FORMER champion racehorse Subzero has delighted people young and old during a visit to the Wimmera.
The rising 25-year-old ghostly-grey gelding started his tour of the region at the Horsham races on Saturday.
The winner of the 1992 Melbourne Cup, ‘Subbie’ visited residents at Horsham’s Kurrajong Lodge aged care centre on Sunday.
Kurrajong Lodge clinical care co-ordinator Meredith Knoop said it was the first time a Melbourne Cup winner had visited residents.
“We do have animals in here fairly regularly because people will bring pets in to visit,” she said.
“We have a resident cockatiel and a few chickens, but to have a champion racehorse visit is a first.
“Contact with animals has a soothing effect on our residents and they love it when we have visits from pet dogs and other animals.”
After his racing career, Subzero was a clerk of course horse for 15 years before retirement in 2008.
In his new role as an ambassador for Racing Victoria he visits communities across Australia.
Racing Victoria community education and workforce development co-ordinator Rebecca Wilde said the popular horse brought back memories for many nursing home residents.
“It is very rewarding to take Subzero to nursing homes as many of the people he visits have fond memories of riding horses or having a pet horse when they were a child,” she said.
“Quite often we will come across a former jockey or trainer and it is great to hear stories of the racing industry in days gone by.”
Subbie visited Wimmera Health Care Group’s high care unit and Horsham Pony Club’s ‘come and try’ day on Sunday.
On Monday, he popped in to see children at Horsham Primary School, Ss Michael and John’s Primary School and Haven Primary School, along with residents at Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village.
Subzero was also a fixture of Racing Victoria’s presence at the Western Victoria Careers Expo at Longerenong on Tuesday.