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Supporting lifetime care: Valentine Bulthoff’s act of generosity

Valentine Bulthoff was a finalist in the 2019 Trophées du Personnel des Courses et Elevage.

Behind Valentine’s discreet nature lies a talented rider, known for her perfectionism at work, and her attentiveness to others, qualities which means she has become a vital support to Chantilly-based trainer Markus Munch in the running of his yard.

What is less well-known is that her natural compassion first led her into a career in nursing, where she remained for several years. Through riding in her spare time Valentine discovered retrained racehorses, which in turn led to her to try out riding in a racing yard.

For a while she tried to combine her mornings on the track with her nursing schedule but it eventually became too difficult, so she chose to dedicate her career to horses. It will be of no surprise to those who know her that she quickly climbed into a position of responsibility.

Valentine was nominated for the 2019 Trophées du Personnel by her employer which was supported by her colleagues, and was one of three exceptional finalists in the Rider/Groom category.

Having won €2,000 for reaching the finals Valentine’s thoughts turned to how she would spend her well-deserved winnings and she quickly decided to support the cause of horse welfare, in particular aftercare for former racehorses.

As she watched the impact the Covid crisis was having on the activity of aftercare structures, and the potential need for more horses to be retired from racing, she made a donation of €2,000 to French racing’s aftercare charity, ADDP.

“I fully support Au-Delà des Pistes in the work they are doing, their actions and organization are very well thought-out and effective and I felt that supporting this charity in particular would ensure the greatest possible benefit from the money I wanted to donate.

Aftercare has always been a very important consideration for Valentine in a horse’s career, and she takes personal responsibility for all the horses that leave the yard where she works, if they are not being retired to a stud for breeding.

“Au-Delà des Pistes is a wonderful charity and I have always cared for the welfare of animals, and the Trophées are a wonderful initiative that have permitted me to get more involved. Without horses I would never had the recognition provided by the Trophées and without the knowledge that there are people who offer them a second chance I would not be happy doing my work.”

Furthermore, the €2000 awarded to the stable as part of the reward for having a finalist at the Trophées will be spent on Valentine’s other favourite cause: education, with the hope of organising internships at the yard where she works, making them available to those who might not otherwise be able to afford to.

Au-Delà des Pistes thanks Valentine sincerely and "from the bottom of our hearts on behalf the whole team, the aftercare providers and the horses who will benefit from this act of kindness and generosity.”