Rags to riches story for the abandoned life of Reilly horse, a converted Racecourse Manager

  • Rags to riches story for the abandoned life of Reilly horse, a converted Racecourse Manager
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    Six years ago, sue Phelan, Manager of the Waterford and Tramore Racecourse, I received a call that there was an abandoned pony in bad shape on one of the fields belonging to the circuit.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/rural-life/rags-to-riches-story-for-abandoned-life-of-reilly-horse-transformed-by-racecourse-manager-37168650.html
    https://www.independent.ie/incoming/article37191625.ece/b4018/AUTOCROP/h342/The%20Life%20of%20Reilly%20and%20Sue%20Phelan.jpg

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Six years ago, sue Phelan, Manager of the Waterford and Tramore Racecourse, I received a call that there was an abandoned pony in bad shape on one of the fields belonging to the circuit.

She was skeptical, but decided to investigate, and, of course, she came across pony, which she later called the life of Reilly, or Reilly for short.

“He was eaten by worms and covered with sores. He was there for some time and was in very poor condition,” says sue.

“I contacted the owners and eventually bought the pony for €26. I called him the life of Reilly, because I promised I would give him.”

Sue brought Riley to her home in Dungarvan, where she keeps the other horses and it chipped, spayed, vaccinated and got him a passport. While his style has improved in recent years, it took a while to tame it.

“It was very hard work at the start and very wild, and wary of men and hated when people wore reflective jackets. Soon he became better and followed the example of other horses,” she explains.

Sue adds that Reilly was his stay at the centre Shanakill riding in Kilmacthomas, where the interaction with the kids made him a “world of good”, but he can still have the weekend.

“I brought it in Clonmel show last year because I wanted to enter it in a rescue pony class competition there, but he acted in one place, and I knew he was upset pony so I took him home,” laughs sue.

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From rags to riches Reilly the story take a different turn when he makes his debut as the mascot of the racetrack in Waterford and Tramore family fun day, Sunday, August 19.

Sue hopes that the demonstrations Reilly families will help to raise awareness about the problem of abandoned ponies across the country.

“I always had it in my mind that we wanted to make Raleigh our mascot. I want to highlight to people that if they see an abandoned pony that it is not, and encourage them to contact the Irish horse charity Foundation,” she says.

Originally from Dublin to Dublin, sue took the unusual decision (for city dwellers) to study agricultural science in ucd and now feels that she can never return to the fast paced life of the city. “I wanted veterinary but not got the points, so what I did instead of AG. I went in not knowing anything, but he loved it and got a job with Waterford foods in the 90s and has been here ever since,” she says.

For more information visit the life of Reilly Facebook page.

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