Ex-racehorse rehabilitation and retraining pilot scheme a success

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • Wold Agent’s racing career was short lived – and so, too, at one point, were his prospects. However, thanks to a new pilot scheme, masterminded by two leading welfare charities, the gelding now has a guaranteed future and a second career to look forward to.

    At the beginning of this year, World Horse Welfare and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) teamed up on a collaborative project designed to use the former’s expertise in rehabilitating and re-homing ex-racehorses. Funded by RoR, the scheme is in addition to World Horse Welfare’s existing UK rescue and rehoming operations.

    Wold Agent’s, known as Ollie, predicament was typical of a racehorse leaving the track. After racing five times and then relocating to a non-racing yard, his new owner suffered an injury which meant she could no longer look after him. He was the first horse to be inducted onto the new pilot scheme and was sent to World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm in Norfolk.

    Following physiotherapy and pole work to develop and rebuild muscle tone, Ollie’s ridden work progressed quickly and after a few months in the care of specialist groom Emma Sawyers, who previously worked at the Darley Racehorse Rehoming and Retraining Centre, he began to take part in low-level dressage competitions.

    Ollie prior to leaving World Horse Welfare

    Ollie prior to leaving World Horse Welfare

    He attracted a lot of interest from potential re-homers, but eventually teamed up with Rachel Clay, a secretary at Rossdales Equine Hospital.

    “Now my children are older I was keen to find a horse that would help me get back into competing and rehoming seemed like the ideal solution,” said Rachel. “Ollie has settled into his new home with us beautifully and it is clear that he has been impeccably schooled during his time at World Horse Welfare. I’m really excited about starting his dressage career.”

    Ollie with Rachel and her family

    Ollie with Rachel and her family

    World Horse Welfare’s Tony Tyler said that Ollie’s successful rehoming was an important milestone in the RoR pilot scheme.

    Chief executive, Di Arbuthnot, added:

    “We [now] have in place a structure that enables former racehorses that might otherwise be at risk of becoming vulnerable to be looked after, retrained and rehomed. We are delighted that Ollie has been found a new home following his spell under the expert care of World Horse Welfare and we hope the pilot scheme will evolve into a longstanding alliance and working relationship.”

    You may like...