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News RoR releases film to spotlight equine ambassador scheme and promote equine welfare

30th November 2023

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) has released a new promotional film to raise awareness of the Horses For Courses equine ambassador programme, launched in March. The film features a number of former racehorses and their owners as well as racecourses who’ve taken part in the scheme this year.

The Horses For Courses programme has developed through the year with a number of The Jockey Club and independent racecourses using the initiative to demonstrate the importance of equine welfare and the lifelong care given to racing’s equine participants long after they’ve finished racing.

As well as appearing on racedays, ambassadors have also taken part in community based activities and have featured regularly on racecourse social media channels showcasing the wide range of second careers they go on to enjoy once their racing days are over.

In its initial year, Horses For Courses has paired up nine racecourses from around the country with a former racehorse who has an association with the track and the aim now is to expand the scheme to allow more racecourses to come on board with a suitable ambassador for 2024.

Featured in the film is Carlisle racecourse’s ambassador, the popular Duke of Navan formerly trained by Nicky Richards and now owned by Kelly Harding, who has visited the racecourse three times and has welcomed annual members to see him at home, interacting with racegoers and giving them the opportunity to learn more about racehorses and their lives after racing.

Another former racehorse who’s been busy through the year is Ascot’s ambassador Side Glance who has not only met with groups of school children at the course but has also ventured out into the community to visit an old people’s care home and a local school.

Leanne White, who looked after Side Glance during his career with Andrew Balding and has owned him ever since, said:

“Sidey has really enjoyed his Horses For Courses Ambassador role for Ascot in particular the involvement with their local community. It’s incredible how he changes when he’s around more vulnerable people. He adores the attention from the children and is so gentle with them and the elderly we have visited too. It’s been really special to see how excited the children become when they’re around him and the smiles he puts on the faces of the elderly.”

RoR Managing Director, David Catlow, added:

“Regardless of whether the horse is out competing or is just happy hacking, Horses For Courses has provided an important opportunity for the industry to promote the quality of life of the former racehorse population by highlighting what they are doing now in their second careers.

“We are very grateful to Godolphin for supporting the scheme and we would encourage more racecourses and the wider industry to amplify activity related to the scheme in 2024 so more people are aware of the quality of care given to our sport’s equine participants, day in day out throughout their lives.”

Sulekha Varma, Head of Racing, Jockey Club North West, and Clerk of the Course at Aintree Racecourse said on the film:

“It’s so important for people to see what racehorses do when their racing career is over. To see what our ambassador Definitly Red has done, who was so popular on the racecourse and is now a fantastic show horse, and the bond he has with his owner Andy, is wonderful. Andy is very active on social media and it’s great to be able to share his story with everyone who follows Aintree.”

Currently, the following horses are registered as Horses For Courses ambassadors:

Definitly Red - Aintree
Side Glance - Ascot
Duke of Navan - Carlisle
Magical Memory - Goodwood
Robinsfirth – Haydock Park
Takingrisks - Hexham
Nine Altars - Musselburgh
Baron Alco - Plumpton
Wemyss Point - Wetherby

ENDS

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact Toni Levey, Communications and Media Executive, at RoR, tlevey@ror.org.ukor telephone 077881286441.

About Retraining of Racehorses (RoR):
Founded in 2000, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Horseracing's official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing. We believe every former racehorse deserves a life well lived, throughout every stage of their life. For more information visit www.ror.org.uk

Latest news RoR is always interested to hear of other success stories so please email us and send a photograph of your own story.

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