A Hitchin horse is in the running for a national award after successfully transitioning from racing to a new career.

Red Inferno, who is owned and ridden by Hayley Ward, has been shortlisted for the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Horse of the Year Award.  

He is one of three horses to have reached the final, from more than 200 nominations.

Red Inferno was rehomed by 35-year-old Hayley nine years ago, following a short racing career.

He has since gone on to demonstrate remarkable versatility, with a run of success across a variety of disciplines, including eventing, dressage, team chasing and trial hunting.

Hayley, who lives in Hitchin and works in the industry as a groom and rider at a private yard, said: "Red Inferno is a horse of a lifetime and it’s incredible to see him recognised for this illustrious award.

"He’s proven to be incredibly versatile and adaptable across a number of disciplines, but he’s also very important to me and has been a source of strength for managing my own mental health with a ride or a hug."


RoR is a charity dedicated to the welfare of horses that have retired from racing, with nominations for the charity's Horse of the Year Award open to all RoR registered former racehorses who can demonstrate how they have successfully transitioned from racing to a new career.  

David Catlow, RoR managing director, said: "The extraordinary stories of each of our finalists highlight not only the adaptability of former racehorses to a wide range of second careers, but also the remarkable commitment to the horses’ wellbeing of so many involved in aftercare.

"The RoR awards are an important opportunity to recognise these inspirational thoroughbreds."

A public vote on which horse should win the award closes at 5pm on Friday. To see the finalists' stories and cast your vote, visit ror-events.org.uk.

The winner will be announced at the RoR awards evening on January 31, and the owner will receive a trophy and two tickets to opening day at the Cheltenham Festival meeting.