Saturday 8th of May 2021

Racehorse flourishes under new management and McTimoney

After an uncertain start to life, racehorse, To Begin known as Toby is now enjoying a successful career Point-to-Pointing. Toby’s turnaround in fortunes is down to the dedication of his owner and rider, Lauren Belt and regular treatments from McTimoney Animal Association practitioner, Liz Harris.

To Begin (Toby)

Toby began his racing career with North Yorkshire trainer, Tim Easterby. Toby ran several times on the flat in 2014 as a three-year-old but was unsuccessful and destined to be put down unless a new owner could be found.

South Durham Point-to-Point trainer, Chris Dawson agreed to take Toby on and he duly showed some potential Point-to-Pointing. It was whilst at Chris’ that work rider Lauren Belt started riding Toby out every day. Lauren said:

“Toby was a lovely horse to ride out, I was very taken by him.”

Toby was however sold on and moved down to Newmarket where he was trained by Charlie Mann to run over fences. 

After a positive start, Toby’s form tailed off in his career over fences and so he was sent to the sales again. It was by pure coincidence that Lauren Belt was looking through the sales catalogue and recognised Toby in the auction.

Lauren said:

“Toby was thin, sore, out of condition and very sour, but I had always liked him and decided to buy him.”

Realising that Toby needed some professional help, Lauren contacted her local McTimoney practitioner, Liz Harris, in August 2016 to take a look at him. Liz found that Toby’s pelvis was seriously misaligned to the point that is was causing him to have a shortened stride on his left hind. Liz said:

“Toby was also in significant pain due to misalignments in the late thoracic and lumbar areas of his back.  He also had neck and shoulder tension on the right as his atlas and thoracic vertebrae were seriously misaligned. The issues I found in his session would certainly have had a detrimental effect on his performance and general wellbeing.”

Liz successfully treated these problems using the McTimoney technique and Lauren felt that the treatment made a huge difference to Toby’s comfort and in his daily ridden work.

Liz then came back to see Toby in November 2016 for a check-up and to make sure all was well. All of Lauren’s hard work and care was paying off and soon after, Lauren entered Toby for his first Point to Point. A steady start to the season ultimately led to two wins in Ladies Open Point-to-Points at Witton Castle. Lauren is delighted at how her chance buy, has led to her not only competing in her first Point-to-Points but also having two wins.

Lauren said:

“It took a lot of hard-work to get Toby back to the racecourse. There is no way we would have done so well if it were not for Liz and the McTimoney treatments.”

Liz spoke highly of Lauren and said:

“Toby can still be grumpy now and then but has thrived on a one to one relationship with Lauren. Full credit to Lauren for saving this horse and whose hard work and management has paid off for this horse to do so well.”

Toby had an end of season McTimoney treatment in April 2017 and is now on holiday for a few weeks until coming back to do some hacking, schooling and maybe a few hunter trials. Lauren would also like to take him show jumping as he enjoys this. Liz will certainly be back out to see Toby before he starts training for next seasons Point-to-Points.  

All members of the McTimoney Animal Association are qualified after training with the premier institution of its kind, the McTimoney College in Abingdon, having studied up to three years at postgraduate level attaining an MSc or Post Graduate Diploma in Animal Manipulation.

McTimoney Animal Practitioners are registered with the McTimoney Animal Association.

For more information on your local practitioner go to

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