Horse welfare is a strong priority for all those working within the Irish racing industry.

Ireland has an international reputation for the production of high-quality thoroughbred racehorses and for the excellent horsemanship of its many racing professionals. This reputation has been built on a long history of quality care and husbandry.

Horse Racing Ireland's policy on horse welfare is reflected in the 'Our Industry, Our Standards' document, which was developed by the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council in consultation with representatives from across the racing industry. The document puts current best-practice science into language, principles and criteria that are real and coherent.

The document also includes information on alternative careers for thoroughbreds and guidance on end-of-life decisions. In addition, advice is provided regarding what to do if you are concerned about the welfare or potential mistreatment of any equine.

HRI supports the Irish Equine Centre by providing a substantial annual grant. The Centre fulfils a vital role in the protection against potentially devastating equine diseases. HRI also directly supports the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) and Treo Eile, which seek to support the rehoming and retraining of thoroughbreds no longer active in racing.

Racehorse to Riding Horse 

Since 2009, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing has been supporting the retraining of racehorses through sponsorship of 'Racehorse To Riding Horse' classes in Ireland, including the increasingly popular ex-racehorse class at the RDS Dublin Horse Show.

The winners of six regional shows in Cavan, Armagh, Gorey, Curraheen, Athlone, and Fingal receive automatic entry into the 'Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Racehorse To Riding Horse' class at the RDS Dublin Horse Show each August, where a maximum of 18 ex-racers are judged on ride, manners and conformation.

Click here for all the info on the ITM Racehorse To Riding Horse class.

Recognition by ITM is very important as it shows the general public that the racing authorities are interested in horse welfare and thoroughbreds' usefulness after racing. By joining together we can promote the Irish thoroughbred’s versatility. Supporting the concept of ex-racehorse of the year will encourage people to take another look at the ex-racehorse as being a useful general riding horse, able to hold its own within the sport horse sector in many disciplines such as dressage, show-jumping, eventing and riding club/pony club.

Julie Morris, Racehorse To Riding Horse Ireland

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Call: +353 (0) 45443060 Email: [email protected]