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Former equine stars enjoying their new lives as off-the-track horses

29 April 2021


By Jordan Gerrans

The Queensland Off-The-Track Board was established in 2020 and is governed by Racing Queensland and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.

It was established to operate and manage the QOTT Program and will be responsible for the policies, programs and reporting relating to the retirement of horses from racing and breeding activities.

Racing Queensland has taken a closer look at two former equine stars who are enjoying their new lives as off-the-track horses.


Felicity-Reinke-and-Everydays-A-Sunday.jpegEven seven years on from his last race start at Redcliffe, Everydays A Sunday is still turning heads up on the peninsula of Brisbane.

Hours before the first race on a Wednesday afternoon at Redcliffe, a club staff member wandered past Felicity Reinke (pictured) and asked if the horse she was holding was in fact Everydays A Sunday, a winner of 10 career races.

“See,” Reinke points out.

“He is a bit of a star.

“He loves to have something to do and be the centre of attention.”

Seven years on from his last race start as a quality standardbred pacer around Australia, which included racing in New South Wales and Queensland, Everydays A Sunday is loving life with Reinke at her Wondai home.

Racing was bred into Reinke, who trains and drives in her own right, as well as working a couple of jobs and running her own farm.

Everydays A Sunday had 68 starts between 2011 and 2014 before he eventually made his way to Wondai.

“I received a phone call from someone I used to work for, they had a nice horse in the paddock that was looking for a new home,” Reinke said.

“I happened to remember him from his racing days and my partner said to me 'you always wanted a chestnut with white' – so he came home with me.

“This fella has been very, very special.”

Everydays A Sunday is one of quite a few racehorses Reinke has taken on over the years.

A few years ago, Reinke decided to give Everydays A Sunday a long period in the paddock to “just be a horse” she explains.

As a gelding who has been around people and routine for much of his life, Reinke says he hated living in a paddock, so he was soon back into his second lease on life.

Instead of racing at Redcliffe and Albion Park, Everydays A Sunday now spends his time taking out events like the 2020 Track To Hack series, which is sponsored by Racing Queensland.

He also competes successfully at agricultural shows, including Brisbane’s Ekka, and open company shows.

He also claimed the Standardbred Association of Queensland Versatility Award for 2020.

“We can do everything with him, my 10-year-old daughter rugs him and rides him occasionally, he is a real character to have around,” Reinke said.

“He is always there waiting for me every afternoon.

“The Off-The-Track program is fantastic, these horses deserve to have a second life because they are all beautiful, lovely, forgiving horses and they just want to be your friend.”

Reinke implored anyone that was interested in taking on a former racehorse to contact the Standardbred Association of Queensland Rehoming and Adoption program, who should be able to point them in the right direction of a loving horse.


0417-22-DOOMBEN-El-Campeador-3.JPGFrom the pacers to the thoroughbred racing world, Queensland’s Kate Dreverman takes pride in being able to provide former star racehorses a second chance to learn new skills post-racing.

Describing it as a personal satisfaction she receives, Dreverman has former top racehorses El Campeador (pictured) and I'm a Rippa as part of her team, on top of two former European-based gallopers.

While some opt to rename their racehorses when they step into the eventing or equestrian arena, Dreverman believes it is vital they keep the same names they had when they burned up the track.

She thinks continuing on their name from their race days helps followers of the racing industry, past owners and general spectators of the sport have a greater understanding of where the former champions of the turf eventually end up once they are finished up at Eagle Farm or Doomben.

It is important to provide these beautiful animals with a safe environment so they can enjoy their lives in a happy way, Dreverman says, as well as learning new tricks outside of aiming to run fast.

“I have lived both sides of the world, being a track work rider for five years and also had a lot to do with breeding and yearling preparations, all the way through a racehorse’s career,” Dreverman said.

“I really want to make sure post-racing, they are looked after as well as they are during the breeding, sales and racing and training phases.

“There is a lot of people in the racing industry, who care for these horses every day like they are their own.

“It is about ensuring that the care continues post-racing, these horses make brilliant performance horses particularly in the sport of eventing.”

El-Campeador.jpgDreverman, who has been involved in racing in Tasmania, New South Wales and now Queensland, has worked with all types of horses over the journey.

She believes re-training former racehorses to compete in the equestrian and eventing world is much easier when they have had a long life at the track, compared to a horse who has had just a few official race starts.

“I find the ones that come off the track and are a little bit older, they are a bit calmer and more mature,” Dreverman said.

“Where, some of the horses that have had just one or two starts, they can be fight or flight response, as compared to the ones who have had lot of starts, they are not quite as stimulated.

“The more experienced horses are easier to retrain, but in saying that, each horse is an individual.”

El Campeador and I'm a Rippa come from premier Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan, with both winning eight races in their time at Eagle Farm with the experienced horseman.

While the duo is now under the guidance of Dreverman, the Gollan family have not cut ties with their old gallopers.

Tony’s wife Jane is still heavily involved in their equestrian endeavours, after earlier owning a share of El Campeador.

El Campeador joined Dreverman’s eventing team in 2020 and she says he is a treasure to have around her facility.

“He is like a big teddy bear,” Dreverman said.

“He has a lovely kind eye and is lovely to have in the stable, he has a lovely personality for a horse.

“He is well mannered and a gentleman, El Campeador means something like 'the master of the battlefield' – he has that presence about him.

“He is a horse that people will stop you and ask about, just on his looks.”

The son of Captain Sonador has shown diversity across several disciplines including success at Horse of the Year and Eventing, Dreverman says.

“He really cleaned up at Horse of the Year and had a very successful start to life in eventing,” she said.

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