Racehorse Welfare

Care for Racehorses for Life

All owners have a duty of care to their horses and there are many ways which they and the ROA ensure this important commitment is upheld:

  • Owners pay £1.25 per race entry for the welfare of former racehorses - Rule (F) 106 - which equates to almost £250,000 per year.
  • Funding a horse’s care and costs from a foal or yearling to the end of their racing careers
  • The ROA executive has a staff member on ‘The Horse Comes First’ board
  • The ROA Gold Standard award takes into consideration equine welfare and now how the course is reacting to the ‘The Horse Comes First’ campaign
  • The ROA executive has a staff member who keeps up-to-date with equine welfare developments by attending relevant conferences and meetings
  • Many owners contribute to the centres who retrain and care for retired racehorses often also with support of their trainer
  • The ROA supports Racing Welfare - care for racehorses begins with staff who are well looked after.
  • The ROA holds member-only visits to sites of educational interest including veterinary hospitals and to racehorse retraining centres to further the knowledge of owners in these areas.
  • It is compulsory that all Thoroughbred foals are microchipped within 30 days of birth, meaning that horses can be tracked and identified throughout their life.
Horse Comes First

Leading organisations within the racing industry are working together to raise awareness of the high levels of equine welfare existing in British horse racing. The initiative aims to improve the understanding of the care given to our horses throughout and after their careers in racing.

Further information can be found on the dedicated Horse Comes First website.


Horse Comes First

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR)

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses that have retired from racing.

The charity promotes the versatility and adaptability of racehorses for other equestrian activities following their retirement from racing. It also protects horse welfare through a nationwide ‘safety net’ that is available to assist any former racehorse considered ‘vulnerable’. In such cases, the charity provides funding and expert care prior to suitablerehoming.

As the sport’s official charity, RoR raises funds from within the Racing Industry, providing information and education for owners and trainers in both the racing and equine Industries to assist with the rehoming and retraining of formerracehorses.

The ultimate goal is to maintain a balance between the number of horses leaving racing and the number of enthusiastic and suitable new homes. To this end, RoR funds and runs a well-established programme of competitions and educational events across thecountry.

Launched by the British Horseracing Board (now the British Horseracing Authority) in April 2000, RoR was awarded charitable status in autumn 2000.

RoR has since established itself as one of the pre-eminent equine charities in Great Britain, working closely with organisations such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, as well as all of the principle equinesports.

In 2016 the charity played an integral role in establishing IFAR, the International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses and it currently provides the Chairman of the IFAR Steering Group. IFAR is a vehicle for sharing best practice in racehorse aftercare across international racing bodies andorganisations.

The charity does not physically retrain or rehome the horses itself, rather it:

  • promotes and facilitates the retraining of racehorses;
  • funds and stages competitions for former racehorses in a range of equine disciplines;
  • funds and stages educational events and clinics for the owners of former racehorse;
  • funds and oversees the care and rehoming of vulnerable former racehorses

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR)
Office 6, Penfold Building
Westfield Farm
East Garston, Hungerford
RG17 7HD
01488 648998