Qld Racing Needs To Find Homes For Retired Racehorses Too

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We are petitioning Racing Queensland and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission to set up an adoption program for all retired racehorses, similar to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) that QRIC funds.

SAQ announced their horse adoption program will cease to accept any further retired OTT Standardbred racehorses for rehoming as from 1st October, 2019.

The Standardbred Association Queensland Inc (SAQ) have regrettably been forced to announce that they are no longer in a position to accept any further retired OTT Standardbred racehorses through its long standing and very successful Adoption Program, due to lack of financial support from Control and Integrity Bodies.

SAQ established its Horse Adoption Program in 2002, and over the past 17 years has rehomed almost 1,200 Standardbreds, transitioning into both pleasure and performance horses after their retirement from their traditional role of Harness Racing. This program has been run entirely by volunteers, with very limited resources and funding, and the current demand from owners and trainers requiring assistance with rehoming their retired racehorses is no longer manageable by this small group without much needed help from the Racing Industry.

The Association has been trying to initiate a meeting with Racing Industry stakeholders to discuss rehoming strategies and options for the future of this industry, but sadly, our requests for assistance from Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), Racing Queensland, and the Minister for Racing, Stirling Hinchliffe, have not been seen as urgent.

SAQ will continue to attempt to find suitable homes for the existing 18 Standardbreds currently on our books, and follow up all obligatory health checks for the 130 horses rehomed through our Adoption Program this past year and are still under an adoption contract. SAQ is the only Standardbred Breed Society in Queensland, and will continue to organise and run our annual championships, events, musters, clinics & training days, share the success stories and actively promote the attributes of the breed beyond racing.

It is now time for the racing industry to come together and start taking some responsibility for the welfare of racehorses for their entire lifetime, not just when earning money as racehorses for the government, the industry of racing and wagering. For too long it has been left to a small minority of volunteers who have a
passion to step up and advocate for these forgotten animals!

If the government can find money to invest in increasing racing prizemoney, then surely, they can find money to invest in ensuring these horses are looked after when retiring from racing.

It shouldn’t take a scandal such as what happened with the greyhounds to find that money! It is unfair that only that code is fully funded to operate the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP), leaving the Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds to fend for themselves, with the expectation that small volunteer groups will hopefully fill the void.

Help us to let Racing Queensland and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission know that as a community we hold them responsible for welfare of the Racehorses for the whole of their life not just during racing, by signing this petition and sharing it with everyone you know.