One of Britain’s leading flat jockeys, Frankie Dettori, has lent his support to the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre in a bid to raise people’s awareness of the charity, which is dedicated to the welfare of retired racehorses.

The team captain from BBC TV’s Question of Sport says: “We need to do everything we can to ensure these great horses are not neglected when they finish racing.

“In the wrong hands, ex-racehorses can be dangerous but, after proper rehabilitation and retraining, in the right hands they can be a joy to ride.”

The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre in Lancashire has been instrumental in highlighting the welfare of racehorses after they finished their racing careers. An open day is being held on Sunday 22 June to show people how horses that no longer race are re-trained before going to new homes.

The centre costs £260,000 a year to run, most of which comes from its own fund raising efforts.

Frankie says: “The work done at the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre is fantastic, and the re-training techniques and riding displays at its open days are fascinating to see. Everyone with an interest in horses should go along on 22 June.”

The Italian jockey is one of the charity’s five patrons who also include BBC TV’s former “voice of racing” Sir Peter O’Sullevan.

Also making an appearance at the open day at Poplar Grove Farm in Nateby, near Preston, are retired steeplechasers Desert Orchid and Hello Dandy.Having won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Irish Grand National and, on four occasions, the Boxing Day King George VI Steeplechase.

Twenty-nine-year-old Hallo Dandy, winner of the Grand National in 1984, is a permanent resident at the centre.

Visitors will be able to talk to the centre’s founder, Carrie Humble, who was recently awarded an MBE, and chief trainer Julie Robinson about their work. Keen racing fan and former Coronation Street actor Charlie Lawson, who played Jim McDonald, will be available to sign autographs andspeak to fans of the soap.

Greyhounds UK, another organisation which focuses on rehoming animals at the end of their racing careers, will also be at the centre with several of their dogs in order to show the work that is done for rescued greyhounds.