DARREN Weir’s stable might be well known for its success on the track, but Lee Purchase is creating a legacy of her own by re-homing the Ballarat trainer's retirees after their glory days are over.
Purchase, whose official duties for Weir include feeding his steeds and helping transport them on race days, has taken it upon herself to find new homes for the ones that are no longer able to handle the cut and thrust of competitive racing.
Over the past seven years she has helped stable hundreds of perfectly healthy horses who may not have been suitable breeding candidates.
“You have to know the types of horses and what people are looking for – they go to a variety of different causes,” Purchase said.
“You can do just about anything with thoroughbred horses – I’ve sold them for show jumping, polo cross, trial riding and dressage, among a whole heap of other disciplines.
“We have horses from all ages; some might be young and just too small, some might be at a breaking in age and others range from the six to nine years old category.”
A few of the most prominent horses that Purchase has found new homes for include Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) winner Keep Control and Swan Hill Cup (1600m) hero Can Do, both of which are in the early stages of careers in the show ring.
They join others such as Rancho Ruler gelding Going To Puka and Stroke of Luck, who have made names for themselves after their racing careers.
Purchase has even sold Weir’s retirees for silver screen purposes, once selling four thoroughbreds to the producers of popular Australian racing film The Cup.