Pletcher the show horse!
‘Pletcher’ – the flashy chestnut gelding who wasn’t much chop on the racetrack but has excelled in the show ring under the guidance of well-known equestrian Paris Masterson. We caught up with Paris to learn a little more about Pletcher, what he’s been up to since retiring from the track and her advice for rehoming off the track thoroughbreds.
How did Pletcher (or Huey as he’s known at home) come into your care?
Huey was spotted by Claire Simpson during his introduction to racing. He didn’t excel on the track and we took him home as a rising 4-year-old. We slowly introduced him to led classes and then a saddle career as a show horse. I was only 13 at the time but I was very tall and ready for my next challenge off ponies.
What has he gone on to do since his career on the track?
He is a very well-known show hack, and he has won numerous champions, supremes and paced and mannered classes as well as being an excellent rider class mount. More recently, my younger sister has started show jumping him, which to our surprise he really enjoys and has scope to burn!
What do you love about thoroughbreds as sport horses?
I think thoroughbreds are the ultimate sport horse. They are intelligent and sensitive but also smart and willing to learn. In the right hands they can cross a multitude of disciplines. The thing I find most intriguing is that there are no two thoroughbreds alike. I have ridden thoroughbreds that are forward athletic types and others that are incredibly quiet and kick along types.
What is Huey like around the stable?
He is a total sook. He’s mum's darling boy. He stands at the gate waiting for his breakfast every morning and will leave his feed for a head rub by any human walking past. He tries to use you as a salt block and is constantly licking people - which is so gross!!
What advice would you give to someone looking to take on an off the track thoroughbred?
Time is of the essence. You cannot succeed with a thoroughbred overnight. Slowly, slowly.