Former Channon trainee set to star at Rio Olympics

Ready for Rio: Carlos Parro on ex-racehorse Summon Up Theblood

Former Channon trainee set to star at Olympics By Nicholas Godfrey 7:00PM 5 AUG 2016

HORSERACING may never become an Olympic sport – but at least one former racehorse will be taking part at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over the next two weeks.

Summon Up Theblood, who recorded a hat-trick for trainer Mick Channon in 2008, is representing the home team in Rio in the three-day event, where the 11-year-old – a graduate of the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) scheme – will be partnered by British-based Brazilian event rider Carlos Parro.

A miler when trained by Channon, the son of Red Ransom scored at Windsor, Thirsk and Ayr before being retrained.

Now owned by Louisa Benger, he started his eventing career in classes exclusively for former racehorses staged by the charity RoR before graduating to open competition under Parro, who has ridden him since 2011.

Earlier this year the combination qualified for Rio and warmed up for the Olympics at last month’s Barbury International Horse Trials, after which their inclusion in the Brazil team was confirmed.

‘Spot on for Rio’

“Summon Up Theblood had a great last run at Barbary which has put us spot on ahead of Rio,” said Parro, who has competed at Badminton and Burghley.

Parro, 37, also took part in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and was a reserve in London four years ago.

He added: “It is very exciting for me to be representing Brazil at a home games and it’s also an achievement for a former racehorse to be competing at this level, showing how versatile and talented they can be in other disciplines. We are very much looking forward to it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Di Arbuthnot, RoR chief executive, said: “It’s great news for Carlos that he and Summon Up Theblood have been selected for Rio. We wish them the very best of luck and their inclusion in the team is testament to a racehorse’s adaptability and shows what successful and fulfilling second careers horses can enjoy after racing.”

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