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Welfare Care of Vulnerable Racehorses

The RoR "Vulnerable Horse Scheme" is open to horses that have either raced of have been in training.

‘Vulnerable horses’ have typically changed ownership several times since retirement from racing and in common with problems shared across the equestrian world, the horses are usually victims of a lack of resource on the part of the owner, either in terms of the time and commitment needed to care for a horse or the cost of keeping a horse.

Horses enter the scheme with the consent of the owners, who often raise the issue themselves either with RoR or via one of the accredited rehoming centres and charities that RoR works with. The horses are placed with one of RoR’s accredited rehoming centres and cared for and retrained with a view to securing them a suitable new long-term home. Approximately 100 horses are assisted by the scheme annually.

Emergency Relief for Thoroughbreds

ERT funding is deployed only for more serious cases, the rare occasions when former racehorses are found to be neglected, ill-treated or sick.

Cases are assessed and monitored by the RoR Head of Welfare and funding is made available for former racehorses that are found in a poor state of health and, on veterinary advice, are in need of immediate attention.

ERT funding contributes to the cost of transport to a suitable location for immediate care, veterinary assessment and aftercare, as well as general management and keep costs. If no satisfactory or suitable long-term solution is found, and if recommended by a veterinary surgeon, euthanasia maybe the best option in terms of prioritising the horse’s welfare.

There are only a small number of cases per year that warrant ERT funding and even combined with the number of horses cared for under the Vulnerable Horse Scheme, the figure represents a disproportionately small percentage of equine welfare cases nationally.

Euthanasia Policy