Born in England, Great Glen – the son of High Chaparral out of Grand Opening – originally raced in his country of berth, winning a maiden at Lingfield Park before being sent to Australia as a promising stayer in late 2016.
Once arriving in NSW, he raced for Chris Waller, and following a win over 2100m at Hawkesbury, he was touted as a Sydney Cup hopeful and one to watch during the Melbourne Spring carnival.
After failing to live up to those lofty expectations, Great Glen was shipped north, where he won on the Gold Coast before he spent a stint down south with Henry Dwyer, where he won at Swan Hill.
As a wily old veteran, Great Glen ended up in the care of Canberra trainer Todd Smart, and far from the limelight of the Sydney and Melbourne racing scene, he made his mark in the Southern Districts and South East.
The older stager won a Cooma Cup in 2019 and Tumut Cup in 2020 and even finished second in the Tom Patton Cup at Wagga and a game third in the Listed $200,000 Albury Gold Cup that same year.
As it turns out for all warriors of the track, Great Glen’s time as a racehorse ended. While he might not have reached the heavenly heights of a Sydney Cup, he still amassed a record of 51 starts for six wins, 12 placings, and two cup victories on his way to earning over $260,000 in prizemoney.
Two-and-a-half years following his retirement, the 11-year-old has found a home with Jacky Perrott-Jones and the Tuggeranong Adult Riding Club.
Spotted by Jacky’s daughter Natasha Doherty, who worked as a trackwork rider for Smart, Great Glen has since made his home with the Perrott-Jones team.
“When I first got him, Tash was going to sell Glen on, but he has an ugly knee, and he is a shocking wind sucker, and he’s just not that bright,” Perrott-Jones laughed.
“He didn’t seem to stand still, and he didn’t have a lot of focus, but nowadays he is pretty placid, and he comes in and hangs out in the house paddock every day, and he has a lovely nature.”
Great Glen is a Perrott-Jones team member that includes seven thoroughbreds (Bliss, Stanley, Beauty, Specks, Harry, Frankie and Glen), two brumbies, and an old stock horse.
“The thoroughbred is my favourite,” Perrott-Jones said.
“Once they have retired after racing, we love to get them in; we just do nothing with them.”
Perrott-Jones explained that the secret to getting her ex-racehorses ready for life after racing came back to time and patience.
“I like to take my time because you end up with great horses,” she said.
“A lot of the time, when they come off the track, they can be pretty fiery and get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t.
“Thoroughbreds are great horses, and they get so much exposure when they are younger, and they aren’t scared of things.
“Sometimes they have a bit of heat in them, but I spend a lot of time doing nothing with them when I get on, which helps make the horse quiet, and I seem to turn the most psychotic hot-head into something quiet, and I think it all comes back to time.”
Great Glen, along with his stablemates, takes part in Tuggeranong Adult Riding Club events, among other events in the nation’s capital, and in particular, TWODE (Total Wimps One Day Event), which caters for ‘newbies’ looking to get a taste for cross country at the absolute beginners level.
“We run several low-level events throughout the year, and a popular one is our TWODE event, which starts from ground polls, and only goes up to 60cm,” Perrott-Jones said.
“At the Canberra horse trials, most of their events start at 60cm and 80cm, and there is nowhere else you can ride a low-level cross country, so it’s a good event for those who want to get into the sport.”
“TWODE last year was really popular, and we can only take about 100 riders, and it books out in an hour, but it’s always a really fun event.”
Great Glen even teamed up with current jockey Aaron Sweeney at TWODE, with the veteran one of the two clerk’s horses on the day.
Great Glen ended up in Canberra because Perrott-Jones and her Tuggeranong Adult Riding Club host monthly events, attracting local riders and horses from different backgrounds.
“I help run a lot of adult riding club events and club days, and I’ve always been heavily involved in showjumping and horse trials,” Perrott-Jones said.
“We have monthly club days, and people can just come along for the day.
“We hold three lessons, with three different instructors, and we have a morning tea and lunch, and our club puts a lot back into the community, meaning it is cheap at only $50 for a member.”
As far as Great Glen, and his team of ex-thoroughbreds, it appears they all have a home for life with Perrott-Jones, who admitted that she would find it hard to hand any of them over to new homes.
“He will probably stay with me forever,” Perrott-Jones laughed.
“When they come here, they typically stay until they die of old age because I don’t like to part with a horse.
“He doesn’t have a great worth ethic and won’t be some top-level horse, but he’ll always have a home here.”
Readers are encouraged to check out the Tuggeranong Adult Riding Club, and below is a list of upcoming events for those interested in getting involved.
Tuggeranong Adult Riding Club TARC calendar 2023
April 16, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Margaret Forster, Lauren Woodbridge and Andy Daines
May 13, 2023 – Casual Combined Training Positivity Competition at KPC
May 21, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Nadia Waugh, Erin Harriott and Lauren Woodbridge
June 18, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Nadia Waugh, Lauren Woodbridge and Erin Harriott
July 16, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Kristle- Lee Cross, Michelle O’Neill and Nadia Waugh
July 30, 2023 – Casual Dressage and Show Jumping Day at Equestrian Park
August 20, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Michelle O’Neill, Ben Netterfield and Kate Yonge
September 10, 2023 – TARC Open Spring Gymkhana at Equestrian Park
September 17, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Margaret Forster, Lauren Woodbridge and Ben Netterfield
October 15, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Margaret Forster, Lauren Woodbridge and Andy Daines
November 5, 2023 – TWODE (Total Wimps One Day Event) at Equestrian Park
November 19, 2023 – Club Day at KPC with Margaret Forster, Erin Harriott and Lauren Woodbridge
November 26, 2023 – STARCC hosted by BRC at Bungendore Show Grounds
December 17, 2023 – Christmas Mini-Gymkhana at KPC