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Horse Welfare Board launches strategic review of funding model for the welfare of retired racehorses Image

Horse Welfare Board launches strategic review of funding model for the welfare of retired racehorses

Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Horse Welfare Board (“HWB”) has launched a strategic review into the funding for the aftercare of racehorses. The review will focus on ensuring the aftercare sector is financially sustainable and can consistently provide care and careers for racehorses beyond racing over the long term. The project is supported by the Racing Foundation.

The Horse Welfare Board’s ‘A Life Well Lived’ Strategy put in place a plan for the welfare of horses bred for racing to, amongst other areas, build public trust with its welfare processes and demonstrate its lifetime commitment to horses and their welfare. This review is a key project recommendation of the new strategy, assessing and ensuring the funding of aftercare is fit for purpose and highlighting areas for improvement.

The review team will begin a wide-ranging consultation process from today through a series of interviews with key stakeholders within racing and racehorse aftercare. The review will be supported by a steering group comprising racing, finance and horse welfare experts from the industry. The process is intended to be completed by 30th September 2020, with findings and recommendations to be published in due course.

Barry Johnson, Chair of the Horse Welfare Board, said:

This review is a vital first step in the implementation of the Horse Welfare Board’s strategy. Ensuring that the aftercare sector is adequately, consistently and sustainably resourced is essential in ensuring that horses bred for racing are cared for beyond their racing careers. This review will identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of the current system, as the basis for a longer term funding and development
strategy for the sector.

“I encourage all those contributing to the Review to do so openly and in a spirit of collaboration, to help us to grow our collective understanding of funding in this area, in order to ensure effective underpinning of horse welfare. British racing has a strong commitment to aftercare and this Review will help us to support and sustain this crucial sector long into the future

Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the ROA and member of the Horse Welfare Board, said:

I am so pleased to see the implementation of the recommendations from the HWB’s strategy starting. There is a lot of work to do, but the body of work around funding will be so important to putting welfare at the heart of racing.

"For owners, we know welfare is central to the ownership journey with the welfare of their horses during and after racing a top priority. Progress across the welfare strategy will further confirm to those in racing, and those interested in racing, that welfare matters. I look forward to seeing the results of the review and with putting the recommendations into action

About the Horse Welfare Board

The Horse Welfare Board was established to produce a strategy that unites the whole industry and drives continuous improvement. The Board reports to the sport’s tripartite Members’ Committee, where the BHA, racecourses and participants share responsibility for the industry’s strategy and decisions not reserved to the regulator.

The Welfare Board includes equal representation from the sport’s tripartite structure of horsemen, racecourses and the BHA. Its independent chair, Barry Johnson, is a former Chairman of World Horse Welfare and President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Former Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, is the other independent member.

Membership of the Horse Welfare Board is as follows:

Dr Barry Johnson – Independent Chair

Tracey Crouch MP – Independent Member

Alison Enticknap – BHA Programme Director

David Sykes – BHA representative

Caroline Davies – Racecourse representative

Simon Knapp – Racecourse representative

Charlie Liverton – Horsemen representative

James Given – Horsemen representative

More information about the Horse Welfare Board can be found here.

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