Broadcaster Clare Balding is the new patron of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing.
RoR said Balding’s lifelong association with horseracing, passion for horses and her profile as one of the UK’s most popular TV presenters and broadcasters “will provide a huge boost to the work of the charity promoting second careers for former racehorses”.
Chairman Paul Roy said in 2013 the number of horses registered with the charity increased by 20% so that by the close of the year there were over 8700 former racehorses eligible to compete in a wide range of disciplines and competitions run by RoR.
“As the charity’s database expands and awareness of its work increases, to have a patron as well known and as well respected as Clare is great news. She is a great ambassador for all equine sports and I have no doubt she will be a considerable asset to RoR and help take the charity to new levels of success and influence,” he said.
Balding said she was honored to become a patron of the charity, whose work she had followed for many years.
“I have been impressed at the range of equestrian pursuits in which former racehorses can find a happy and meaningful second career. I look forward to becoming more involved, discovering more about the versatility of the thoroughbred and actively helping to retrain horses whose racing days are behind them.”
Launched by the British Horseracing Board (now the British Horseracing Authority) in April 2000, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) was awarded charitable status in Autumn 2000.
In 2007 the charity amalgamated with the Racehorse Owners Association charity, Emergency Relief for Thoroughbreds. Retraining of Racehorses now also has responsibility for cases when former racehorses are found in a sick, neglected or ill-treated state.
Retraining of Racehorses is funded through the racing industry and through investment returns on gifts made by the Mellon Trust and Sheikh Mohammed. Contributions are made by owners from entry fees, from racecourses and the Horseracing & Betting Levy Board. The remaining funding comes from a range of bodies within the racing industry.
Retraining of Racehorses supports five charitable retraining centres for the care, retraining and rehoming of former racehorses: Greatwood, HEROS, Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre, the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre and Hollesley Bay. It also makes ad hoc payments to other homing organisations.
Retraining of Racehorses promotes the adaptability of racehorses to other equestrian activities. It runs a well established programme of competitions in a variety of equine disciplines, and holds clinics/workshops to educate and improve riders handling former racehorses.