Do horses enjoy racing?

14 Jun 18

Running and jumping comes naturally to horses, and we see them doing both those things in the wild. It’s also interesting to note that when a horse unseats its rider during a race, it will continue to run and jump with the other horses.

We understand and respect that some people have concerns over animals being used in sport. That’s why we are committed to ensuring that the highest levels of animal care and welfare exist in British racing.

Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare, states that his organisation “does not accept the claim that horses are unwilling participants in sport. The notion that sport is bad for horses needs to be challenged”.

Trainers and jockeys work closely with horses every day, from providing for their basic needs to conducting their training. They develop incredibly strong bonds with the horses and a deep understanding of their traits and moods. There is anecdotal evidence from jockeys that they can recognise physical and behavioural traits that signal the needs and desires of the horse.

Without horseracing there would be no thoroughbred racehorse. The care and the support structures that the 14,000 horses in training at any one time receive are superior to those available to almost all other domesticated animals. As a result, racing brings far more life to the horse population than it takes away. And the quality of those lives is astonishingly high.

It’s important to note that if a horse does not want to race, it won’t, and very occasionally we see a horse plant its feet and refuse to move. No horse can be made to race against its will. In the overwhelming majority of cases, horses happily take part in a race.