Horse welfare in British racing
Respect for the horse is at the heart of British Racing, with an industry promise and strategy to ensure every horse bred for racing will lead A Life Well Lived . Those involved in the sport - whether it be jockeys, trainers, owners, or wider employees - work tirelessly to deliver five-star care to enable racehorses to thrive as athletes, perform to the best of their abilities, and live a good life. Racing also has an independently chaired Horse Welfare Board, formed in 2019, to help focus collective efforts to drive forward innovation and progress across the sport.
It goes without saying that equine welfare is of the upmost importance to The Jockey Club. Our vision is for every Thoroughbred racehorse in British horseracing to be always treated with compassion, respect, and care. A vital part of our strategy is ensuring equine welfare is at the centre of everything we do and that we set the standard for industry facilities. For so many, the chance to see these beautiful animals competing provides a wonderful spectacle, steeped in tradition and heritage.
A life after racing
On retiring from racing, some horses go for breeding, some continue to race abroad, some continue to have an active life in other equine competitions and some are retired to a life at grass. Most horses, however, prefer an active life.
Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Racing’s official charity. The aim of RoR is to raise funds to help support the charitable retraining and rehoming of former racehorses, and to promote their versatility for other equestrian disciplines; from dressage to hacking. RoR was established over 20 years ago to support the welfare of horses that have retired from racing and, most importantly, generate demand for thoroughbreds.
Since that time, RoR has created a vibrant and healthy demand for former racehorses to go on to a range of new careers after retirement. There are currently over 9,000 horses registered with RoR as active in disciplines including polo, showing, dressage and eventing, as well those horses happily engaged in hacking and exercising. RoR also provides a vulnerable horse scheme to help former racehorses identified as needing support and provides funding and a retraining scheme for thoroughbreds who might be struggling to make the transition at their first step away from racing.
EQUINE WELFARE AT NEWMARKET
Newmarket Racecourses are committed to providing the best care for our equine counterparts with continued investment and enhancement of the equine facilities on both racecourses.
All of our racedays are support not only by BHA Equine Welfare & Integrity Officers and a BHA Veterinary Officer, but we also have a dedicated team of veterinary surgeons from Newmarket Equine Hospital which is one of the largest independent equine hospitals in Europe and conveniently located less than half a mile from our courses, on site throughout.
Veterinary cover is enhanced by the Equisave Horse Ambulance, designed and used for the equine events at the London Olympics, in addition to the Horse Ambulance team.
BRITISH HORSERACING – LEADING THE WAY IN EQUINE WELFARE
Horseracing in Britain is among the world’s best regulated animal activities and responsibility for the care of our animals rests with everyone in the sport. Our common objective is for agreed, transparent, world-leading standards of equine care for the whole life of our horses; a commitment to innovate and make ongoing, measurable improvements based on clear evidence; with the full engagement of owners, trainers, jockeys and fans.