Jumps racing is a misunderstood discipline, according to Hastings-born Awapuni trainer Gail Temperton.

A second-generation jumping trainer, Temperton said she and sister Cheryl Robinson learned a lot from their father, the late Norvil Temperton, on the Hastings track.

"The jumps racing fraternity are wonderful people. We have camaraderie because we all know we could all be falling over any day and we go out with high hopes some days and not realise that," said Temperton after jockey Gary Walsh rode her horse, Just Ishi, to victory in the premier 4800m race on Saturday.

The soon-to-be 69-year-old echoed the sentiments of their father, who used to say: "The thing I hate about racing is that when the horses retire they go to people who don't look after them as well as we do."


She felt the thoroughbred industry was improving on the life-after-racing aspect of horses.

On June 10, Just Ishi won a steeplechase race but some critics in the media described the race as "shambolic".

Two runners were wiped out at the start and riderless horses stole the thunder from the field although all the jockeys and their mounts caught up in the chaos escaped injury.

Calls to ban jumps racing have reached a crescendo in Australia after deaths of horses but for those who support hurdle and steeplechase racing they are bound to use the Hastings meeting on Saturday as a classic case of better management to ensure everyone's safety is taken into account.

Early leader Nells Belle had ditched jockey Shaun Fannin off her back to cross the line in race seven here on Saturday.

The interaction and stimulation the animals require aside, Temperton said it cost owners a handsome sum of money to feed the mounts daily, keep them warm indoors in their boxes in between hanging out in the grassy paddocks with their mates all day.

"You know it costs $27 a day to feed a racehorse. That would feed a few children, wouldn't it?

"Some families don't have that much to feed their children so if you look at it that way they are looked after very well."

At 3pm each day, she said, the animals would knock on the doors to be fed, before they were ushered back into their boxes "for a great life".

"They get all the vet [cover] to ensure they are healthy so these horses are looked after unbelievably well."

A beaming Temperton agreed they couldn't have asked for a better billboard than a victorious Just Ishi, who was born a runt but had to be patiently nurtured to the champion racehorse he was today.

"It took surgery to have him fixed and time in our lovely paddocks at our home to become older and stronger. They really do have a royal life so they are really well looked after."