HARC in Profile Features Teresa Gavin

L.B Farrah is currently UK HARC Champion mare

17 October 2017, UK ~ The Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC), now in it’s second year, has highlighted to the Arabian horse racing fraternity the ability of the pure Arabian racehorse to hold its own, and on occasion come home the winner against the bigger or faster specialist horses. For example Kallista (Sambist x GAS Pepelka) winning at Chelmsford in the 0-50 handicap and Insignia (Istfahan x Waterlily) winning the 0-40 handicap on finals day at Huntingdon.

One special account of the growth of HARC is the story of owner, trainer and jockey, Teresa Gavin and her talented HARC mare, LB FarrahUK’s HARC Champion winning partnership for the last two years.

LB Farrah winning at Huntingdon 2017

LB Farrah winning at Huntingdon 2017 photo: by Anne Brown

Teresa tells in her own words how it all came to be: “I started riding when I was 8 years old and had various horses throughout my teens. My introduction to Arabian Racing started much later in 2006 when I started riding daily for David Paton’s yard in Hampshire.

I progressed into race-riding and rode my first winner for him at my fifth attempt in 2010 on El Buba. I rode my second winner, Flashcat, on my seventh attempt in a Novice Riders Series for a different Trainer and by then I was well and truly hooked!

The finals of that particular championship gave me my first introduction to a horse I would later come to own called Tigerlily. I rode her dam Pennyblack whilst she was in foal carrying Tigerlily. Some horses run exceptionally well in foal; it was a huge gamble and sadly she ran dreadfully, so badly that her owner Sarah Saunders kindly offered me the foal at a greatly reduced price.

I met Tigerlily when she was just 2 weeks old and went back to Cumbria to collect her when she was weaned at 6 months. I now owned a foal and it was quite apparent she needed a companion, which is how I came to own L.B Farrah.

I bought L.B Farrah (Sambist x Simeon Safira) as a 2-year-old some six years ago. I had already seen this magnificent looking big-boned, steel grey filly gallop the entire length of a 20 acre plus field, and at that very moment I had decided without a shadow of a doubt I’m going home with her.

Very soon I realised  that to have any success at training Farrah to become a successful race horse I would need another one to train alongside her, and Tigerlily was still way to small. This led me along my path to purchase another HARC horse,L.A.Sammadar (Sambist x Phyllidia). He was nothing short of a dream with an endearing streak of naughtiness all about him. The plan worked and then over time eventually all three horses started working really well at home.”

L.B Farrah is currently UK HARC Champion mare and was also crowned UK HARC mare in 2016. She has now run 26 times in total. Winning five times, four in the U.K, once in Belgium and has been placed 14 times including a 2nd in the 2015 European HARC Finals Championship in Belgium.

Gavin continues: “Initially I found out about HARC when I discovered the 2015 European Finals. Nelly Philippot (HARC’s Belgian representative) was the drive behind that and she helped me greatly. I took L.B Farrah and as I said she came an incredible second.

We went back again in 2016 to compete in the Spring HARC race where Farrah won and my other horse L.A Sammadar came third.

We have not long since moved to mid-Wales, to the beautiful Brecon Beacons, so sadly are not in a position to compete in Belgium this Season as we do not have a proven and established team here as yet. With 26 animals between us it’s no easy feat sorting all the dynamics of long trips away.

I was so excited at the beginning of the UK Season. The Racing Calendar promising us five HARC races, as it turned out L.B Farrah was only eligible to run in just two of those. The first she won at Taunton at the beginning of the Season and the other race was held at Huntington, the last meet where we were fortunate enough to win again.

Regarding my new mare, I didn’t actually choose my latest HARC mare Cora or Northash Cathy, she chose me.

We received a call about a feisty Arabian mare impossible to catch even in a stable. A bay mare with plenty of attitude greeted us. Eventually caught, then my boyfriend offered to trot her up and I immediately thought WOW her presence and action is quite breath-taking. I asked to see her Passport and realised she was HARC bred with Vatican Russian bloodlines*. After some discussion about selling I finally managed to buy her with the HARC funds Farrah had won and went straight back home to get the trailer. It felt extremely satisfying to re-invest HARC winnings into buying another HARC horse.

Cora is five and I have since backed her and although early days, she is proving to be an exceptionally bright and brave mare. I’m really taken with her attitude and the way she tackles things. I feel that will hold her in good stead for her future career.

Personally I feel HARC have done an incredible job, particularly in the UK of raising awareness for the fundamental importance of keeping traditional Arabian bloodlines, which in turn is really starting to give smaller yards many more opportunities on the race track. There is generally a real buzz in the air about all the UK HARC races and long may it continue.”


Look for the next big story coming from HARC’s forthcoming European Championship on 30 October at Ghlin in Belgium together with a Nations Cup, offering a purse of 20,000 euros. So far 12 runners are entered with 3 Russian horses set to contest their speed against 3 runners from Sweden, 2 from Romania, the first runner to come from Iran in many years, 2 from Italy and 1 contender travelling from the UK.