Frequently asked questions.
Why exactly is it needed?
There are three centres across the country re-schooling and re-homing thoroughbred ex-racehorses, all do an excellent and essential job under very difficult circumstances. All three of these centres are under extreme pressure to re-home as many horses as possible in as short a time as possible. It is due to this problem that this sanctuary is very much needed if not essential. There are between 4000 and 5000 horses leaving the racing industry annually, the majority of which are quite straight forward and make the transition to becoming a riding horse with ease, however, it is the horses that find it difficult that need the facility that the Racehorse Sanctuary offers. The Racehorse Sanctuary is here to cater for those that we are told have no future under the current system.
What exactly happens at the Sanctuary?
When a trainer, owner or head of a syndicate finds themselves in a position where they are no longer able to keep a horse for varying reasons, this is the time the sanctuary steps in and provides a lifeline for the unfortunate animal.
When a new arrival turns up at the sanctuary the first thing that will happen is that he will be thoroughly examined by the equine veterinary surgeon and between the vet, Graham and Sue a course of treatment will be decided upon in order to return the horse to good health if this is an issue. Having completed his period in isolation during which his diet will have gradually be changed and his general attitude will have been assessed he will then subject to soundness be put into light work starting with lunging following on to being ridden. Those horses with very long-term injuries will be given the treatment and time needed to make a full recovery and should the horse still be unsuitable for ridden work at the end of this then a suitable home as a companion will be sought. Those who do have a future as riding horses will also be found suitable homes as either hacks or if capable competition horses. When it is decided that a horse has completed its recuperation/re-schooling process selected people who are looking for a particular type of horse are invited to come to the sanctuary to be assessed as to their suitability. If it is decided that this is the right person for a horse then a very stringent home inspection is then carried out and subject to passing this then the horse is placed on permanent loan to the applicant.
After care from the sanctuary then continues by way of unannounced welfare visits and advising on any problems that may occur. Should the keeper's situation change in any respect causing problems with the standard of care being offered to the horse then it will be immediately reclaimed and returned to the sanctuary. Many problems encountered by ex-racehorses are not necessarily due to health but to physiological reasons and these cannot be cured overnight. hey take time, patience and expertise. Equally, having done the groundwork and found the root of the problem, and in most cases cured it, all of this work can so easily be undone in the wrong hands. This is why we are so meticulous when choosing a new keeper to take on one of the sanctuary horses.
How is it funded?
The Racehorse Sanctuary is completely self funded and relies purely on the generosity of those people who like us believe that these wonderful creatures more than deserve the chance to live out their lives in comfort. In order that the sanctuary can carry out its work and maintain its aims and objectives it has been decided to say 'no' to any form of governing body that may compromise those objectives. Of course the additional funding would ease the financial pressure a great deal, but at what cost? This is why can be confident in the knowledge that every penny given to this cause goes either directly or indirectly to the horses in our care.
How can I help?
There are many ways in which you can help the Racehorse Sanctuary and all help, however small, is gratefully received. Probably the best way to support the Sanctuary is by joining our very active supporters group. Members make monthly direct debit payments and in return receive bi-annual newsletters updating them on the progress of the horses currently at the Sanctuary, invitations to various fund raising events and planned outings. Check out the Support and Donate links on the website to see other ways in which you can help us. These horses are relying on you to make their futures secure.