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Kauto Star thriving in new dressage career

Theresa McCaffrey

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Kauto Star was a hero of the race track, breaking records in the steeplechase discipline.

However, like with all champion horses there comes a time when it is no longer able to reach the standards it set itself on the track. Since retiring from racing in 2012, Kauto Star has been reborn as a dressage horse. It is a much more relaxed environment compared to hurdling fences at 30mph but for owner Clive Smith and rider Laura Collett the former champion is performing superbly.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Smith believes that the five-time King George VI Chase and two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner could be ready to compete in its first dressage event. The owner has targeted spring 2014 to unleash the horse onto the dressage stage and has high hopes for its chances.

Mr Smith told the news provider: "Kauto Star is doing well, he's enjoying it. I think he's really having a good time - he's very well looked after and is active every day. There's not one ounce of doubt about what I've done [retiring the horse for dressage]."

The owner explains that he has received a lot of support for his decision and he is now looking forward to seeing Kauto Star performing in numerous competitions. However, he conceded that it is not yet ready to be classed as an Olympic dressage horse as it has given the rest of the field a "ten-year head start".

Great Britain has a rich history in dressage and dominated the 2012 London Olympic Games with a series of wins at Greenwich Park. Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Bechtolsheimer claimed the gold and bronze medal respectively in the individual event while the pair along with Carl Hester beat the likes of Germany and the Netherlands to win the gold medal in the team event.