We are hiring! Please click here to join our growing magazine delivery team in Gloucestershire!

4. Leaflets Distributed with TLA

Why Robert Thornton will be cheering for Grandeur D’Ame at next week's Cheltenham Festival

All Areas > Sport > Horse Racing

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 7th March 2024, 10:30

Front and back of the Equishox shoe. Picture, Riley & Thomas Front and back of the Equishox shoe. Picture, Riley & Thomas

Robert Thornton will be jumping for joy if Grandeur D’Ame wins the two-and-a-half mile handicap chase on the penultimate day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

The eight-year-old has been entered in the TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase (4.10pm) by trainer Alan King, with whom former jockey Thornton enjoyed a great partnership back in the day.

They won multiple Grade 1 races together, including the Champion Hurdle and Queen Mother Champion Chase with Katchit and Voy Por Ustedes respectively at the showpiece Cheltenham meeting in March.

Thornton, who is now 45, rode more than 1,100 winners in a 20-year career stretching back to the mid-1990s, with 16 of those winners coming at the Cheltenham Festival.

And yet should Grandeur D’Ame triumph a week today, it will surely rank with some of the very best days of his riding career.

And the reason is quite simple because Grandeur D’Ame will have won wearing groundbreaking horseshoes that Thornton has played a key part in developing.

Called Equishox shoes, they are rubber-coated horseshoes with an aluminium insert which aim to provide optimal safety and comfort for racehorses.

“It’s all about the horse’s welfare,” said Thornton, who co-founded Equishox with farrier Aron Tyler.

“They reduce concussion, they reduce vibration going up through the limb and reduce striking in injuries.”

They’ve also been in a number of winners' enclosures too, with Thornton delighted to say that of the first 28 runners wearing Equishox shoes this season, 12 were winners and 23 were placed.

Thornton, who works at Apple Tree Stud just outside Stow-on-the-Wold, and Tyler get on well and Equishox is a tightly run business because the chairman is Paul Dunkley, who owns Apple Tree Stud.

“We all love horses and what we’re trying to do with these shoes is make their lives just that bit better,” added Thornton.

“We want to protect our sport for the next 100 years and by improving the welfare of the horses we’re doing that.”

Thornton is very passionate about Equishox and the impact the shoe could have.

“It’s not just in the UK, it’s all over the world,” he said. “Yes, it’s a business, it has to pay, but we believe in what we’re doing.

“It’s very exciting, somebody said to me that this could be my biggest legacy to the sport.” 

Other Images

Former jockey Robert Thornton is a co-founder of Equishox. Picture, Riley & Thomas
The Equishox shoe has been designed to improve the welfare of horses. Picture, Riley & Thomas

Copyright © 2024 The Local Answer Limited.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Local Answer Limited and thelocalanswer.co.uk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

More articles you may be interested in...

The Local Answer. Advertise to more people in Gloucestershire
The Local Answer. More magazines through Gloucestershire doors

© 2024 The Local Answer Limited - Registered in England and Wales - Company No. 06929408
Unit H, Churchill Industrial Estate, Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 7EG - VAT Registration No. 975613000

Privacy Policy