Five Members of Parliament, John Baron, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Nadine Dorries and Laurence Robertson, along with researchers from the offices of Brian Donohoe MP and Michael McCann MP visited Epsom on the 12th September to see for themselves the high standards of equine welfare and care in British Horseracing.
The MPs and researchers were shown around Clear Height Stables by trainer Simon Dow. They were then taken up to the gallops to see some of trainer Jim Boyle’s horses being taken through their paces. Back at Jim’s South Hatch Stables the group were shown an equine spa facility in use and found out about how Jim and his wife Pippa keep in touch with the owners of all their former racehorses as many of them enjoy new careers outside racing.
The parliamentary group met Christopher Hammond, Veterinary Officer of the BHA, and Simon Knapp, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Epsom Racecourse, who walked them through the process of checking the identity and wellbeing of all racehorses and the facilities on hand to look after any horses who pick up an injury during the course of a race.
The visit was timed to coincide with a day’s racing and the group were taken to the start to see the care and precision that goes into ensuring that each racehorse gets off safely at the beginning of every race.
Speaking after the event Ross Hamilton, External Affairs Officer at the British Horseracing Authority, said, “We were delighted that the MPs and researchers were able to make time in their busy schedules to see for themselves the high levels of equine welfare in our sport. The 14,000 racehorses in training enjoy a level of care and a quality of life that is virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal and we were very pleased that our visitors from Westminster were able to witness that first hand.”
John Baron MP said, “It was good to see at first hand the huge levels of care for racehorses. We met some of the many dedicated stable staff, trainers, vets and officials who work in British racing and I was impressed by their professionalism and genuine affection for these thoroughbreds. It was also good to see the work that Pippa Boyle does to keep up with their retired racehorses, many of whom are clearly enjoying new careers after their time in the sport.”