What happens to horses after they retire from racing?
We make a huge effort to track horses once they leave racing, to protect and promote their continuing welfare.
Thoroughbred foals must be registered and micro-chipped within 30 days of birth, meaning that race horses can be tracked and identified throughout their life, including those that don’t succeed in competing at the highest level.
90% of horses leaving racing are accounted for – an impressive figure that the industry is constantly striving to improve. In addition, each year, British racing invests £750,000 in programmes to rehome and retrain former race horses. Also, many stay within the sport, either as part of the breeding industry, or still engaged in the sport at an amateur level, where there are still extremely strict welfare standards in place.
British racing takes incredibly seriously the welfare of horses that leave the sport, and has created its own charity with the sole purpose of ensuring that racehorses find fulfilling second careers after racing. In 2018, there are 13,000 race horses registered with Retraining of Racehorses as active in equine disciplines.
British racing’s owners – represented by the Racecourse Owners Association – have recently agreed to further increase their prize money contribution to funding for rehoming and retraining of retired racehorses.