A film showing what goes on behind the scenes of at the yard of a racehorse trainer to The Queen has been released ahead of Royal Ascot (19-22 June).
The video, produced as part of the racing industry’s Horse Comes First campaign, shows the daily life of horses in training with William Haggas at Somerville Lodge and the people who care for them.
“Owners and trainers want to win, of course we do, but it’s not possible to win without fit, healthy and well looked-after horses,” said the Derby-winning trainer.
“I am incredibly proud of our operation and the team here at Somerville Lodge, equine welfare is our number one priority and so I was delighted to allow the cameras in and show what we do here.”
Annie Martin, a groom at Somerville Lodge, said the horses are treated like “royalty”.
“I’d heard rumours about the way horses are treated before I entered the industry, but it’s simply not true,” she said.
“To run well and run safely, horses are treated like kings and queens. They really are given the very best care we can possibly give them.”
There are currently 14,000 horses in training in Britain, cared for by more than 6,000 people.
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David Sykes, director of equine health and welfare at the British Horseracing Authority, added that racechorses’ training and lifestyle involves the “best possible care”.
“Around the country, thousands of people are thinking about their preparations for Royal Ascot,” said Mr Sykes.
“We wanted to create a film that shows the diligence and meticulousness of the racing industry and how they care for their horses, not just for the big festivals, but all year round.
“No expense is spared on the highest quality feed, facilities and bedding to ensure they are happy and healthy athletes, but this isn’t something that the average racegoer is always aware of.”
The Horse Comes First campaign is an industry-wide initiative, supported by the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association, the Racehorse Owners Association, the Professional Jockeys Association, the National Trainers Federation, the Jockey Club, the National Association of Stable Staff, Retraining of Racehorses and Arena Racing Company.
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