Location  New Zealand   [ clear ]

Horsezone News

Delago - From Racing Rogue to Eventing Star!

Published on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Feature Horses
Christine and Delago at the SIEC Weekend of World Cups 2010 after winning the six year old Young Event Horse class (Photo: Main Event Photography)

Here at Horsezone we're always interested in hearing about racehorses who go on to new and fabulous careers in other disciplines and one that has stood out in recent months is Christine Bates', Delago, who looks like being the new star of the eventing world.

In addition to winning the six year old Young Horse Event in 2010 and the CIC** in 2011 at the Sydney Weekend of World Cups, this talented horse recently won the Logan Floats CCI** at the 2011 Melbourne Three Day Event.  A thrilled Christine commented, “he was fabulous! He just gets better every time I ride him, the more I ask of him the easier he gets,” she laughed.  

“He slipped going into the rose garden and I thought he was going to fall over, but he had his eye on the next jump and I think the only reason he didn’t fall was that he made an extra effort because he was watching the jump.”

Christine said the ground felt heavy yet Delago cruised around the course, “I clicked to him at one point and he just went up another gear, he can really gallop!”

An impeccably bred Throughbred, by Encosta de Lago, Delago (who started life as Galago) was born in Newbrome Victoria in 2003.  Heartbreakingly, his mother died when he was only eight weeks old and he was orphaned. 

Being an Inglis Premier sales graduate, Galago was inspected by Inglis Director of Bloodstock, Johnothan Darcy, as a yearling who noted for the sale catalogue that Galago was 'a medium size leggy colt, with good head and eye, walks well.'  Bart Cummings was the under bidder at the sale to Gai Waterhouse with Galago selling for $300,000.

Learning from a young age to be smart, Galago worked out a way to leave the racing industry early by becoming a barrier rogue!

Christine and Delago on their way to winning the CIC**at the 2011 Sydney Weekend of World Cups (Photo: Main Event Photography)

He had one start in December 2005 for a third at Newcastle and was trialed until August 2008.  Then Galago's racing career ended due to the fact he would jump from the barriers, just not with the other horses, which is necessary for a racehorse!  At that time he was trained by Gai Waterhouse and part owned by Gai and Tony and Colleen de Saxe.

Christine was lucky enough to come across Galago through Don Conway an old client of hers. Don was friends with the de Saxes and mentioned to them that they should take the horse to Christine after their first choice Lauren Belcomb was injured. This was all decided through a game of golf - luck certainly plays a big part in the horse world!

So Galago was sent to Christine for three weeks education.  After the three weeks, in May 2009, Christine offered to buy Galago, seeing the potential in this smart Thoroughbred for a career other than racing. At the time, the de Saxes did not want to sell and said 'no' to Christine's offer, so it was back to the paddock in Camden for the handsome bay.

In February 2010 the de Saxe's came back to Christine and explained that Galago had not done anything since she had last worked with him, and asked if she would still be interested in buying him, Christine took this opportunity and picked him up a couple of days later.  Since then Galago, now known as Delago, has not looked back!

Delago has come along in leaps and bounds, going through the grades reaching 2* in 18 months. Now Christine is looking at bring him on to 3* this year and will be aiming Delago at the Lakes & Craters CCI*** 3DE in December. Following a break of three to four weeks, Christine plans for her new star to compete in a competition at the end of July. 

We're sure we'll be seeing plenty more of Christine and Delago and look forward to watching their progress!

Quick Link

Be the first to comment on this article
You must be logged in to place comments