What does it mean to spell my horse when it retires from racing?

Now that you have decided it’s time to retire your racehorse and look for a suitable home, in most instances, owners will ensure horses have plenty of time to spell and let down. This is very beneficial for the horse to ensure there is enough time to rest and completed any veterinarian treatment prior to commencing its re-education. Horses who leave a racing stable need time to spell in a paddock to embark on their new journey in their new career.

What if I want to keep the horse once it retires from racing, but I don’t have a property?

Long-term agistment options can be found in your local area to house the horse in your care. Please consult your trainer, vet, and/or equine specialists to seek advice on suitable agistment locations and ongoing routine care scheduling required. There are a variety of options in line with your budget and it is recommended that you have an agistment agreement in place between both parties.

What if I don’t know the career best suited to my ex-racehorse?

A Thoroughbred re-educator is a person/ business who can assist in the retraining of your ex-racehorse. This is done for a fee, which generally includes the professional riders’ costs, daily feeding and agistment, and routine care (farrier, dentist, and worming) over a period (approx. 3-6 months depending on temperament) of time allocated. An investment in the horse post-racing sets them up for huge success for the rest of their lives.

Retraining resets the foundation of education so the horse can learn a new career. Many owners have located re-educators in local areas and put their horse with them for a few months to broaden their options when it’s time to rehome the horse to a new home. This teaches the horse new skills and ways of moving to look at careers in dressage, showing, show jumping, eventing, pleasure, western, polo and more.

There are also website and social media platforms that reach the equestrian audience to assist:

How can the local vet and equine specialist help? (Dentist, Farrier, Chiro, etc)

Seeking advice from equine vets and specialists about rehoming your ex-racehorse can assist in finding the best home possible. They can support by providing your horse’s accurate treatment records to ensure the horse is managed appropriately when transitioning from the racing industry.  Your racehorse trainer, vet, and equine specialists can discuss the many options with you especially when each horse has a unique path ahead in life after racing. Many vets have a strong network in their local community and can assist in providing advice on potential homes for horses.

I’ve rehomed my retired Thoroughbred racehorse to someone else what do I need to do?

When you have found a suitable home for your horse, the Racing NSW Re-homing A Racehorse Form can assist both parties to document the process and record the change of ownership. New owners can also ensure their details are correct by submitting a Retired Horse Status Update with Racing Australia.


Does it cost anything to surrender a horse to Team Thoroughbred NSW?

Owners are responsible for paying the transport fee of their horse to Team Thoroughbred NSW when it is accepted, but there is no ongoing fee once the horse is in our care. Ownership of the horse and all associated costs and responsibilities are transferred to Team Thoroughbred NSW.

What happens to a horse once it is in Team Thoroughbred NSW’s care?

When a horse arrives at one of Team Thoroughbred NSW’s equine welfare farms, it is thoroughly checked over and given any care or treatment it needs (eg farrier work, worming treatment etc.) The horse is then assessed for suitability in its next career and given the appropriate retraining.

Am I able to spell my horse with Team Thoroughbred NSW?

No, Team Thoroughbred NSW does not offer spelling facilities.

I know of a Thoroughbred which is not being adequately cared for. How do I report it?

Concerns for welfare can be reported by emailing thoroughbredwelfare@racingnsw.com.au Please include as much information as possible.

How can I rehome a Team Thoroughbred NSW horse?

Please download a potential buyer form, fill it in and submit it to teamthoroughbred@racingnsw.com.au. Once the form has been received and reviewed, a Team Thoroughbred NSW representative will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

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