The Horse Welfare Board has launched a strategic review into the funding for the aftercare of racehorses.
The review, recommended by the Horse Welfare Board’s ‘A Life Well Lived’ strategy that was launched in February and is being supported by the Racing Foundation, will focus on ensuring that the aftercare sector is financially sustainable and can consistently provide care and careers for racehorses after their racing careers have finished.
A wide-ranging consultation process will begin on Wednesday through a series of interviews with key stakeholders within racing and racehorse aftercare. These will be supported by a steering group comprising of racing, finance and horse welfare experts from the industry.
It is expected that the review will be completed by September 30 with findings and recommendations to be published at a later date.
Barry Johnson, Chair of the Horse Welfare Board, said: “This review is a vital first step in the implementation of the Horse Welfare Board’s strategy. Ensuring that the aftercare sector is adequately, consistently and sustainably resourced is essential in ensuring that horses bred for racing are cared for beyond their racing careers.
“This review will identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of the current system, as the basis for a longer-term funding and development strategy for the sector.
“I encourage all those contributing to the review to do so openly and in a spirit of collaboration, to help us to grow our collective understanding of funding in this are, in order to ensure effective underpinning of horse welfare. British racing has a strong commitment to aftercare and this review will help us to support and sustain this crucial sector long into the future.”
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners Association and member of the Horse Welfare Board, added: “I am so pleased to see the implementation of the recommendations from the HWB’s strategy starting. There is a lot of work to do, but the body of work around funding will be so important to putting welfare at the heart of racing.
“For owners, we know welfare is central to the ownership journey with the welfare of their horses during and after racing a top priority. Progress across the welfare strategy will further confirm to those in racing, and those interested in racing, that welfare matters. I look forward to seeing the results of the review and with putting the recommendations into action.”
Racing returns to the Knavesmire with the Group 2 Dante Stakes taking centre stage.
Traditionally run before the Derby, this year’s edition of the extended ten-furlong contest falls after the Blue Riband but has attracted Sir Michael Stoute’s promising colt Highest Ground, who is unbeaten in two starts.
The son of Frankel will face the Richard Hannon-trained Al Madhar, also unbeaten, Cormorant, Encipher, Juan Elcano and Thunderous.
Also on York’s card today is the Listed Marygate Fillies Stakes (5f) and the Group 3 Musidora Stakes (1m2f).
Newmarket transfers to the July Course for its Flat meeting today and features the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy Stakes (1m5f), the Group 2 July Stakes and the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes.
Chepstow also races on the Flat today along with Navan in Ireland.