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Pilot programme announced to introduce former racehorses to care home residents Image

Pilot programme announced to introduce former racehorses to care home residents

Friday, 10 September 2021

A pilot programme has been announced to measure the benefits of introducing former racehorses to the residents of care homes, with the six-week programme scheduled to coincide with the inaugural National Racehorse Week. 

Taking place at OSJCT Coombe End Court care home in Marlborough, Wiltshire, the pilot aims to explore and measure the impact and the benefit to the physical and mental health of the residents in the care home, and to use these findings to build and promote wider support.

Racing Together are working alongside racing charities Greatwood and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) to deliver the pilot programme.

Greatwood was the first charity to use former racehorses to educate children, young people and adults with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and was founded by Helen Yeadon. 

"Following a successful career on the racecourse, Ouzbeck embraces his new path in helping children and young people at Greatwood," she said of the gelding formerly trained by Emma Lavelle. "He is enjoying venturing further afield and improving lives within the older community.”

"This pilot aims to celebrate the racehorse, showcase their versatility and provide another way to connect horseracing with its communities and to the public nationwide. Once evaluated, it is hoped that the programme will be extended to connect more former racehorses with community groups." she said.

Lucy Gurney, Community Engagement Manager for Racing Together, added: “The horse-human bond is unique to racing as a large spectator sport, and equine-assisted intervention is a field that is going from strength-to-strength. We are delighted to be growing the knowledge-base in this area alongside RoR and Greatwood.

“The pilot focuses on a key area of Racing Together’s strategy. We are so pleased to be providing our support, and to be exploring how former racehorses can help people." she said.

The visits enable the residents to interact with Ouzbeck in a way that suits them, by watching and stroking him, by grooming him and chatting to the Greatwood team. The visits take place across six mornings, where residents can come out to see him in small groups, assisted by care home and Greatwood staff to make the most from his time spent on the lawn in front of their home.

For more information please contact Lucy Gurney at Racing Together: lucy@racingtogether.co.uk

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