Skip to main content

Teaching an Old Man Emu new tricks

Old Man Emu. He had a name fit for a cult figure, had his racing ability matched. A 21 start maiden, “Louis” as he’s affectionately known, didn’t capture the imagination of the racing public through his on course performances, but he has captured the heart of Emma Sheargold.

Emma, a Clerk of the Course, got to know Old Man Emu well when riding him often during trackwork while he was still in training with Sutton-based Neil Osborne.

“I mentioned to Neil that he’d make a good Clerk of the Course.” Emma said. “I asked if I could have him when he retired.”

“After he finished racing, he had a nice long spell out with the Osbornes at Mane Lodge before I came and picked him up to begin his post-racing career.”

Louis made his Clerking debut on Friday, 21 October 2022 and has thrived in the role. Emma said “I’m really happy with how he has adjusted to his life after racing, he’s learning really fast and improving all the time.”

“We did quite a few months of work at home so Louis could learn his new craft before going to the races. I can’t wait to see how he progresses over the next six months.”

If Louis is not at the races, he spending plenty of time enjoying a big paddock with his best friend.

“Louis spends most of his time in a grassy paddock with my other Clerk pony, ‘Benny’.” Emma said.

“They’re best friends. They live together, eat together and work together.”

While Louis and Benny might be best friends, Emma’s relationship with Louis has blossomed since joining her care back in March 2022.

“I have a pretty special relationship with Louis.” Emma said. “I think we all get quite attached to the horses we’re working with on a daily basis so it was fantastic to get to take him home with me when he retired.”

“He’s such a kind hearted horse and I’ve got so much enjoyment out of him.”