Meanwhile in … New Jersey: former racemare lands fancy-dress dressage with eight-year-old rider

Horse Racing Back To Front dressage
Fancy dress: former racehorse Back To Front and eight-year-old Rylie Beauchamp. Photo supplied by Gulfstream Park

Adopted mare Back To Front becomes a winner 14 years later

USA: Fourteen years after her racing career ended without a victory, rescued mare Back To Front officially became a winner – in fancy-dress dressage, ridden by an eight-year-old.

Competing in her first show since DNA testing reunited her with previous owner Michelle Macatee earlier this year, and ridden by Macatee’s granddaughter Rylie Beauchamp, Back To Front won first place in the Lead Line Walk class during the Skip Ahead Dressage Schooling Show on October 18 in Marlton, New Jersey.

As part of the Halloween-themed show, Rylie dressed as a princess while 17-year-old Back to Front – lovingly called ‘Bebe’ by Macatee and her granddaughter – was fitted with a unicorn’s horn and rainbow stirrups.

Feeding time: Rylie Beauchamp and former racehorse Back To Front. Photo supplied by Gulfstream Park

“She learned how to salute the judge 10 minutes before her class,” Macatee said of her granddaughter. “The judge told her she needed to make her walk a little faster next time. After [the show], she showed Bebe her ribbon and gave her a big kiss.”

Back To Front’s story at the Gulfstream Park website

Back To Front managed a pair of second places at Timonium and Charles Town in five races on the track in 2006.

Earlier this year, the mare was relocated from the Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care facility in Indiantown, Florida, to Westhampton Farm in Bergen County, New Jersey, after Macatee discovered her on the Florida TRAC website.

Macatee had previously adopted Back To Front but life circumstances forced her to give her up in 2011. After years of searching, the pair were reunited in June.

“She was just meant to be back with me,” said Macatee. “I got her back. She’ll be spoiled rotten.”

• Visit the Gulfstream Park website

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