In response to the Panorama documentary
RacingGroom.com were shocked and appalled alongside every racing organisation, employee and enthusiast by conditions depicted in the abattoir featured in last night’s Panorama documentary. If you were affected by last night’s programme and are seeking clarity around racehorse welfare in Britain, we would like to take the opportunity to reassure you of the industry’s commitment to horse welfare and where to find further useful information.
The vast majority of British racehorses receive five star cradle-to-grave care and attention, with every effort made to ensure their retirement from racing is handled with the utmost consideration for the horse’s wellbeing beyond the track. In the event that euthanasia is in the horse’s best interest on welfare grounds, our training yards and valued staff handle this heartbreaking decision with incredible dignity and empathy. The majority go on to lead full lives either in other competitive disciplines, leisure riding, or enjoy a well-deserved retirement at grass. Please read all about the ROR, British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing. And head to your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds to check out all the wonderful posts trainers are sharing about the special homes they’ve secured for their retiring racehorses.
In addition, please take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the work of the Horse Welfare Board, which is in place to guide the racing industry in the continuous review and improvement in welfare standards. This is an industry and sport that cares deeply about the welfare of the horse throughout its life, on and off the track. If you are about to start working as a racing groom, you will be so proud of how you and your team work together in the delivery of care for horses on your yard.
We are in full support of any investigation into abattoir regulation standards that quickly address and correct failures in animal welfare, which were depicted on TV last night. The programme served to expose the absolute failure of the featured abattoir in the welfare of ex-racehorses and domestic horses in their approach to euthanasia, but it was not a reflection on how the British racing industry serve the horses in their care. It is important to note that no British-trained horses featured in the programme.
Help spread the words of our dedicated trainers and staff in this difficult time
There is an outcry from us all about how this programme has unjustly shone a light on British racing. As fellow lovers of our horses and our sport, do show your support to the trainers and staff flooding social media with their images and stories about the horses in their care, on and off the track.
Save the date too for National Racehorse Week running from the 12-19th September. A nationwide annual celebration of the racehorse and a chance to see first-hand the love, care and attention that goes into looking after them. In an experience like no other, racing training yards up and down the country, including training centres such as Epsom, Malton and Newmarket will be opening their doors to showcase the fantastic lives that racehorses lead.
In need of support?
Unfortunately, damaging programmes like this can result in nasty, abusive and uninformed responses from bullies on social media. If you already work in racing and are aware of anyone being subjected to online abuse from members of the public following the documentary. There is support available. The BHA has lots of helpful advice in how to report this type of bullying and how to protect yourself: https://www.
britishhorseracing.com/ regulation/participant- welfare/abusive-messages/