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Chapter And Verse finding his next passion after racing

By Jordan Gerrans and Dylan Mutu 

When a retired race horse lobs at the stables of Kate Dreverman, the experienced re-trainer likens the process to a child going through primary school.

In the early stages of their schooling journey they will do a bit of everything, kick the footy with their mates, learn to swim and study different topics like maths and art.

When Dreverman takes a galloper from race stable life to their next stage, she lets them experience almost every discipline possible to see where their strengths are.

That is the phase Dreverman is in now with popular retired race horse Chapter And Verse.

Prepared by Eagle Farm-based horsewoman Desleigh Forster in his racing days, Chapter And Verse is three weeks into life with the Queensland Off-The-Track Acknowledged Retrainer as they search to find where he will live out his days post-racing.

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After running the last of his 35 career races in late January of this year, the seven-year-old gelding has made his way to Dreverman’s property – which is based between Esk and Kilcoy – and was given a week to settle into his new environment.

“In the first few weeks we do a lot on the ground, getting the horses used to moving off pressure and getting used to their new routines here,” Dreverman said.

“I feel like in that time I have a bit of a connection with the horse by then, normally it is very safe and they are relaxed, so they are in the frame of mind to start the next phase of their education.

“He is a really quick learner, everything we have done he has taken on board and really understood it.

“He has been cautious and alert of what has been going on around him but he has acted in a way that has been very mature and professional.

“He has taken it all on-board in his grace and coming along in leaps and bounds.”

Through the re-training process, the son of Rothesay will complete plenty of ground work before progressing into some jumping and dressage, among other tasks, where Dreverman will then identify where he shows the most talent and that specific area can be targeted.

Dreverman works under the banner of the Transitioning Thoroughbreds Foundation, which was founded by Jane Gollan.

The wife of premier Brisbane trainer Tony is passionate about finding retired gallopers the perfect homes following their careers at the track.

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Through the Transitioning Thoroughbreds Foundation, Gollan and Dreverman, among others, work to find Off-The-Track horses the right people to take on the gallopers who have gone through their program.

“We want to build and get as many horses through the program as possible,” Gollan said.

“Working with Racing Queensland, we want to build our re-trainer base, which we have gone to three from two in recent months, all over the state.

“Hopefully, we can expand to bringing in horses from the provincial and country areas, where there is less opportunities.”

After winning over a million dollars in prize money for the Forster stable, Chapter And Verse was a favourite around her barn, as well with his big group of owners.

Desleigh Forster Next Racing
Tony Gollan Next Racing

He won at black-type level – the 2019 George Moore Stakes – as well as the big stage of Magic Millions Day the same year.

While he was a high level and consistent galloper on the track, Forster says he is also an animal with a friendly nature.

“He did a marvellous job, he never really ran a bad race in his life,” Forster said.

“He was unlucky that he did not win more races, that was just because of the way his racing pattern was.

“He used to get back and charge to the line.

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“He was genuine as well as being a kind horse, he was beautiful.”

Finding her former stable stars a nice life after they have run their last race is a key element of being a trainer these days, Forster believes.

“It is very important for these good old horses,” Forster said.

“This horse would be no good in a paddock, he would be wasted as he would get big and fat, he would get out of control.

“But, it is beautiful where he is going, it is going to be wonderful out there and he will be well looked after.”

Chapter And Verse was raced by a big syndicate, which included one of Forster's greatest supporters, former rails bookmaker Doug Forbes.

Forbes, at his own property, has taken on a few retired gallopers and is glad to see Chapter And Verse thriving in the months following his last career race.

“He was such a big loveable horse,” Forbes said.

“He will exceed at what he is doing in the next stage of his life.

“I like to see them go to a good home; it is a most important thing for them to be well-looked after following their racing career.”

Dreverman has worked in several roles within racing, including breaking in horses and riding track work, and explains that every horse she re-trains is unique and she needs to tailor her program to how the individual is progressing or where their strengths are.

Once Chapter And Verse – as well as any other horse who goes through the program – has completed their re-training process, Dreverman and Gollan will go to work in finding them the right home.

Dreverman jokes that the method is a bit like dating for humans, needing the match the horse with the correct people, who have great facilities, feed and understanding of what the specific horse needs to thrive.

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She will often stay in contact with families who have taken on horses who have gone through her program to ensure the galloper is being well cared for.

“It is rewarding to find the right people for the individual horse,” Dreverman said.

Where Chapter And Verse ends up following his re-training process remains to be seen but Gollan has a few ideas.

“It would be fantastic if he could follow that through into a discipline outside of racing, or perhaps he could be an ambassador for the foundation and get him back to the track and lead out some of these old horses,” Gollan said.

“It would be great to give him another job, Kate will give him those skills, and it would be wonderful in a year or two he could be out there competing and winning ribbons, and really showing how versatile and athletic thoroughbreds can be.”

 

RQ-QOTT-Logo-01.pngIf you are a racehorse owner wanting to have your horse retrained and rehomed, or a prospective new owner looking to obtain a quality retired racehorse, please contact a QOTT Acknowledged Retrainer in your area.

Click here to view all 13 QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers as well as read the frequently asked questions regarding the program.