World-Leading Horse Welfare

Respect for racehorses is at the heart of British racing. The industry is proud of its record on horse welfare and every horse should be given our respect, love and the highest standards of care.

Through the work of the Horse Welfare Board, British Racing is leading the way in setting world-leading welfare standards, both at home and on the racecourse. The Horse Welfare Strategy focuses on the ambition that every horse bred to race should lead “a life well-lived”. The strategy includes traceability for horses bred for the sport, a strong focus on safety and wellbeing, and a more open approach to communications. British racing is deeply committed to enacting the 20 recommendations published in the strategy.

The Horse Welfare Board, supported by Great British Racing, led the charge in introducing Britain’s first industry-wide National Racehorse Week since 2020, which sees training yards opening up and down the country across a week in September to show the public first-hand the fantastic care our racehorses receive, and to come together in celebration of our wonderful racehorses and the staff who look after them.

Welfare Facts

  • The 14,000 horses who are in training at any one time receive almost constant attention from the 6,000+ stable staff who are dedicated to their care.
  • There are minimum numbers of vets who officiate at every fixture. For example, at the Cheltenham Festival there are six Veterinary Officers and eight Veterinary Surgeons on site.
  • Since the year 2000, British racing has invested over £35 million in veterinary research and education which benefits all breeds.
  • The sport takes steps to look after horses at all stages of their lives, from the mandatory microchipping and registration of a foal within 30 days of its birth and tens of thousands of former racehorses go on to second careers after racing.

TBA Equine Welfare Guidelines

In collaboration with a number of thoroughbred breeders and industry stakeholders within British racing, the TBA's Equine Welfare Working Group has developed a set of industry guidelines, with information and benchmarking of practices that are relevant to the breeding and raising of thoroughbreds as future athletes. The publication reflects the TBA’s ongoing commitment to the wider British racing and breeding industry's work in protecting and promoting the health and welfare of the British thoroughbred. The guidelines serve to formalise the optimal standards of horse welfare upheld in British racing.

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