By Abby Delucyk

As someone passionate about giving horses a life of luxury after racing, Emma Cox took on 8yo Teddy through mutual friends of the family in the middle of COVID lockdowns. Little did she know that this horse would be crowned a winner in the 2023 Sydney Royal Easter Show and become her new best friend.

Regal Edition, now known as Teddy, is an 8yo Reliable Man X Cross Rate gelding who raced as Greenspan. Bred by Bradbury Park in New Zealand, he was brought to Australia as a two-year-old for the Proven Thoroughbreds syndication. He was introduced to racing at the iconic Royal Randwick by trainer John Thompson before being transferred to Goulburn under John Bateman and finally to Kembla Grange under the guidance of Kerry Parker.

Retired from racing only 18 months ago, Teddy has since pursued a career in showing and won the Inaugural Up & Coming Led Thoroughbred class for horses who have retired from racing within the last two years at the 2023 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

As winners, Emma said, “We did not expect it in the lead up to the show, long-term competitor, master horseman and our trainer at home, Stephen Gladstone, was leading Teddy, so I knew I did not have to worry about anything. My job that day was to prep the horse to look the part, Steve did the rest!”

Based in Centennial Park, the original showgrounds for Sydney Royal, Emma spends many hours a day ensuring that Teddy is as healthy and prepared as possible for each show, particularly the royals. “Preparation really begins twelve months before. The training, feeding, short spells and management of their day-to-day care is endless, but the feeling of riding at Sydney makes it all worth it.”

Teddy’s success did not end in the led classes. Emma rode him herself to finish 5th in the Novice Hack 15.2-16hh and 8th in the Lady’s Hack, an achievement for any horse, but particularly one so new to showing. “We went with the aim of being called in off the ring for a workout, so to leave placing amongst some beautiful and seasoned horses from across Australia was an amazing feeling.”

Teddy, named in tribute to Emma’s previous thoroughbred ‘Bear’, had stolen her heart after she accidentally stumbled upon him. “I spent ten months during COVID looking for a special horse to take on and show. We seemed to be having no luck when Bill Mitchell phoned and said he had a horse that had raced that day who may be suited for life as a show horse.”

Emma did not see any photos of him but drove to Kembla Grange the next day and picked him up. “The connection of my parents’ golfing friends, Peter and Meg Robinson, who owned some racehorses themselves, found him. When he arrived, he was fluffy and a little rough around the edges, but he settled in instantly, which was fantastic. I just had to cross my fingers and hope a special little horse was hiding underneath,” Emma said.

“Teddy loves to work. The harder it is or, the more interesting the trick, the more he gets into it. We do a lot of dressage and cross-training at home, and often our warmup at a show consists of the same. When the atmosphere at a show is unsettling for him, I will always go back to moving him off my leg, controlling the shoulder, and regaining his focus, something Steve has taught me for many years,” Emma said.

As Teddy has only been retired from the track for 18 months, he has a lot of potential and capacity to grow in the sport. “The plan is to continue to show Teddy as he is just such a pleasure. He makes it so easy, which is not always the case. Our next competition will be the Pacific Coast Hack Championships before a well-deserved spell to spend some time with our next horse.” Emma said.

We wish this duo good luck in all future competitions.

Emma and Teddy are proudly sponsored by Mickie Magan – Equine Herbalist and Body Worker

Photo Credit: Allira Fontana Photography

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