On 23rd August, British Racing promoted the sport’s high standards of equine welfare as The Horse Comes First held its third annual national raceday in conjunction with Newbury, Southwell, Great Yarmouth and Chelmsford City racecourses.
The day was a great success and featured:
- A painted horse display
- A Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) parade
- A behind the scenes tour for political dignitaries
- Educational activities with Racing to School and the Pony Racing Authority
- Representatives of The Horse Comes First joining in with the activities happening across all four racecourses and engaging racegoers with the first class care provided to racehorses both during and after their racing careers
Centre stage was Newbury Racecourse, with Southwell, Great Yarmouth and Chelmsford City racecourses playing a key role in supporting and celebrating the national raceday.
The Horse Comes First hosted Newbury’s first painted horse display – former racehorse Knight Pass had the anatomy of a thoroughbred painted on his body, and Newbury Racecourse’s vet Alastair Welch explained to racegoers how a horse’s organs operate to provide the power which enables racehorses to gallop at speeds of around 40mph over a sustained distance, and why the thoroughbred breed is so special and unique.
Racegoers at Newbury were also treated to a Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Parade of three former racehorses – Amour Propre, Golden Feather and Seamus Shindig - who are now excelling in different equine disciplines including showing and eventing.
Racing to School also held an interactive educational event with the Pony Racing Authority. They enjoyed a talk by 2014 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Employee of the Year Leanne Masterton about her exciting career as Travelling Head Girl. She also spoke about her dedication in providing first class care to racehorses, to Councillor Dominic Boeck and Councillor Jo Day who joined The Horse Comes First for a behind the scenes tour of the racecourse.
Neil Parish MP, the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee also visited Newbury Racecourse on the day, and enjoyed the activities being run across the racecourse.
This was the third annual The Horse Comes First raceday, which has previously taken place across Hamilton Park, Newmarket, Nottingham, Newcastle and Aintree racecourses.
Robin Mounsey, spokesman for The Horse Comes First, said:
“This year’s The Horse Comes First raceday was a huge success, and we’re delighted that so many people across all four racecourses, were able to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes at a racecourse and the first class care provided to racehorses both during and after their racing career.
“British Racing has a track record that it can be proud of in terms of the care provided to racehorses both during and after their racing career. Since 2000, over £32 million has been invested by British Racing in veterinary research and education and the sport employs over 6,000 people to give first class care and attention to the 14,000 horses in training.
“The Horse Comes First is an initiative backed by the whole industry and we are very grateful to each of the racecourses for their support of The Horse Comes First raceday.”