Best Turned Out

Turn Out Award

Some of the greatest un-sung heroes you will see at the races are the Strapper’s and their horses don’t look immaculate by chance! To recognise their efforts Al Basti Equiworld Dubai will be sponsoring cash prizes for the groom of the ‘Best Turned Out’ horse in each race run at Riccarton Park and Trentham Racecourse.

The Award: 

Feature & Premier Days - $50 cash prize in every race

Tier 2 or Industry Days - $25 cash prize in every race


The Strapper will be handed their award in the Birdcage once the horse has been released to the track.


Here are some of the things we will be looking out for in the Birdcage….

1. Condition and Coat

Muscles should be seen to move easily over the horse’s frame and should be in definition. The coat should have a shine however, Greys and lighter coloured Chesnuts probably won’t carry such a sheen to their coat, this isn’t for want of trying and should be taken into account.

2. Mane

To win best turned out the horse does not have to be plaited. If a horse is plaited there should be an odd number of small neat plaits along the neck and a plait in the front too. If the mane is left un-plaited it should be short and lies to the right hand side of the horse. If a horse is tossing its head with a mane looking like an Arab, he will not be winning a Best Turned Out, no matter how pretty it may look to some.

3. Tail

If the horse has a plaited tail, the tail plait should be neat at the top and the rest of the loose tail should be well brushed. Whether the horse has a plaited tail or not there should be no tangles and certainly no wisps of bedding or hay in the tail.

4. Quarter Marks

Quarter marks are the various shapes that you may see on the horse’s hindquarters or sometimes on his shoulder too. These are usually achieved by a marker sheet being applied to the area and a damp brush wiped over against the natural lie of the horse’s hair. They are used to emphasise the horse’s engine (ie his massive muscles in the rear). Too many quarter marks can make the horse look like a patchwork quilt, but get them right and they look very glamorous.

5. Legs and Hooves

If a horse has white markings on his legs these should be as clean as possible. A very well turned out horse sometimes has these white marks brightened with white chalk. The foot should be well shod and oiled.

6. Horse clothing

The bridle should be clean and in good condition.

7. What is the Strapper wearing?

A well turned out horse is one thing but also the Strapper leading up should be tidy too. We don’t expect to see catwalk fashions leading up but the groom will hopefully have had time to brush over their boots or shoes and wearing their yard’s/sponsor’s colours is a nice touch. Appropriate closed shoes are a must.

8. Would I want to own that horse?

Being judged Best Turned Out is no guarantee that the Best Turned Out pick will win the race by a distance! However what you should be looking for is a general picture of a horse that you would be proud to own. Racing is not a beauty pageant but the time and effort put in by the whole team to get a racehorse looking in great condition at the races deserves some recognition.

If you have any questions on the Al Basti Equiworld Best Turned Out Awards please contact: [email protected]