The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has formed a partnership with HEROS which becomes the group’s specialist provider for equine aftercare welfare programmes.
Overseen by The Horse Welfare Board (HWB) and partner charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), the appointment forms part of UK Racing’s ‘collective responsibility’ for equine welfare.
Barry Johnson, Chair of the Horse Welfare Board, stated: “The Life Well Lived Strategy was created to ensure that during the whole lifetime of the thoroughbred, all facets of its welfare are scrutinised and where possible improved.
This new agreed definition of racing’s responsibility means we can now expand the sport’s safety net to ensure a smooth transition out of racing for any horse bred for racing. This is about providing a safe space for thoroughbreds that may need additional support via an industry-backed organisation with first-class experience and facilities.”
Oxford-based HEROS is a retraining stable formed by Grace Muir, to provide specialised care and support for race-trained horses that are adjusting to day-to-day life outside of racing.
From August, HEROS will provide ‘high-quality care’ for any thoroughbred retiring from the racing circuit, which will require extended time and additional resources to support their retraining or recuperation.
Once a horse has been approved for rehoming, HEROS will then use its extensive network and that of welfare charity RoR, to help match each horse to an appropriate new owner.
“In recent years there has been sustained growth in the demand for thoroughbreds among the wider equestrian community,” added Philip Freedman, Chair of RoR.
“This has been a very positive development and is in large part due to the work of RoR in providing opportunities for former racehorses across a range of disciplines and educational measures for their riders.”
Further equine welfare developments will see the BHA launch a new retirement assessment and tracking tool for former racing studs.
In addition, UK Racing stakeholders will be supported by a new retraining accreditation standards to be launched by end of the year