The first of our series of interviews with eventers competing with ex racehorses is with Callum Banfield from Callum Banfield Equestrian.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself, how long have you been riding? Have you always been interested in eventing?
I started riding in 2013 and started riding saviour in summer 2013. He is owned by debi Heckman, who has been incredibly supportive in the retraining of him. I first evented in summer 2016.
- Who is your ex racehorse? Tell us a bit about them.
Saviour is a 13 year old 16.3h thoroughbred, who has his bad days but also tries very hard when he’s asked. He loves XC and this is strongest phase out of the three.
- What level are you two currently competing at?
We have completed two 80s double clear and are stepping up to 90 at Tweseldown in a couple of weeks.
- What are your aims for the next couple of seasons?
We are hoping to be successful at 90 level, with the ambition to move up to 100 – possibly at the end of the season or maybe the beginning of next.
- Are you competing any other horses at the moment? If so, tell us a bit about them and what level you are competing.
I have the ride of a lovely showjumper owned by Katie Puxley. I originally took the ride on her when saviour had an injury and had to withdraw him from our first event (Chilham 80 last July) and so I was offered to take Jordan and came 8th! She is very honest and has so much scope so hopefully big things to come.
- Is there anything which stands out to you that makes an ex racehorse/ thoroughbred special for eventing?
I think it’s so important to find a new life and job for horses coming out of the racing industry instead of just writing them off. Eventing seems to suit them as most love the galloping on the XC.
- Is there anything which stands out as being particularly challenging when asking an ex racehorse to event?
I think in a way it is harder to produce an ex racehorse (for any discipline) rather than backing a new horse and instead of just starting from scratch, all they know how to do is gallop.
- Do you think more could be done to show how adaptable ex racehorses are?
I think the ROR series is a great way to show how capable they are – although I’m not registered.
Thank you Callum and good luck for the rest of the season! Keep your eyes peeled for our next Eventers interview!