Charities to help retired race horses

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Retired race horses need help

Retired race horses all need somewhere to go after their careers in racing, however successful they've been...  They deserve good homes and the best of care, & there are charities to help them make the career move from racing to their next step.  But the charities listed after these bullets help.

Animal Aid report that:

Race horse charities helping retired race horses include

Retraining of Racehorses is the charity in the UK dedicated to the welfare of racehorses who have retired from racing. Their ultimate goal is to achieve a balance between the number of horses leaving racing and the number of suitable, enthusiastic new homes.

Moorcrocft Racehorse Welfare Centre in Sussex helps racehorses who were no longer suitable for the job of racing. There are about 28 horses at the Centre, all being prepared for the next stage in their lives, be they happy hackers, dressage horses or simply companion animals. There are a number of ways in which you can help

Greatwood in Wiltshire helps racehorses who've been ill-treated and neglected, and it educates and inpsires children with special needs.

The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre is dedicated to the welfare, rehabilitation & rehoming of thoroughbreds.  These include Hallo Dandy, a previous Grand National winner. There are some absolutely stunning photos of truly beautiful thoroughbreds on their website

The Racehorse Sanctuary, in West Sussex, offering help to racehorses - they have re-homed many racehorses since their start, and you can help them continue their work.  

Heros retrains and rehomes ex-racehorses. Based in Oxfordshire, it is dedicating to ensuring racehorses have a future after their racing days are over. Heroes retrains these former athletes, preparing them for their next careers and pastures new. The charity carefully matches horses to new careers and owners.  Past heroes include Monsignor. 

New Beginnings retrain and re-home former racehorses.  They are based in East Yorkshire.  They want to provide a safe and secure environment where former racehorses can adjust and be re-trained for their second career following racing

Meantime in the US,check out Old Friends, a Kentucky facility for retired thorougbreds.

Next career steps for race horses 

Race horses may have a number of second careers open to them:

  • as companion animals, especially for those whose injuries prevent them from being very active
  • "happy hackers" with people who simply want to enjoy riding around the countryside 
  • show jumpers or riding club horses
  • even horses for junior riders
  • polo, showing, cross country, eventing

Much depends on the temperatment of the horse & the injuries he or she sustains, if any, as a result of their racing career to date. Opportunities also depend on whether there are the places available with the charities working to help retrain & rehome race horses.

How you can help

  • Have a look around the various websites (we've listed race horse charities to the left) & see what sort of help they need.
  • You don't need to be a horse expert to lend a hoof.
  • For instance, you could treat a horse lover to a gift from a charity's online shop, or sponsor a horse if they have such a scheme.
  • You could do fund-raising for them, tell a friend about them, or collect & sell stamps for them
  • You could find a spot as a volunteer, perhaps doing office work or helping with the grounds - or get more hands on with the horses. You could become a member of the charity if they run a membership scheme.
  • If you want to re-home a race horse, look at the charities' websites and see what their process is, whether it is right for you, and what you need to do to get started.

There's a lot we can all do to make a difference to race horses. They've raced their hearts out for people, so it's good to give something back in return.