28 May 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

The BHB’s Retired Racehorse Welfare Working Group has begun drafting the basis for a network of support for former racehorses.
Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, Chairman of the Working Group, explains:
“”There are two main points: first, up to 4,000 horses leave Racing each year. We know that the vast majority go on to satisfactory second careers, cared for by individuals with the necessary expertise with thoroughbreds. However, not all endings are happy ones and we all appreciate the tremendous work done by the established horse welfare operations in this regard. This leads to my second point: it is abundantly clear that these charitable enterprises are suffering from a severe lack of funding, At the moment they are turning away cases simply because they do not have the resources to help and the future looks even bleaker. One reputable establishment, Greatwood – Caring for Retired Racehorses, is on the verge of closure and it is not yet certain what will happen to the 25 ex-racehorses currently in their care.
Having examined the overall situation closely, the Racing and Breeding Industries have redily accepted their responsibility to take a leading role in providing the right kind of support to ensure, as far as possible, that every horse leaving Racing has a good chance of a productive future. It has to be acknowledged, however, that where there are major physical or temperament problems, the best interests of the horse are sometimes best served by euthanasia.
We are currently developing plans for a ‘Welfare Network’. A system of accreditation will be brought in, under which establishments, both charitable and commercial, that can prove the expertise and sound financial backing needed, will be inspected by one of the three major charities: RSPCA, Blue Cross or ILPH. Each will then be able to promote itself as a BHB approved establishment able to take in emergency cases, to re-school and re-home former racehorses, and receive donations.
We are recommending that a special fund be set up, under the auspices of BHB, to provide annual grants for the accredited establishments. The Group agreed that contributions should be sought from the entire spectrum of the Racing and Breeding Industries, although the final decision will rest with the BHB. In order to develop a credible and equitable blueprint, discussions are now going on with the various associations, with the BHB Executive and in due course, the Levy Board. We expect our final report to be made to the BHB in the Autumn.””