Defender Burghley Horse Trials

5 - 8 September 2024

Barbers Shop 3

SEIB Racehorse To Riding Horse

Former Racehorse Barbers Shop Is A Great Example Of How To Make The Transition From Racecourse To Show Ring

Success on the racetrack notwithstanding, the final day of Defender Burghley has for the last few years offered Ex-Racehorses turned Show Horses the chance to shine in the Main Ring in the SEIB Burghley Racehorse to Riding Horse at the final qualifier for Horse of the Year Show.

A horse that has made much of this opportunity is none other than HM The Queen’s talented ex-chaser, Barbers Shop. By Saddler’s Hall, the elegant bay gelding was the last horse bred by HM The Queen Mother. Gifted to HM The Queen, after her Mother passed away, Barbers Shop’s ability on the racecourse resulted in a run in the 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Barbers Shop was foaled on the Sandringham Estate, by Sir Michael Oswald in 2002. He spent his early years in Norfolk before going on to the mighty Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows training yard to be broken in and start his racing career. He won his first start as a three-year-old under Mick Fitzgerald in a bumper at Wincanton. In the 2006/7 National Hunt season Barbers Shop went on to enjoy an exceptionally successful novice hurdling season. His first steeplechase outing showed huge promise when he was beaten just a neck by Big Buck’s. Barbers Shop went on to win five out of his seventeen runs over fences. Toward the end of his career, Barbers Shop gave the then up and coming amateur rider, Nico de Boinville his first ever National Hunt winner.

At the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Royal Windsor in 2012, Barbers Shop was one of HM The Queen’s horses present. Following the pageant, HM The Queen decided to retire Barbers Shop from the racecourse to the showring. In November 2012, Barbers Shop arrived at top showing rider, Katie Jerram’s yard in Great Dunmow, Essex. After a short winter spell at Windsor with HM The Queen’s stud groom Terry Pendry, Barber, as he is affectionately known, returned to the Jerram’s to begin his showing career in earnest.

Under Katie Jerram, Barbers Shop has won numerous showing titles including Retraining of Racehorses, the Tattersalls Hickstead Supreme Championship and the accolade of Supreme Horse at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. In 2016, following taking the runner-up spot in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Burghley qualifier, Barbers Shop landed the title of reserve champion SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse at Horse of the Year Show. “With all that Barbers Shop won in the show ring, Horse of the Year Show was never lucky for us,” said Katie, “we went back to HOYS the following year, but for some inexplicable reason Barber was off colour that day and so didn’t go into the ring – he was absolutely fine the day after.”

Barbers Shop has given Katie some wonderful memories, Katie continued: “the chance to compete in the Main Ring at Burghley – and on a horse so impeccably behaved – was an opportunity I never thought would be there. Of all the things to do, the racehorse class at Burghley is the most fantastic day out and the buzz of the Main Burghley Arena is just fantastic.”

Barbers Shop retired from the show ring at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2018 when he also took the Supreme Horse title at the show. He was gifted to Katie on his retirement “Barbers Shop owes everyone nothing. He has been an important person all his life - he loves the attention and is used to it. From his early days and when he began racing, Barber was beautifully looked after and had a purpose to each day. It is easy to forget how much the horses give you and we are delighted that Barber looks a million dollars and very much enjoys being ridden daily. I refer back to HM The Queen for his every outing – Barber has had some great expeditions in retirement including a spin around the SEIB Burghley Sponsored Ride last year – which I couldn’t recommend more! Barber and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves looking at all the huge fences and taking in the magnificent parkland, we have the date for 2021 in the diary! Barber has even recently taken part in some Thoroughbred DNA research for the Animal Health Trust – long may his zest for life continue!”

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