What happens to horses after they finish racing?

21 Jul 14

The British Horseracing Authority take very seriously what happens to racehorses when they leave the sport, British Racing’s duty of care to its racehorses extends beyond the end of their racing careers. Thoroughbred racehorses registered in Britain are microchipped so it is possible to track what happens to them when they leave Racing.

Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) is British Racing’s official charity for the welfare of retired racehorses and is funded by prize money and the sport donates in all, over £600,000 each year facilitating the rehoming and retraining of racehorses. Racehorse owners are the largest contributors followed by racecourses, trainers and many more members of the industry.

An increasing number of racehorses go on to successful second careers after retiring from the track, there are currently over 11,000 horses registered with Retraining of Racehorses as active in other equine disciplines outside of racing, including Polo, Showing, Dressage and Eventing.

The racing industry set up the charity ‘Retraining of Racehorses’ in 2000. Funding for this comes directly from the racing industry through licence and registration fees and it also receives voluntary donations.  In addition, we are working to raise the profile of ex-racehorses within the wider equestrian world to advertise their adaptability to other occupations.

There is no evidence that the majority of rehomed racehorses result in welfare cases. The BHA works closely with the RSPCA when necessary assisting with when concerns are raised and the number of cases which require the BHA / RoR’s emergency relief fund to be used to assist former racehorses faced with welfare issues is exceptionally low.