Meet Te Deum, an ex racehorse that is still winning in life!
Te Deum, aka Teddy, is a 16 year old chestnut gelding by Lord Ted out of Plaudit. Te Deum had 16 starts, won 4 races and placed 4 times at both provincial and city meetings. Most commonly ridden by Hugh Bowman (jockey to Winx) Te Deum won over $60,500 in prize money and was trained by the late Guy Walter at Warwick Farm, Sydney.
In 2007 Te Deum’s racing career came to a halt as it was discovered he was a bleeder. Despite trying to fix this, Guy Walter made the decision that it would be kinder to end Te Deum’s racing career and look to re-home him.
Being a stable favourite due to his kind, calm nature, Walter knew it wouldn’t be long before someone snapped Te Deum up. Word of his retirement travelled fast and within 24 hours Sandra Hudson, mother to Maddie Hudson, had agreed to take Te Deum and re train him as a pony club pony for her daughter then aged 9.
It was then that Te Deum discovered a new life. Him and Maddie became inseparable and were soon competing at local shows in Sydney, mostly show jumping.
Te Deum and Maddie did everything together. Teddy took me everywhere, we did c grade show jumping and although he was a tad lazy he always got me around the course safe and sound. Despite being an off the track thoroughbred Teddy looked after me so much, we always won pairs in hacking because he just loved every single other horse he met! We did intro eventing at pony club for a couple of years, it was so much fun, he was an absolute gun at cross country- always nailing the water jumps. He never thought twice about going over or through anything, he was the safest and kindest horse I’ve ever come across and I appreciate how much he taught me and looked after me. says Maddie.
Te Deum’s favourite discipline was cross country and he enjoyed regular trips to the beach.
He didn’t enjoy dressage too much because I wasn’t the best at it explains Maddie.
Te Deum, now 16 years old, enjoys a quieter life out in the paddock with his friends. Occasionally, he re visits the track to pony (lead) the young racehorses that are just beginning their careers or to be ridden by young riders that are still learning to ride track work.
Te Deum is living proof that off the track thoroughbreds really can make the best eventers, companions, teachers and ultimately, the most loving friend you could ever ask for.
WORDS: KIERSTEN DUKE PHOTOS COURTESY OF SANDRA & MADDIE HUDSON