Retired Racehorse Welfare Programs 

Over recent years the Thoroughbred Racing industry has put in a mammoth effort to ensure the ongoing care and rehoming of its equine athletes post racing. For people in the industry the love, care, and devotion of those looking after these beautiful animals doesn’t end when they stop racing. These magnificent creatures give us so much enjoyment and tireless effort that all anyone wants to see at the end of their career is that they go on to be loved and cared for in their new endeavours. 

So, what has the racing industry done to ensure the future of there horses and how can you be involved or offer one of them a new home. Each state has its own welfare program but at the end of the day its all about the transition of these racehorses to new lives that is the corner stone of all the programs 

Racing Victoria – 

  • Equine Welfare Department designated to ensuring the future of retired racehorses 
  • Equine Welfare Strategic Plan. Its aims are to be recognised as setting the standard in equine welfare. To promote safety and welfare of racehorses at all stages of life. 
  • Dedicated Retrainers to help support horses transition to a new life. Show case the versatility of the thoroughbred in many disciplines post racing and help with their care and retraining. 
  • Sponsored events and classes specifically for Off The Track Thoroughbreds 
  • Provide resources and support for owners of OTT horses 
  • Options to purchase a retired racehorse or become a retrainer 

Racing NSW –  

  • Welfare and rehoming division aiming to provide a safety net for thoroughbreds, so they have a quality home when retired and provide support and ongoing services post racing 
  • Team Thoroughbreds NSW is a not-for-profit entity set up by Racing NSW to ensure the welfare of the retired racehorse. Eligible horses can be given to Team Thoroughbred NSW to be cared for, retrained and a new home found. It aims to show case the suitability of these horses for many pursuits away from the track.  
  • Provide ongoing support, resources, and services for these horses in their new homes. 
  • Four dedicated farms for retraining  
  • “Bandanora” in Capetree Valley 
  • “Barts Farm” (formerly Princes Farm) also used for Retired Champions and the public                                                                                                                               will be able to visit 
  • “The Craig” on the Mid North Coast 
  • “Glenferrie Farm” in the Southern Tablelands 
  • Sponsored events and classes specifically for Off The Track Thoroughbreds 
  • OTT NSW Inc 

Racing Qld –  

  • Queensland Racing Off The Track Program 
  • Provide quality transition for Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds to new careers and homes. 
  • Provide Retirement pathways and awareness of adaptability of retired racehorses 
  • Acknowledged retrainer program 
  • Event and class sponsorship for OTT’s  
  • Provide on going support, education and resources 


Racing SA – 

  • Program specifically for the thoroughbred called Thorough Care SA. 
  • Aim to support welfare and promotion of thoroughbred horses before, during and after their racing careers 
  • Offer assistance packages for rehomed horses 
  • Designated Retrainers and homers 
  • Event sponsorship specifically for the OTT 


Other States and Territories have similar programs and information on any of those can be found on their respective websites.  

Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds can be seen out competing at events all over the country every weekend in all manner of disciplines, these programs help to showcase the versatility, athleticism, and beauty of these particular breeds. From eventing and dressage to polo and therapy horses, their ability to adapt to a new career is well documented. If you are looking for a new horse and the idea of adoption appeals to you, contact your states welfare program (contact details can be found on their websites) and they will help you decide if one of these retired horses is for you and assist in finding you the right partner going forward. Just keep in mind owning an ex-racehorse is not for everyone and the responsibility to care for these horses is huge but the rewards you will get are endless.  


Written by Selena. P 




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