Disabled rider wants to see beloved ex-race horse Grouch recognised

By James Vukmirovic | South Staffordshire | News | Published:

He used to race with the best, but now Grouch the horse is happy helping his rider realise her dreams.

Jacqueline Doughton, from Bilston, and her four-legged friend Grouch

Jacqueline Doughton, from Bilston, has spina bifida, which prevents her from walking.

But through Grouch she is able to sit in the saddle – her real passion – at Riding for the Disabled in The Upper Hattons Stables, Coven.

And she has just seen him finish as a runner up in a national competition.

Despite being unable to walk or weight bear on her legs, Jacqueline has been able to engage in her love of riding through joining Riding for the Disabled.

It was while riding that Jacqueline was introduced to her horse Grouch by yard owner Jayne Goodwin.

Grouch is a an ex-racehorse which, as Grouse Moor, won a few races between 2005 and 2007 under top trainer John Gosden, before being retired.

Disabled rider Jacqueline Doughton, who has Spina Bifida, with retired racehorse Grouch

Since coming together, Jacqueline and Grouch has been inseparable, with Jacqueline talking about how they just seem to click.


She said: "Grouch is just so quiet and patient. I have to be manhandled and lifted onto Grouch and off again and he takes it all in his stride.

"When I ride him, I cannot use my legs at all, but I use 2 dressage whips, my weight and my voice!

"I'm talking to Grouch all the time and he listens intently and understands what I want him to do.

"We have entered Para Dressage competitions and just so enjoy working and being together."


Jacqueline also registered Grouch with the charity Retraining of Racehorses and nominated him for the personality of the year.

Grouch was a finalist at the awards ceremony in Newmarket, with Jacqueline attending and meeting Luke Harvey and Claire Balding.

Jacqueline said she wanted to see Grouch recognised for how much he does for her.

She said: "He is such a special horse. He is a thoroughbred and has raced, but here he is now helping a disabled rider to enjoy what she likes best, being with and and riding horses.

"I just wanted Grouch recognised for the wonderful kind generous horse that he is and how much he does for me."

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at


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