Inaugural Thoroughbred Census to Enhance Post-Racing Equine Care and Traceability

Thoroughbred Census infographic

Innovative Thoroughbred Census Led by British Racing’s Horse Welfare Board and Hartpury University Aims to Transform Data Collection for Retired Racehorses

A historic effort to enhance the welfare and traceability of retired racehorses has been launched with the introduction of the 2023 Thoroughbred Census in Great Britain. Spearheaded by the British Racing’s Horse Welfare Board in partnership with Hartpury University, this ambitious initiative seeks to build a robust database of retired thoroughbred racehorses, improving their post-racing care and ensuring a holistic understanding of their lives beyond the track.

The inaugural Thoroughbred Census is the result of a collaborative endeavour between British Racing’s Horse Welfare Board and equine research experts at Hartpury University. The census aims to revolutionise the data collection process for retired racehorses by encouraging all former racehorse owners to participate and contribute vital information between June 28 and December 31, 2023.

This pioneering census endeavours to achieve several vital objectives:

Enhanced Traceability: By gathering comprehensive and accurate data, the census aims to vastly improve the traceability of retired thoroughbred racehorses. This data will be pivotal in shaping the support provided to these horses, both in terms of access to educational resources and opportunities for alternative careers.

Informed Communities: The collected data will contribute to the development of informed and supportive communities centred around responsible ownership and equine welfare. These communities will foster responsible practices and offer guidance to retired racehorse owners.

Effective Disease Management: The census data will bolster the Horse Welfare Board’s ability to swiftly and effectively manage equine disease outbreaks by facilitating rapid communication and response to affected owners.

The census will comprehensively capture a range of information about each retired thoroughbred horse, including:

  • Equine identification document (passport) number
  • Microchip number
  • Age
  • Current residence
  • Second career pursuits
  • And more, culminating in a robust profile of the 2023 retired racehorse population in Great Britain.

The 2023 Thoroughbred Census is a collaborative endeavour involving significant partners:

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR): As British Racing’s official aftercare charity, RoR plays a crucial role in promoting responsible ownership and equine welfare among retired racehorse owners.

Racing Foundation: Funding from the Racing Foundation supports the census and its efforts to improve retired racehorse data collection.

World Horse Welfare: A strong supporter of the initiative, World Horse Welfare underscores the importance of full traceability for the well-being of all thoroughbreds.

Weatherbys General Stud Book: The racing industry’s official records keeper, Weatherbys General Stud Book contributes to the census’s data-driven mission.

Owners of retired racehorses hold a pivotal role in ensuring traceability and equine welfare. The census aims to encourage these owners to:

  • Update their horses’ equine identification documents (passports) within 30 days of new ownership.
  • Register their retired racehorses with RoR to support ongoing traceability efforts.
  • Leading the Equine Future:
  • The 2023 Thoroughbred Census stands as a watershed moment in enhancing the welfare and post-racing lives of thoroughbred horses. By participating in this groundbreaking initiative, retired racehorse owners can contribute to the holistic well-being of these majestic animals.

To participate in the 2023 Thoroughbred Census, and be part of this transformative equine initiative, visit the Retraining of Racehorses website here.

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