Commencing his racing career in the famous Deauville stables of Jean Claude Rouget, before relocating to the astute operation of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace in Ballarat, Happy Pharrell has experienced an assortment of top-level training environments. However, it appears as though only now, has the striking chestnut found his ‘happy place’ at Willowbank Equestrian.
After an injury riddled career forced his early retirement, Happy Pharrell was rehomed to Willowbank Equestrian in April, a thoroughbred re-training property on the banks of Macclesfield, Victoria. The figure at the centre of this fantastic facility is Bianca Austin, a highly experienced horsewoman with a strong love for the animal.
Now known as ‘Charlie’, the 6-year-old has flourished in his new environment, appreciating the relaxed surroundings of Bianca’s property.
“He loves going on happy hacks around the farm, seeing and hearing all the sights and sounds.” Bianca said.
“He’s got a big beautiful canter and everyone loves him, he tries so hard to please.”
The son of Manduro has already shown glimpses of ability during the early stages of his re-training program.
“We’ve only done a small amount with Charlie so far as we gave him a few months off following his injury. Whilst he’s still very green, he’s showing so much promise in his dressage work and is a pleasure to do anything with.” Bianca explained.
As a member of OTI’s Equine Welfare Program, we are most excited to follow ‘Charlie’s’ journey, with a successful showjumping career hopefully on the cards!
In rehoming our much-loved thoroughbreds following retirement, the need for re-training programs such as Bianca’s becomes most apparent. Welfare bodies must ensure continued funding and expansion of these pathways, in order to provide an avenue for all owners to transition their thoroughbreds into a suitable role post-racing.