The Horse Comes First initiative took centre stage yesterday, 17 July, at a sun-soaked Hamilton Park. The Scottish racecourse proudly showed their support and dedication for ensuring the highest standards of equine welfare through a The Horse Comes First themed raceday.
The day proved to be the perfect platform to show racegoers the level of care the sport provides to its horses, with a range of interactive activities on-course and wider recognition of the day achieved through dedicated Racing UK coverage.
“Harvey” the painted horse proved the star of the show as Dr David Sutton, Senior Veterinary Clinician at Glasgow University, used him to explain the remarkable anatomy of racehorses to intrigued racegoers. Dr Sutton went on to describe how British Racing’s “vast investment, over £25 million since 2000” has helped further research and insight into treatment and prevention of equine disease across a variety of breeds, not just the Thoroughbred.
Proving that Racing has a welfare track record to be proud of both on and off the course, Hamilton Park also hosted a parade of three ex-racehorse who are now having successful second careers in disciplines ranging from dressage to showjumping. The sterling work of the Retraining of Racehorses charity was well showcased, with children and seasoned racegoers alike enjoying demonstrations from the ex-racehorses.
Vivien Kyles, Chief Executive of Hamilton Park, threw her weight behind the welfare cause, being “proud” to host The Horse Comes First Raceday and describing the day as “educational” and “fun”. The Raceday was also well-supported by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) who brought along the equine ambulance that they kindly make available to all the Scottish racetracks.