As part of the ongoing increase in activity around Thoroughbred welfare initiatives, NZTR is pleased to announce the launch of the initial network of NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers.
“Thoroughbred welfare is at the heart of what we do, and NZTR has been progressively rolling out initiatives to fulfil the industry’s collective obligation for the guardianship of our horses,” NZTR GM Welfare & Sustainability Martin Burns said. “The commencement of the NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers network is the most significant step in this process to far’’.
NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers are people who have been identified as having the appropriate skill, experience, and a track record in successfully rehoming Thoroughbreds after their racing careers.
An Acknowledged Retrainer can objectively assess each horse’s suitability and character, matching this to the skill and aspiration of a prospective owner; therefore, ensuring each horse is best placed for future success in a new home.
Having broad geographical coverage of Acknowledged Retrainers throughout both the North and South Islands ensures that this is a scheme that benefits horse welfare on an industry wide level.
Often, if not a breeding prospect, a racehorse is earmarked by its trainer or ‘accountable person’ for a second career long before his or her racing days are over. It is expected that a great proportion of Thoroughbreds will continue to be responsibly rehomed on this basis. However, for some horses, the appropriate rehoming opportunity is not immediately obvious. The creation of a network of NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers aims to provide such a horse with a clear pathway into its life after racing.
Responsibly rehoming, whether independently or via an Acknowledged Retrainer, will satisfy the accountable person’s duty of care under the Rules of Racing to ensure that the horse is rehomed appropriately. This, along with the submission of a completed SR24 Death or Retirement form, ensures that both population traceability and horse welfare are at the forefront when a horse is retired.
NZTR’s partnership with Beyond the Barriers NZ has provided a firm foundation of practical understanding for the establishment and ongoing support for acknowledged retrainers.
The consultation to develop the NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers network began in April, with a small clinic hosted in conjunction with Beyond the Barriers NZ. Here, the participants were able to shape a suitable criteria and application process for those wishing to become an Acknowledged Trainer.
In addition, the group gathered at this clinic identified ways in which NZTR can best support retrainers to upskill, expand their capacity to take on horses, and ensure their operations continue to develop and remain sustainable in the long term. This support will be facilitated by the 1% levy on stakes money (as explained here).
“Beyond the Barriers is excited to be playing a core role in the planning and future of the network of NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers. Looking forward, there will be hosted workshops for retrainers and wider support for Thoroughbred owners in NZ” Nicky Wallace of Beyond the Barriers said, “We want to build an #NZOTTB community and hopefully see these horses coming through in the Dunstan Ex-Factor competition and other Thoroughbred events.”
For further information on the scheme, or to find an Acknowledged Retrainer near you please click this link.