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A trainer from York­shire chal­lenged her­self to take a horse fresh from the race­track and re­train him ready for West­ern rid­ing. Emma Chap­man, whose project is fundrais­ing for the In­jured Jockeys Fund and the Great North Air Am­bu­lance, re­cently took on four-year-old Mid­night Rob­bery, a horse who failed to make the grade in flat rac­ing. The in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of Racehorse to Rid­ing Horse classes was the in­spi­ra­tion for Emma’s chal­lenge. She no­ticed that no one seemed to be train­ing ex-race­horses in West­ern and found a gap in the mar­ket. Emma picked up Mid­night Rob­bery ear­lier this month and the pair have al­ready started their train­ing – the aim is to com­pete in a West­ern show by the end of 2017. “I grew up a stone’s throw from Mid­dle­ham and have al­ways been sur­rounded by race­horses, of­ten won­der­ing what be­came of the ones that didn’t make the grade,” says Emma. “The Amer­i­can Quar­ter­horse is known as the fastest horse over a quar­ter of a mile (hence the name) so I thought it was only right to give the English Thor­ough­bred a chance!”

Mid­night Rob­bery looks the part in his new West­ern sad­dle with owner, Emma

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