RoR has established itself as one of the prominent British equine charities, promoting the highest standards of equine welfare and providing evidence to support the Racing Industry’s message that it cares about what happens to its equine heroes after their careers in racing have ended.
Following an independent strategic review in 2014 led by Jonny McIrvine, former Chief Executive of the ILPH, now World Horse Welfare, the RoR put in place steps to bolster existing measures that protect the welfare of former racehorses.
These included the appointment of RoR’s own dedicated Welfare Consultant, Brigadier Paul Jepson, to monitor vulnerable horses and to act as liaison with the equine charities. Previously Chief Executive of The Horse Trust, Paul is Vice President of BEVA and played an integral part in advising Government on the establishment of the National Equine Welfare Protocol.
Whilst the success of the competition series has highlighted the versatility of the Thoroughbred and created a genuine commercial market for former racehorses, the equine charities perform a vital role in providing a safety net for ‘vulnerable and unwanted’ former racehorses.
Paul will use his experience as both a veterinary surgeon and former consultant to Government on equine welfare to monitor any ‘vulnerable and unwanted’ former racehorses, and to work with other welfare organisations.
Most horses retiring from racing are eminently suitable for a further career in one of the many sport horses disciplines or simply as a hack or companion, although it is recognised that there are those with physical or temperament problems. If these are severe, they are catered for through a pragmatic and transparent euthanasia policy.