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Our Grants Programme

The Racing Foundation offers three funding rounds a year and accepts applications from registered charities whose projects directly benefit the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry.

Three types of grants are offered:

Small Grants – of up to £10,000

Open Grants – from £10,000 upwards

Equine Science Research Grants

All applications are to be submitted via an online system and further information on what we do and don’t fund; what will be involved in the application process and what the deadline dates are, can be found below.

Areas of Interest

Through our Small Grants and Open Grants Programme, we are keen to attract applications to fund projects that support our strategy*. Our strategy concentrates on the racing and Thoroughbred breeding industries' people agenda and its equine agenda. We also wish to support the development of those charities working towards these aims and supporting the industry more widely. 

*for a copy of our 2018-20 strategy please click here - Racing Foundation Strategy 2018-2020.pdf 


We will support work on the people agenda that directly supports the stated aims of the industry's strategy and in the following areas:


Social Welfare

  • The improvement in the health or the rehabilitation from injury of current or former members of the horseracing industry.
  • The prevention or relief of poverty among current or former members of the horseracing industry and their dependents.
  • Community development work in areas particularly connected with the horseracing industry (provided it is clear how such grant will benefit current or former members of the horseracing industry).

Education, Training & Participation

  • The promotion of education and training connected with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry.


We will support work on the equine agenda that directly supports the stated aims of the industry's strategy and in the following areas:


Thoroughbred Horse Welfare

  • The improvement of the welfare of current or former Thoroughbred racehorses.

Equine Science Research (Thoroughbred horses)

  • Veterinary research into the Thoroughbred horse that will benefit both the breed and the sport.


We will support work on the development and strengthening of those charities working to support the industry and in particular those supporting the people and equine agendas. We will support work in the following areas:

  • Research to better understand risks and issues faced by the industry.
  • Work to develop organisations' capacity and capability to better support the industry.
  • Work to develop and strengthen organisational governance.


What We Will Fund

We accept applications for:

Project costs, research costs and capital projects:

This may include funding for overheads and staff salaries (applications for staffing costs primarily associated with fundraising will only be accepted for a limited grant period and on condition that applicants can demonstrate how the proposed role fits within their wider fundraising strategy).

Core Costs:

We will accept applications for core costs if they will have a positive long-term impact on the organisation or industry.

Items of Equipment:

We will accept applications for items of equipment under our Small Grants Programme (less than £10,000) where welfare-related need and impact can be demonstrated, although we will not fund basic stable management equipment.

Multi-year funding:

We will fund multi-year grants, usually up to a maximum of three years (although longer periods may be considered in exceptional circumstances ie the nature of the project, its likely impact and its longer-term funding options).

Innovative or risky projects:

We will fund innovative or risky projects if it can be shown that the work has the potential to achieve a substantial impact.

Joint applications:

We encourage applications for joint projects that involve organisations working in collaboration and for projects where efforts are being made to secure match-funding.

Loan funding:

We accept applications for loan financing of capital projects whereby the Racing Foundation can maintain the real value of its endowment and make a return on its investment.

Other Considerations

We are only able to accept applications from charities – ie an institution established for exclusively charitable purposes. As well as charities registered with the Charity Commission, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, this may include unregistered charities with an annual income of less than £5,000 or charities regulated by another body including universities and higher education corporations, registered Industrial and Provident Societies and registered Friendly Societies.

We expect to make the majority of our grants to charities with objects that are directly associated with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industries. However, we may fund organisations that do not work exclusively within the industry when the work is of exceptional quality and can be shown to directly impact industry participants.

Please note: this charity restriction is subject to change to allow us to better support the industry so please check back regularly to see if we have widened our criteria.

When assessing applications, we will consider the ability of a charity to self-fund (including a consideration of its reserves position) or to fund from alternative sources.

We will also consider the nature of the project and whether it is:

  • Ambitious
  • Innovative
  • Going to have a positive impact.

Guidance notes are available in a printable pdf format using the link below. These include an overview of what the Racing Foundation’s Trustees will focus on when allocating grant awards.


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