BTRC Celebrate 30 Years of Thoroughbred Aftercare

The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, the country’s original and biggest charity dedicated to the welfare of racehorses for a life after racing, will launch its 30th anniversary as part of National Racehorse Week. The launch will take place on Saturday, September 18 during an Open Day to be held at the Centre at Whinney Hill, Halton near Lancaster.

Founded by Carrie Humble as the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre in 1991, the BTRC continues to assist retired Thoroughbreds either by taking horses directly from racing or through its Vulnerable Horse Programme. Purchased by the BTRC in 2004, Whinney Hill is a 200-acre site in the foothills of the Pennines and boasts 45 boxes, which makes it the biggest charitable centre in the country, with planning permission in place for another 40 boxes and a state-of-the-art rehabilitation/retraining arena.

Since day one, the BTRC has never sold a horse. When horses go through the retraining programme, suitable loaners are found, who then take the horse on a lifetime loan. However, if a change of circumstances means they can no longer look after the horse, then it returns to the Centre and so cannot become vulnerable.

BTRC Chief Executive Gillian Carlisle said: “We are excited to be able to celebrate BTRC providing Thoroughbred Aftercare for 30 years. During this time the Charity has continued to offer a safety net for any vulnerable horses found in the UK through the BTRC’s Vulnerable Horse Programme as well as a 24/7 helpline for anyone struggling or needing help with their horse. Furthermore, BTRC actively promotes Aftercare through education, work placement programmes and community engagement events. We wish to not only continue our important work but increase capacity at the Centre through the Masterplan development of additional stables and arena which would allow us to help even more of these amazing horses in the future”.

And BTRC Chairman John Sexton added: “We are delighted to be launching our 30th anniversary as part of National Racehorse Week. Welfare and aftercare are now high on the agenda for the racing industry, but there is still a long way to go before racing fully meets its obligations. Since I became involved with the BTRC a decade ago, I have seen at first hand the important work that goes on here providing the safety net for Thoroughbreds that might otherwise have been potentially embarrassing for the sport. It is work that few people in racing see or realise happens and it is vital that it continues”.

10 September 2021