By Andrew Smith
They may be retired, but the competitive juices will be flowing for Queensland’s former racehorses at the nation’s most lucrative showjumping event at next week’s Royal Queensland Show.
The Queensland Off-The-Track Program Showjumping Showcase, to be held next Monday, August 14, will see some of the Sunshine State’s most prominent retired racehorses go head-to-head at the Ekka.
Former Group race runners are among a solid field of 30 horses that will take to the Main Arena, including the Gerry Harvey-bred Double Impact who scored over $520,000 in prize money during a 75-race career.
Formerly trained by Peter Moody, Umanugget (competing as Victorious Hit) will also feature in the showjumping, having lined up for 10 Group races all over the east coast, posting wins at Doomben, Sandown, Devonport and country Victoria.
One of the stars of the show is sure to be Prince of Darkness, who competed on the track as Smart Devil.
The Glenlogan Stud product is now thriving in retirement following a 17-race career that earned him over $44,000 in prize money.
Sydney Olympian Ron Easey will saddle up on the gelding, who was gifted to his daughter Armani as a graduation present after his last race in 2019.
Shoulder troubles have stopped Armani from riding Smart Devil, with Ron stepping up for the Ekka where he has been competing in showjumping for around 30 years.
“I’ve done all the Royal shows in Australia and it’s the pick of the Royals I reckon,” Easey said.
“The ground is good, the people are very nice and friendly and it’s not so political as the other Royals and that’s why I go there.
“They’ve sort of combined it and put it into five or six days and it suits me the way they do that.
“They get a start every day and it gets the horse going.”