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    “One of the kindest horses he had ever worked with”, Ellison
“One of the kindest horses he had ever worked with”, Ellison
Top Notch Tonto. Source: geegeez.co.uk

“One of the kindest horses he had ever worked with”, Ellison

Top Notch Tonto, a chestnut gelding, initially caught the eye of an admirer in a Sheffield pub when he finished last in a Doncaster conditions race in 2012. Despite his humble beginnings, he quickly became a fan favourite during his eight-year Flat career. Trained by Ian McInnes before joining Brian Ellison in 2013, he achieved notable victories in races such as the Group Three Superior Mile at Haydock and the Guisborough Stakes at Redcar.

Throughout his career, Top Notch Tonto competed in races ranging from five furlongs to a mile and a half, securing nearly half a million pounds in prize money. Despite some near misses at Group level races, he was always appreciated by his fans and his trainer, Ellison, who described him as one of the kindest horses he had ever worked with.

After retiring in 2019 following his 61st race, Top Notch Tonto found a new home with Karen and Chris Woodall, the same person who had noted his name on the wall calendar in the Sheffield pub years before. Karen, inspired by his versatility and talent, introduced him to dressage, where they are now competing at the Novice level with aims to qualify for the regional finals.

Top Notch Tonto's unique markings make him easily recognisable in the dressage arena, where he is described as a superstar by Karen. Despite offers from interested buyers, she is determined to keep him as her own, providing him with a loving home for life.

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