Newbury Racecourse has put its stamp on the racecourse industry, with its latest hire of a horse.
The hire of the Stag, the country’s most decorated horse at the Newbury Festival, comes as the race venue continues to improve its services for families, with more children playing at its courses and the number of horse trainers at the venue now surpassing those at the race’s other venues.
The horse, named The Stag for the New Year, is a one-off and was brought in by Newbury Raceway, a subsidiary of the family-owned Newbury Valley Racecourse.
Newbury Racewell has been working closely with its own staff to build on the Stags achievements, including the establishment of the New Brook Racing Club and its own Newbury River Horse Development Centre, as well as the establishment and maintenance of new horse training facilities at Newbury and St George’s Country Courses.
Newbury’s Stag will run for four years and has already been working with its trainers on its training and racing skills.
“We are very proud of the horse’s performance, both on the course and in the barns,” said Newbury president and chief executive Ian Smith.
“The horse has been a champion and a joy to train, and we have had to put in the work to ensure that she is able to take on this new role.”
Stag, who has won the New Broadband Cup and has won over 200 racing awards, is set to be a mainstay of the race course.
Smith said the horse was chosen because it had been a favourite of staff at Newbrook for a long time.
“The horses in New Brook are always a favourite, and this one has won a few,” he said.
When the horses first came in, the race track manager had to convince the trainers to allow the horse to ride out of the barn, instead of sitting on the fence.
“It’s a very big change in training for a horse,” he explained.
Stag’s training has also benefited from the establishment, in recent years, of a new training centre at the St Giles and St Giles Country Coures.
“Staff are working with the horses to keep them happy and to keep their skills up,” Smith said.
“I think this is a great time to put the horses back into the barn.”
They are just too much fun.
“The Stags latest performance, he said, showed her to be “very fit and strong”.”
The trainer and staff are very excited to see Stag getting the same kind of success as she has enjoyed in Newbury,” he added.
There are also plans to expand the training centre, which will see staff train horses in a new facility called the Staging House, which is set for completion in 2018.
After a period of planning, the Stages House will allow staff to work on horses from the Newbrook River and St Andrews Country Courts, with the intention of establishing a new Staging Centre at New Brook.
A total of six horses will be trained at NewBrook, with training being undertaken at both venues.
Other improvements at the course include a new horse shed, which was built to allow for horse care staff to come in to watch horses, and the development of the newly-designed Stag Bar which will provide entertainment and food for spectators.
To keep the horses healthy, the horse will be fed and groomed by a professional groomer at each venue.