Monkerhostin: A friend in need and now a part of the family
Here, Sergeant Major George Beilby reflects on the joy Monkerhostin has brought to him and his family...
Stood in a field grazing, one thoroughbred looks much the same as another. But under saddle we get an insight into a racehorses’ mind and experience the depth of their personality.
This could hardly be more true than with Monkerhostin. This former top-class chaser came to us in February 2011, having retired a few months before. During his racing career he was renowned for his refusal to give in. At Sandown in 2010, aged 13 and after a break of almost 400 days due to injury, he ran the Masters Handicap Chase and won by the narrowest of margins.
Known throughout racing circles as “Monkey”, he arrived in our lives at a critical point. His appearance seemed to herald a change of luck in everything we did with horses and in many ways our lives as well. I rode him the day after he arrived: it was a revelation and I immediately identified something in him that I could relate to.
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A huge personality, quirky and eccentric, his habits might have been a source of annoyance to some, but coupled with his zest for life, they have only served to endear him more to us.
Perhaps it’s his evergreen enthusiasm, or his honesty, the fact that he always seems to trust us, always wants to be involved in anything that is going on, drools when his dinner is coming, loves to be brushed and fussed, is kind to our children or may be it’s all of these things.
For us he is a horse of a life time. To be a part of his life in any way is a privilege. He epitomises all that is good in a horse, he has given us a hundred times more than we could ever give back to him.