• 2017-10-17 • Teresa Gavin HARC press release
Photo: LB Farrah (by Sambist) and Teresa Gavin, winner HARC Cup + AHS Premium Race Horse, Huntingdon 24 Spet 2017. Photo Anne Brown
The Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC), now in it's 2nd year, has highlighted to the Arabian horse racing fraternity this season the ability of the pure Arabian race horse to hold its own, and on occasion come home the winner against the bigger & faster specialist horses. For example Kallista (Sambist – GAS Pepelka) winning at Chelmsford in the 0-50 handicap and Insignia (Istfahan - Waterlily) winning the 0-40 H'cap on finals day at Huntingdon.
HARC supports & promotes racing for those who wish to preserve the purebred Arabian of traditional type and ensure a diversity of bloodlines for the long term future of the sport. It also encourages breeders to return to the fold and seeks new owners to the sport, which is opening up racing to a widespread age group whilst offering a great family day out.
One special account of the growth of HARC is the story of owner, trainer & jockey Teresa Gavin and her super talented HARC mare LB Farrah - UK's HARC Champion winning partnership for the last two years.
Teresa tells us in her own words how it all came to be: "I started riding when I was 8 years old & had various horses throughout my teens. My introduction to Arabian Racing started much later in 2006 when I started riding daily for David Paton's yard in Hampshire. I progressed into Race-riding and rode my first winner for him at my fifth attempt in 2010 on "El buba". I rode my second winner "Flashcat" on my seventh attempt in a Novice Riders Series for a different Trainer and by then I was well and truly hooked!
The finals of that particular championship gave me my first introduction to a horse I would later come to own called "Tigerlily". I rode her Dam "Pennyblack" whilst she was in foal carrying Tigerlily. Some horses run exceptionally well in foal, it was a huge gamble, sadly she ran dreadfully. So much so her owner Sarah Saunders kindly offered me the foal at a greatly reduced price.
I met Tigerlily when she was just 2 weeks old & went back to Cumbria to collect her when she was weaned at 6 months. I now owned a foal and it was quite apparent she needed a companion which is how I came to own L.B Farrah.
I bought L.B Farrah (Sambist/ Simeon Safira) as a 2 year old some 6 years ago. She was in a specialist yard to put some manners on her as she was beyond awful to handle. Her ears constantly pinned back, she would bite & double barrel you as soon as look at you! They said I could ONLY view her in the field & she was off to the Middle East on a flight the very next morning if I didn't buy her! Thankfully (before I learnt all this) on my arrival I had already seen this magnificent looking big boned, steel grey filly gallop the entire length of a 20 acre plus field and at that very moment I had decided without a shadow of a doubt I'm going home with her!
She was beyond difficult & totally neurotic from day one. It was one step forward 3 steps back endlessly for months and months.
Teresa Gavin presented with HARC UK Champion trophy by Paul Simmonds from ARO
I very soon realised to have any success at training her to become a successful Racehorse I would need another one to train alongside her and Tigerlily was still way to small. Which led me along my path to purchase another HARC horse " L.A.Sammadar " (Sambist/ Phyllidia) he was nothing short of a dream to do by comparison with an endearing streak of naughtiness all about him.
The plan worked and then over time eventually all 3 horses started working really well at home.
L.B Farrah is currently UK HARC Champion mare and was also crowned UK HARC mare in 2016. She has now run 26 times in total. Winning five times, 4 in the U.K, once in Belgium and has been placed 14 times including a 2nd in the 2015 European HARC Finals Championship in Belgium.
Initially I found out about HARC when I discovered the 2015 European Finals. Nelly Philippot(HARC's Belgian representative)was the drive behind that and she helped me greatly. I took L.B Farrah and as I said she came an incredible 2nd.
We went back again in 2016 to compete in the Spring HARC race where Farrah won and my other horse L.A Sammadar came 3rd.
We have not long since moved to mid Wales, to the beautiful Brecon Beacons, so sadly are not in a position to compete in Belgium this Season as we do not have a proven and established team here as yet. With 26 animals between us it’s no easy feat sorting all the dynamics of long trips away.
I was so excited at the beginning of the UK Season. The Racing Calendar promising us 5 HARC races, as it turned out L.B Farrah was only eligible to run in just two of those. The first she won at Taunton at the beginning of the Season and the other race was held at Huntington, the last meet where we were fortunate enough to win again.
Regarding my new mare, I didn't actually choose my latest HARC mare "Cora" or Northash Cathy she chose me !
We received a call about a feisty Arabian mare impossible to catch even in a stable! A bay mare with plenty of attitude greeted us. Eventually caught, then my boyfriend offered to trot her up and I immediately thought WOW her presence and action is quite breath taking! I asked to see her Passport and realised she was HARC bred with Vatican Russian bloodlines* After some discussions about selling I finally managed to buy her with the HARC funds Farrah had won and went straight back home to get the trailer. It felt extremely satisfying to re invest HARC winnings into buying another HARC horse.
Cora is 5 and I have since backed her and although early days, she is proving to be an exceptionally bright and brave mare. I’m really taken with her attitude and the way she tackles things. I feel that will hold her in good stead for her future career.
5 year old Northash Cathy (aka Cora)
Personally I feel HARC have done an incredible job, particularly in the UK of raising awareness for the fundamental importance of keeping traditional Arabian bloodlines which in turn is really starting to give smaller yards many more opportunities on the Race Tracks. There is generally a real buzz in the air about all the UK HARC races and long may it continue".
From all of us at HARC, we wish Teresa and her 3 HARC horses much success for the future.
Look out for the next big story which will come from HARC's forthcoming European Championship on 30th October at Ghlin in Belgium together with a Nations Cup, offering a purse of 20,000 euros. So far 12 runners are entered with 3 Russian horses set to contest their speed against 3 runners from Sweden , 2 from Romania, the first runner to come from Iran in many years, 2 from Italy and 1 contender travelling from the UK.