Why The Horse Comes First at Hamilton Park

16 Jul 2014 Welfare

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is delighted that tomorrow’s fixture at Hamilton Park will showcase the track’s support for the high standards of horse welfare in British Racing using the raceday theme of The Horse Comes First.

The Horse Comes First is an industry wide backed initiative aimed at both promoting and increasing awareness of Racing’s commitment to horse welfare. Tomorrow (Thursday 17 July) at Hamilton Park there will be a range of activities and demonstrations designed to entertain as well as inform racegoers about the level of care the sport provides for its horses, both during and after their racing careers.

Among the parade ring demonstrations will be the opportunity to learn about the remarkable physiology of the racehorse from the Senior Veterinary Clinician at Glasgow University’s Equine Hospital, Dr David Sutton. Using a special live painted horse to show the anatomy of the racehorse, Dr Sutton will explain to racegoers how the various organs operate and what a remarkable animal the thoroughbred has evolved into.

Dr Sutton will also talk about the substantial investment (£25 million since 2000) through the Horserace Betting Levy Board which the sport makes into veterinary projects, including research and education, and how that assists not only racehorses but all breeds of horse.

Just before racing gets underway there will be a demonstration by three locally based former racehorses who are now excelling in different disciplines thanks to help from the sport’s official charity, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).

The three are led by former Alan Swinbank and John Quinn trained Kalhan Sands who is now enjoying eventing in the hands of 15-year-old Rebecca Dunn. Also in the lineup is Joanna Heaton’s Sarasola, a seven-year-old who has put a moderate racing career behind him with success in the Show ring and has already qualified to appear at next year’s Royal Highland Show. The trio are completed by Bunacurry, a nine-year-old owned by Claire Halliday and who is now a promising showjumper.

Also on site will be the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) and the equine ambulance they have made available to the five Scottish Racing tracks. With its own standards far exceeding those of welfare legislation, British Racing has developed constructive relationships with all the major animal welfare organisations, none more so than with the SSPCA, who work closely with the sport in Scotland.

Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“We very much welcome Hamilton Park’s support for The Horse Comes First. One of the key aims of the initiative is to promote British Racing’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of welfare throughout the year. The raceday will provide a great platform from which to educate and engage racegoers on the subject.”

Vivien Kyles, Hamilton Park Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted and proud to support The Horse Comes First initiative.

“This is a raceday which is perfect for everyone looking for an enjoyable and stimulating day out during the holidays. The fixture combines great fun for families, through the Kids Love the Races roadshow, with a true educational experience showing how well racehorses are looked after, all brought to life with colour, interesting stories and facts.”

Also represented on the day will be the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and the Racehorse Owners’ Association.

Notes to Editors:

1. Find out more about The Horse Comes First at www.thehorsecomesfirst.com

For more information contact:

Robin Mounsey
British Horseracing Authority
e: [email protected]