Thank you Bart Trib­utes as Paul­ing’s sta­ble star re­tires

Gloucestershire Echo - - RACING - By MELISSA JONES

THE own­ers of Barters Hill have paid tribute to him after his re­tire­ment was an­nounced by Ben Paul­ing.

The trainer’s first Grade One win­ner was pulled up by David Bass in Satur­day’s Ladbrokes Hand­i­cap Hur­dle, so con­nec­tions have de­cided to call it a day.

In two runs since he slipped a ten­don off his hock on his chas­ing de­but at Chel­tenham, the eight-year-old has looked a shadow of his former self.

Spokesman for own­ers the Cir­cle Of Friends part­ner­ship, Randy Weeks, said there was al­ways a chance he would not re­turn to his best, but his ex­ploits live long in the mem­ory.

In his pomp, Barters Hill was one of the best novice hur­dlers in the coun­try and sev­eral im­pres­sive per­for­mances pro­pelled him to the top of the an­tepost list for the 2016 Al­bert Bartlett.

“He took us to places that we would never have dared dream of when we first saw him as gan­gly three year old,” said Weeks.

“Own­ing the horse that gave Ben a mas­sive kick-start on his way to a suc­cess­ful ca­reer was very spe­cial, as most of the syn­di­cate have known Ben since he was a lit­tle boy or are re­lated to him.

“We had so much fun un­til his in­jury at Chel­tenham that we knew we had to give him ev­ery chance of mak­ing it back onto the race­course com­peti- tively.

“Ben, his team and the vets who looked after him couldn’t have done more to make that hap­pen but in the end, it wasn’t to be.

“We’ve been over­whelmed by the flood of best wishes for Bart in his re­tire­ment; it has just proved what a very pop­u­lar horse he is.”

The se­ri­ous in­jury put Barters Hill on the side­lines for 456 days, fol­low­ing a fourth at the Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val and seven straight vic­to­ries prior to that.

The haul in­cluded the Grade Two bumper at Ain­tree’s Grand Na­tional meet­ing and the 2015 Chal­low Hur­dle at New­bury.

While still learn­ing his trade, he saw off Al­tior and Bu­veur D’air, two horses that now set the stan­dard in the very best two mile chases and hur­dles re­spec­tively.

After be­ing re­tired, many train­ers send their horses into al­ter­na­tive dis­ci­plines such as dres­sage or showjump­ing, but the Glouces­ter­shire star would not be able to do any of the former due to his old in­jury.

“I’m not go­ing to con­tinue to run him when he is not right,” Paul­ing said to Rac­ing UK after mak­ing his de­ci­sion.

“He has been a horse that won his first seven, won me my first Grade One, my first Listed race, Grade Two and re­ally put me on the map.

“There is noth­ing else he could have done for me. He had worked re­ally well at home, but to­day (Satur­day) it didn’t work and that is that.”

David Bass rid­ing Barters Hill clear the last to win The Bet­fred ‘Goals Ga­lore’ Chal­low Novices’ Hur­dle at New­bury on De­cem­ber 29, 2015

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