Responsible
Rehoming of retired
racehorses

!

Walter Pike Feb 26, 2014
Walter Pike
•

Polo Player

•

Bred and raced, process of reapplying for colours

•

Runs a facebook group called :




A ...
Problem statement
•

The horse racing industry is under pressure
internationally regarding what happens to retired
racehor...
OTTB
•

For the purposes of this document an Off The Track
Thoroughbred (OTTB) is a horse which has retired
from racing.

...
Analysis
•

There is a greater supply of off the track thoroughbreds (OTTB) than demand
for them.

•

OTTB need specialise...
Brand OTTB
•

Unreliable, flighty and hard to handle.

•

Take at least 1-2 years to recover from racing. Drugs and steroid...
Transition is a major problem
•

The retraining of a racehorse to other uses requires a
level of skill.
•

Transition from...
The market
•

Because the warmblood is regarded as a better sports horse the
OTTB market is a second tier market. Except i...
Strategy
•

Improve demand by improving Brand OTTB

•

Manage the supply to ensure that the market is
supplied with better...
Brand OTTB
•

OTTB need PR. FB groups like Beyond Racing and
A Thoroughbred Second Life can help. But a full
PR program to...
The certified OTTB
•

Selected OTTB certified via the HRA

•

Rated in terms of soundness.

•

Rated in terms of temperament...
Support for OTTB
•

Panel of knowledgable people to assist in transition.
•

Contactable via website.

•

The same website...
Certified half way house
•

Horses move to people with experience at
transitioning OTTB.

•

Transfer to a roughage based d...
Horses out of the system

•

An information pack provided with each OTTB sold
or rehomed - provided to trainers free of ch...
Funding
•

It is proposed that a small monthly levy be imposed
on all horses in training and on horses registered
with the...
Pvte

Sale

OTTB
Pvte

Sale
sup

port

Horse
retires

Cert

OTTB

Cert
Half
way

Data

base

Incen

tives

Eutha
nased

Th...
Certified Off The Track Thoroughbred programme
Certified Off The Track Thoroughbred programme
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Certified Off The Track Thoroughbred programme

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A suggestion to be tabled at the conference on the responsible homing of OTTB

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Certified Off The Track Thoroughbred programme

  1. 1. Responsible Rehoming of retired racehorses ! Walter Pike Feb 26, 2014
  2. 2. Walter Pike • Polo Player • Bred and raced, process of reapplying for colours • Runs a facebook group called :
 
 A Thoroughbred Second Life! • I acknowledge the fantastic support from this group in coming up with coherent suggestions in a crowd sourcing exercise I did.
  3. 3. Problem statement • The horse racing industry is under pressure internationally regarding what happens to retired racehorses. This presents a huge reputational risk. • A step in the process is creating a process of responsible rehoming of these horses and to communicate this effectively in order to manage this reputation. • How?
  4. 4. OTTB • For the purposes of this document an Off The Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) is a horse which has retired from racing. • It will be a Thoroughbred registered with the HRA and had at least one start.
  5. 5. Analysis • There is a greater supply of off the track thoroughbreds (OTTB) than demand for them. • OTTB need specialised skill to successfully transition from racing to other uses. • OTTB are regarded as second tier/less desirable horses by the riding public. So often go to second tier riders. • • less skills. • • less money. less experience as buyers - more likely to buy bad horses - further adding to bad reputation. Many OTTB are broken down or not suitable.
  6. 6. Brand OTTB • Unreliable, flighty and hard to handle. • Take at least 1-2 years to recover from racing. Drugs and steroids • Soft • Can’t keep condition • Expensive to keep • Can’t compete with warmbloods • Not adaptable to different uses. • Risk of soundness
 
 Note that it doesn't matter whether this is true or not this are what people think.
  7. 7. Transition is a major problem • The retraining of a racehorse to other uses requires a level of skill. • Transition from a grain based to a roughage based diet. Managing ulcers. • Different management. • Reprogramming the horses mind from racing. • Retraining the horse to respond to different riding styles.
  8. 8. The market • Because the warmblood is regarded as a better sports horse the OTTB market is a second tier market. Except in specialised markets like Polo and Polocrosse we are dealing with second tier buyers. • Less experienced in buying - more likely to buy duds, unsound, bad temperament. • Mommy buyers - no experience at all • Less experience in horse management • Less riding skill. • Many times more likely to mess up a good horse, turn it into a problem and then do further damage to the thoroughbred brand.
  9. 9. Strategy • Improve demand by improving Brand OTTB • Manage the supply to ensure that the market is supplied with better quality. • Assist with the transition to the Second Life
  10. 10. Brand OTTB • OTTB need PR. FB groups like Beyond Racing and A Thoroughbred Second Life can help. But a full PR program to position them as reliable, competitive and tough horses • Identification of disciplines where OTTB can excel and offer special incentives for competition on OTTB. eg polo polocrosse, eventing, jumping etc. • The certified OTTB programme (explained in next slide)
  11. 11. The certified OTTB • Selected OTTB certified via the HRA • Rated in terms of soundness. • Rated in terms of temperament. • Homed in terms of a contract to an owner with satisfactory conditions and some experience. • Registered on a register of OTTB change of ownership required - web based database
  12. 12. Support for OTTB • Panel of knowledgable people to assist in transition. • Contactable via website. • The same website which holds database. • Membership contracted - but also incentivised by OTTB top up prizes at shows. • Discussion group on FaceBook eg A Thoroughbred Second Life.
  13. 13. Certified half way house • Horses move to people with experience at transitioning OTTB. • Transfer to a roughage based diet. • Do basic training and settling work to create a stable basis for subsequent stabling. • Individuals certified as OTTB
  14. 14. Horses out of the system • An information pack provided with each OTTB sold or rehomed - provided to trainers free of charge and with links to a comprehensive online resource library available free to the public.
  15. 15. Funding • It is proposed that a small monthly levy be imposed on all horses in training and on horses registered with the HRA by breeders to create a fund which will fund: • PR - Beyond racing • Certified OTTB • Certified halfway house.

  16. 16. Pvte
 Sale OTTB Pvte
 Sale sup
 port Horse retires Cert
 OTTB Cert Half way Data
 base Incen
 tives
 Eutha nased The OTTB Program

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