Growing Demand For Former Racehorses Prompts Review

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing, today announced an independent led review of its strategy and policy.

Chaired by Jonny McIrvine, former Chief Executive of the International League for the Protection of Horses (now known as World Horse Welfare), the review will make recommendations for the charity’s future strategy and policy as well as proposing clear guidelines for funding and transparency regarding the allocation of funding. The review has the support of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Weatherbys, with funding assistance from the Racing Foundation.

An integral part of the review will be a statistical analysis of where racehorses go when they leave training to help develop a wider strategy for ex-racehorses, together with the role that RoR plays and what factors should guide the charity’s funding. Deloitte will undertake this independent data analysis in conjunction with Weatherbys and BHA.

Paul Roy, Chairman of Retraining of Racehorses, said:

“It is eleven years since the last review and study was conducted by RoR, in that time the demand for former racehorses has increased significantly with over 8,000 horses now registered on our database and a number of high profile horses highlighting the adaptability of racehorses and their suitability for a range of equine disciplines.

“We absolutely recognise and value the role of the four retraining centres but we also acknowledge that the growing demand for former racehorses has led to many more applications to the charity for funding from independent centres and re-trainers, many of which are making a valuable contribution to re-homing. The review will consider how RoR should utilise its funding to best effect.

“I am delighted that Jonny McIrvine has agreed to lead the review. Jonny was a successful event rider competing at Badminton and Burghley and rode many former racehorses in this discipline. Jonny will be supported by resources in BHA, along with assistance from Weatherbys and Deloitte, which will ensure there is a range of charity, industry and equine expertise across the team.

“The consultation phase will commence in the coming weeks and we envisage that the recommendations arising from the review will be completed in June 2014. Our ultimate goal is to achieve a balance between the number of horses leaving Racing and the number of enthusiastic, and suitable, new homes able to take on the responsibility of looking after a former racehorse.”

For more information about Retraining of Racehorses, please visit http://www.ror.org.uk/index.php