home for the rest of his life.
ROCKY CREEK (IRE)
2006 b.g. by Dr Massini (Ire) ex Kissantell (Ire) (Broken Hearted (GB))
The winner of 6 races Rocky Creek was an admirable chaser who finished second in a Hennessey Gold Cup and ran in four Grand Nationals finishing fifth in the 2014 renewal, amassing £280,336 for the Stewart and Johnson families. He spent six years in training with Paul before being rehomed with one of our staff members, Camilla Orttewell who lives locally and regularly hunts Rocky with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale providing him with a great home in his retirement.
2001 b.g. by Exit To Nowhere (USA) ex Molakai (USA) (Nureyev (USA))
The winner of 10 races Noland was a top class winner of the 2006 Supreme Novice Hurdle before going on to win the 2008 Grade One John Durkan Memorial chase at Punchestown. For all his success perhaps Noland was a case of what might have been suffering several injuries along his career. He is however a quite stunning horse after when retired in April 2012 the Hales family found him a great new home with Jodie Owen who has enjoyed many fantastic days with him competing in ridden showing classes and even now still competes in veteran showing classes.
SAM WINNER (FR)
2007 b.g. by Okawango (USA) ex Noche (Ire) (Night Shift (USA))
The winner of 6 races amassing £171,037, Sam Winner was a high class handicap chaser with his career highlight coming in 2014 when winning the Grade 3 Murphy Group handicap chase at Cheltenham. He now enjoys life with Nicky Fry who rode him for much of his career at Paul’ and now competes him in retraining of racehorse classes. Sam is a wonderfully kind natured horse and is often spotted out hacking around Ditcheat with Nicky Fry as well as competing successfully in local ROR classes with Nicky’s daughter Megan.
2011 gr.g. by Poliglote (GB) ex Scarlet Row (Fr) (Turgeon (USA))
The winner of 12 races and £1,038,065 in prize money, Politologue was a wonderful servant to his owners the Hales family and a real yard favourite. Grade 1 successes came in two Tingle Creek Chases and a Melling Chase with his 2020 Champion Chase victory standing out as a real highlight. After retiring in 2022 he spent a season hunting with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale with Mike and Lucy Felton before returning to Ditcheat to join Nicky Fry (who also has Sam Winner) where he enjoys hacking around the familiar lanes as well as competing in ROR show classes.
1992 c.g. by Rock City (Ire) ex Sleepline Princess (GB) (Royal Palace (GB))
The winner of seven chases for Paul (as well as four on the flat for Mick Channon) and £107,868 prize money, Rockforce gave Paul his first win in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in 2000. Since his retirement Rockforce has received 5 star care from one of our longstanding staff members Lorraine Morris who rode him when he was in training.