Life After Racing 


About Lee Purchase

Lee Purchase has spent the past 10 years working as part of Darren Weir’s team at Forest Lodge in Miners Rest near Ballarat. During this time the stable has grown from a 50 horse stable into the record breaking stable it is today.


She has spent her life involved in many Equestrian pursuits; along with this Lee has gathered a wide range of fellow equestrian friends and acquaintances. A few years after she started she used some of these contacts to rehome some Thoroughbreds who simply didn’t make the cut as racehorses, or had come to the end of their racing careers, and so it began.


“As a lot of horses are owned by syndicates, but not every horse is lucky enough to have owners who are in a position to take the horses once they have been retired. Some owners who have their own property, or people they have in mind, may have organised a home for the horse once they are retired.” Lee explained.

Darren set aside a 5 acre paddock on the Forest Lodge property where the newly retired horses go and continue to be cared for by the Weir staff until a suitable home can be found. Lee acknowledged “James Tzaferis and Cara Kavanagh from the Off the Track program at Racing Victoria have been a great help and very supportive. They have been very open to suggestions and are doing great work in promoting the new careers of Thoroughbred horses.”


“Not everyone who wants to get a horse will be able to manage an off the track Thoroughbred. These horses need re-educating as well as feeding, plus farrier and other costs. I always try and make sure the person who gets the horse will be able to look after the horse and give the horse the caring home they deserve.” Lee explained


Lee’s main roles at Darren Weirs include feeding and taking the horses to the races, this gives Lee personal time with the horses so she can get to know them. If Lee feels she does not know them well enough before rehoming them she will ask the track work riders and other stable hands more about the horses personality so she can gain the best understanding of what home the horse may require.


These horses have gone on to do many things, from One Day Eventing to Broodmares, weekend hacks to Show jumpers, some are just retired and growing old in a paddock with the love they deserve whilst others are out working on farm and there is even one that went on to do Riding for the Disabled (RDA).


Although Lee has re-homed so many horses through the years, she resisted the temptation to take on one of the retiring horses herself, instead she enjoys the breeding and showing of Shetland ponies as a hobby. That was until one horse in particular came into the stable “From the minute I met Police Gazette (known in the stables as Trouble) I loved him!” she exclaimed. Lee spent 4 years watching him come in and out of the stables, strapping him in most of his starts before finally he was retired and handed over to Lee where she has given him over 12months off before working him up to show as a Hunter Hack.


Thanks to the great re-homing efforts of Lee, every weekend there are countless ex-Darren Weir trained horses taking part in a variety of equestrian pursuit’s enjoying their ‘retirement’ in a new found career.


To contact Lee about purchasing a horse please call 0400 506 234



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