RETRAINING OF RACEHORSES
EXPANSION OF THE REGIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME
£250,000 - 2 years
At the end of 2016, the Racing Foundation awarded a large grant to Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) to expand the reach of its already successful regional education programme and offer an increasing number of activities in response to rising demand. The expansion will build on the current model that uses a network of regional volunteers across the country, overseen by a National Co-ordinator, to provide support for owners of ex-racehorses through a number of clinics, workshops, seminars, training camps and grass roots activities. The programme raises awareness of ex-racehorse ownership and provides new owners with the necessary skills to manage, train and ride a former racehorse. It aims to reduce the likelihood of issues developing which could, if unaddressed, lead to vulnerable or welfare cases further down the line.
An evaluation of the education activities shows that demand varies across different regions and this grant will enable the programme to become even more targeted to ensure maximum impact. The number of Regional Co-ordinators will be increased from 11 to 14 and a range of volunteer Regional Assistants will assist with the delivery of targeted activities to address the most common issues. It is expected that the number of educational activities delivered will increase by 25% during the first year and the grant will also enable RoR to initiate an annual National two-day seminar to raise awareness of the versatility of ex-racehorses and to address concerns raised by potential new owners.
RoR firmly believes that by providing new owners with the opportunity to develop and improve their practical and riding skills, they will be better equipped to provide a long-term home for a former racehorse. This, in turn will reduce the need for future welfare intervention and reduce the number of cases where horses become difficult to manage and are passed on through uneducated hands.
For more information on the work of RoR click here>
HEROS (HOMING EX-RACEHORSES ORGANISATION SCHEME)
EDUCATION AND TRAINING STANDARDS PROGRAMME
£148,000 - 5 years
HEROS has been awarded a 5-year grant to investigate, design, implement, develop and formalise a programme of education and training courses, qualifications and standards in the field of retraining and rehoming ex-racehorses. The Foundation originally funded a 1-year pilot but given its overwhelming success were keen for HEROS to build on progress and momentum that had been made by further developing, marketing and formally trialling a number of activities that had been identified. As a result the grant was increased on a sliding scale for a further 4 years.
An additional small grant was also awarded to assist HEROS in working on a long-term plan to ensure sustainability of the programme, including the development of a long-term fundraising strategy.
For more information on some of the education programmes being offered by the HEROS Racing Staff Academy please click here>
THE ROYAL (DICK) SCHOOL OF VETERINARY STUDIES
DIAGNOSTIC, SURGICAL AND CRITICAL CARE UNIT
£50,000 one-off grant for capital appeal
A capital appeal grant was awarded as a contribution towards the development of a new diagnostic, surgical and critical care unit at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh. Horses in training and racing in Scotland will directly benefit from the clinical facilities and Thoroughbreds across the UK will benefit from the top class research. The centre will also build an environment to support and develop research to improve equine health and welfare.
The ultimate goal of this project is to create a focus for a Centre for Health, Welfare and Rehabilitation of Racehorses, which will cover all stages of a horse’s career, including retirement.
Read more about the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies here >
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
THOROUGHBRED HEALTH NETWORK
£49,534 - 2 years
The University of Glasgow was awarded a grant from the Foundation to develop an industry based and led knowledge exchange network to improve the welfare of Thoroughbred racehorses and reduce loss from injury. Cutting edge academic equine research is being translated into digestible best practise advice for owners, trainers and racecourses to mitigate disease and injuries in racehorses.
The pilot, co-funded by the Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, is being conducted in the north of England and Scotland. This project offers the potential to enhance equine welfare and reduce injury and disease, with the initiative being extended across the whole of Great Britain.
The Thoroughbred Health Network website has now been set up and is being trialled. The team is busy visiting racecourses to promote the service to owners and trainers.
For more information on the Thoroughbred Health Network, the topics it has reviewed and how to subscribe for free, click here>
Follow the Network on Twitter: @ThoroughbredHN
SMALL GRANTS PROGRAMME
ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
HORSE WELFARE CHARITIES
A number of horse welfare charities, particularly those that focus on the retraining and rehabilitation of ex-racehorses, have received organisational development support via our Small Grants Programme. Awards have been made for a variety of activities, including consultancy support, IT and database upgrades, website development, strategic planning, graduate scheme placements, education activities, items of equipment and welfare projects.
Charities who have benefited from small, organisational development grants include: