Much depends on the horse, the new owner and the discipline or activity they plan to undertake. Some horses have been re-homed in under one month; others may take three to six months, or longer.
When ex-racehorses first come to HEROS Charity we give them a period of rest and play in the field. They need a bit of time to get racing out of their minds and it also takes some time for us to understand their abilities and needs.
Ex-racehorses are never turned out in large groups when they first arrive because they need time to get to know one another and understand `the pecking order’ in the field.
Attention from the vet and farrier is provided, as needed, and their feeding regime is gradually changed from the high-protein energy-rich diet normally used to support race training to a diet more suited to normal work. At HEROS Charity we feed our own oat-based mix with balanced mineral supplements – the same feed that has been used at our stud farm over many years. Once settled, horses may hack out, do some schooling, and/or they may spend some time on the horse walker.
Take a look at the horses available to see the different types of horses that we typically take for rehoming.
Visit the Where are they now? page and see pictures and read testimonials from people who have taken ownership or long-term loan of ex-racehorses for other equestrian sports such as polo, eventing, showjumping and dressage as well as for hacking, or as companion horses.
More than 500 ex-racehorses have now been successfully re-trained and re-homed over the years that Grace Muir has worked at North Farm stud and as Chief Executive of HEROS Charity. We currently aim to re-home about 100 horses every year but with more funds, we could help many more.
The charity depends on the generosity of race-goers, owners, patrons and a grant from the RoR to survive. In the past significant sponsorship was also provided by Sportingbet.
But in the current economic climate it is increasingly difficult to secure regular funding and we desperately need more.
Making a donation is easy. Any donation, however large or small, is very welcome. You can be sure that your money goes directly to the care of horses and not into overheads.
There are lots of ways you can learn more about HEROS Charity and get involved including Club membership, volunteering, social events, open days, fundraising events, sales of kit and shows. These are all amongst the activities we organise each year.
Find out more on our Get Involved and Events pages.
Anyone interested in providing a home and/or a new career for an ex-racehorse can find out more by browsing the pages of our website.
Many people also learn about the work we do via the Rehoming of Racehorses website. On our website there is opportunity to learn more about the work of the charity, our events, the people (staff, board of trustees, patrons, ambassadors and club members) and the horses that are currently available.
No – you don’t have to be an expert rider.
If you are, particularly if you already have experience of Thoroughbreds, then you will be aware that ex-racehorses are making their mark as serious competitors in various disciplines including polo, showjumping, dressage and eventing.
If you are a `happy hacker’ or if you simply enjoy to be around horses and would like to offer one a home, we can still find you the right match.
At HEROS Charity we are proud of the support we offer to horses as well as to riders at all levels before and after the match is made. This ensures maximum attention to safety and it ensures that the relationship is supported in the long term. For example, if circumstances change, we will continue to back you up and provide support.