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Inter Dominion honour for QOTT standardbreds

26 January 2024

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By Andrew Smith

All eyes were on the current crop of racing superstars for the Inter Dominion last month but there were a couple of other standardbreds stealing some of the spotlight at The Creek.

Queensland Off-The-Track Acknowledged Retrainers Amanda Chant and Giuditta Crisci were proud to each show off one of their retrained horses when they led out the fields for both the Pacing and Trotting Championship Finals.

Tisadvanced was Amanda’s selection to lead out the finalists, and the pacer was no stranger to Albion Park.

Beaten by a collective 420 metres at his only two starts, Tisadvanced is now thriving in a new career in dressage and showjumping.

“He was hopeless in racing because he wanted to canter all the time,” Amanda said with a laugh.

“In November, we did our first leg of the summer series with PRARG for dressage and he did quite well in the open field.

“He was actually the only standardbred there that morning and he’s really coming into his own now.

“He can jump and he did do the jumping this year at SAQ’s jump day and he did ok - I can’t jump to save my life but he’s actually not bad at it so he certainly turns his little hoof at most things, he’s pretty good.

“This year he’s been a little bit up and down but he’s really maturing now and really getting there.”

Giuditta Crisci and Zeus.

Giuditta opted for a personal horse as well for the evening, parading on an unnamed gelding that she simply calls “Zeus” around her Churchable property.

“He’s my own riding horse - I originally retrained and rehomed him about eight years ago and unfortunately his new owner was unwell and had to sell her property so she ended up giving him back to me,” Ditta said.

“I thought because he was always a favourite of mine and he was one that stood out for me over the years, I just wanted to hang on to him.

“I think being unraced might have been beneficial to his behavior on Inter Dominion night too, he didn’t have any sort of prior habits from race days which over-excited him or anything like that.

“He’s very much an all-rounder, as true to an all-rounder as a horse can get.

“He will go mustering and chasing cows - he jumps, he dabbles in a little bit of dressage so he’s pretty well-rounded and fairly talented and trainable and just a big personality really.

“I’d love to get him out to some dressage competitions this year.”

Amanda Chant with Tisadvanced.

Amanda, who currently has nine horses in her care at North Maclean, said the night had been important to showcase the benefits of the QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers Program and highlight post-racing career opportunities for retired standardbreds.

“When you get them to that stage, it is good to see that the time and effort that you put in was all worth it, this is why you do it,” she said.

“It doesn’t take a couple of months, it does take time but this is the product of some of our work and it really highlights the time and the effort put into these horses.

“A lot of people just wipe standardbreds off, but when you put time and effort in this is what you can get.”

RQ Senior Animal Care Manager Kim Duffy said ID23 had been a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the terrific work of the QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers.

“Both Amanda and Ditta do such a fantastic job with retraining and rehoming standardbreds for the QOTT Program, so to include them on the night and showcase the wonderful work that they do was a real highlight,” Ms Duffy said.

“Having two retired standardbreds involved in the evening that Amanda and Ditta have personally retrained is a real testament to their dedication and effort in re-purposing these horses for second careers.

“While the horses were not superstars on the racetrack, they have certainly excelled in their lives off the track thanks to the expertise of Amanda and Ditta.”