Grand National winner Neptune Collonges to appear at Oswestry Show
Grand National winning horse Neptune Collonges will be one of the star attractions at Oswestry Show next week, it has been revealed.
The winner of the 2012 Grand National will lead out the "Race Horse to Riding Horse" class for retired racehorses at this year's show on August 2 at Park Hall Showground.
The gelding, who also came close to glory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup during a decorated career, was retired moments after his Grand National triumph by his owner, Shropshire businessman John Hales and show organisers said they were delighted to be welcoming the horse to promote the new competition class.
Sue Clarke, the show's horse committee secretary, said: "Neptune Collonges, our famous Shropshire-based winner, will be leading this new class into the main ring to be judged. We are pleased to report that there are six entries in this class, and we hope that it will grow in popularity and add to the main ring attractions on show day.
"The class has been set up to promote the retraining of race horses so they can have a long and fulfilling career in other disciplines. The idea for this class came from the Retraining of Race Horses charity whose aims are to assist in the funding of care, retraining and rehoming of former racehorses and to promote their adaptability to other equestrian activities."
Neptune Collonges was born in April 2001 and throughout his racing career he won 14 races the most memorable being the Grand National win two years ago. The win was the closest finish in the history of the great race which he won by a nose beating Sunnyhillboy.
Immediately after the race Mr Hales announced that Neptune Collonges would be retired. Since then he has been retrained for dressage and currently competes for Mr Hales' daughter Lisa.
Mrs Clarke said: "Neptune Collonges makes several appearances for charities and we're extremely grateful to the Hales family for taking time out of their busy schedule to parade him at the show. All donations and appearance monies will be given to support the Alder Hey Children's Hospital."
Visitors will be able to see Neptune Collonges from 11am and he will make an appearance in the main ring at 3.40pm leading the parade of retired racehorses.