Everyone deserves a second career, and none more so than a thoroughbred that lands in the capable hands of Queensland Off-The-Track Acknowledged Retrainer Kate Dreverman.
Even retired racehorses with quirks or annoying issues can be trained, said Kate who has had several success stories over the years.
An International 4 Star, Three Day Event rider based in Queensland, Kate is highly skilled in the saddle and a frequent competitor on the local and interstate elite Eventing circuit.
Two of the more noteworthy achievements of thoroughbreds under her retraining have been former gallopers Papa’s Dream and Global Victory.
Both thoroughbreds have made their mark in new post-race careers in Eventing.
Global Victory is the son of Bernardini (USA), the sire of multiple Group 1 champion Boban, whose victories include the Epsom Handicap, Emirate Stakes and Doomben 10,000, and Go Indy Go which won the Group 1 Champagne Stakes in 2011.
Unfortunately, Global Victory’s racing career was inglorious and short-lived.
He had two starts and finished 26 lengths and 25 lengths last at Queanbeyan and Kembla Grange, respectively, before retiring.
After several years with Kate and winning an International 4 Star title before he was sold in 2018, as a nine-year-old, to subsequent2020 Tokyo Olympic silver medal equestrian Kevin McNab.
Global Victory now competes in Europe and his achievements in show jumping belie his time as an underwhelming racehorse.
In August last year, he was third place in a 4 Star event at Millstreet in Ireland with Kevin in the saddle.
“Global Victory also won at 4 Star level here and the Aquis Triequithon for retired thoroughbreds,” she said.
“He was sold to Kevin and now events in Europe.”
Papa’s Dream was the son of Night Shift (USA), who was also the sire of 1999 Group 1 Golden Slipper runner-up and Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes winner Align.
From 24 starts, Papa’s Dream won three races, all at Gold Coast Turf Club, before he was retired in 2004.
It would be another two years before the gelding would be gifted to Kate and together, they competed at 4 Star level Eventing until 2015.
“I have had a few big successes with off the track horses,” Kate said.
“Papa’s Dream went all the way to 4 Star Eventing and competed at major three-day events around Australia.
“He passed away last year, but it’s a good story about a paddock thoroughbred horse going all the way to elite level.”
Competing with retired thoroughbreds since her teens, Kate has ridden at State and National levels for the past two decades and has enjoyed success at Australia’s major eventing competitions nationwide.
If there is an aspect of working with former gallopers that she enjoys the most, it is the ease with which thoroughbreds can be retrained, Kate explains.
“Thoroughbreds are quick learners, mostly athletic and normally very easy to gel with,” Kate says.
“I have ridden thoroughbreds since I was 13, with retraining commencing in my early twenties, which was after my career as a trackwork rider.
“The most rewarding component of retraining is watching the bond develop with the new combination.
“I always get a little kick out of sitting on one that shows a bit of extra talent.”
The art of retraining comes down to a few basic principles, besides patience, including high-grade feed and an experienced retrainer, she said.
“You have to balance work and feed and a basic principle to ensure you have a horse you can work with, and that’s lots of quality hay then top up with a balanced hard feed.
“I look for soundness, trainability and temperament first, then anything else is a bonus.”