As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from

4-timer Cheltenham Competition runner-up Melon thriving in life after racing

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more

  • Four-time Cheltenham Festival runner-up Melon is relishing life after racing, settling into his new job “wonderfully”.

    The 10-year-old, trained by Willie Mullins, enjoyed multiple graded victories and was a consistent performer for owners Joe and Marie Donnelly in his racing career.

    He bowed out this summer at the same time as Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning stablemate Al Boum Photo, to join Sophie Candy and Joe Stevenson’s yard.

    “He is absolutely brilliant. He is the loveliest horse at home to do, which is a novelty for us as we are known for tricky horses,” Sophie told H&H, with a laugh.

    “He did his first team chase in the novice at the Belvoir, then stepped up to the intermediate at the Berkeley and won by about eight seconds, so he has taken to it very, very well.”

    Joe Stevenson and Melon.

    He joined the pair at the end of June and any plans for Melon’s life now will be led by him.

    “He settled in beautifully and he is the easiest horse we have ever had. He’s obviously had a very good foundation in life,” said Sophie, who rides him at home while Joe partners him as part of Team Rideaway in team chases.

    The Medicean son, bred by Newsells Park Stud, enjoyed six wins from his 33 starts under Rules, finishing in the frame on 12 other occasions.

    “It’s quite a lot for a horse to come out of a yard of the kind he is used to, to one where there are only six in,” Sophie added.

    “He has become fresher the more team chasing he has done, but on the gallops he is a total pro and knows exactly what he is doing. Ours always have a few days off after team chasing at the weekends, and the last few Wednesdays and Thursdays he’s put in a couple of squeals and bucks! He is definitely enjoying himself.

    “He’s a beautiful, big horse and I do maybe fancy having a go at some Retraining of Racehorses dressage and showing and parades with him, perhaps a bit of hunting because he is such a gentleman. We will see where he wants to take us.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits. 

    We will be happy to hear your thoughts

    Leave a reply

    Enable registration in settings - general
    Compare items
    • Total (0)
    Shopping cart