The welfare and transition of Australian thoroughbreds post retirement has been bolstered by the introduction and implementation of new national regulations by the Australian Racing Board (ARB).

The new ruling, which took effect on July 1, makes it compulsory for owners to notify racing Information Services Australia (RISA) when their horse has been retired.

Managing owners have 30 days to advise RISA and outline the reasons for their horse’s retirement and plans for their life beyond the race track, whether it is for breeding, equestrian pursuits or as a companion animal.

In a further attempt to enhance the welfare of retired thoroughbreds, once a horse is retired, it will be ineligible to race again without the permission of stewards.

The new ARB ruling also impacts trainers who are required to notify RISA of the death of a race horse and the cause of their death when under their care.

The changes will provide the industry with greater insight into the reason why horses conclude their racing careers as well as their activities post racing, thus supplying statistics which can be used to better direct education and welfare initiatives.

“This national rule will provide racing authorities such as Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) with better information on the lives of horses post racing retirement,” said Dr Judith Medd, RWWA Racing Industry Veterinarian.

“This data can then be used to further develop and direct our Off the Track programme which supports the re-training and re-homing of thoroughbred racehorses, in addition to other welfare and researched based activities that RWWA supports financially.

“Whilst the majority of owners already re-home their horses responsibly, this rule reinforces the owner’s accountability to ensure they plan for their horses’ retirement early and give them the best possible opportunity of a fulfilling post-racing career also.”


Dr Judith Medd

RWWA Racing Industry Veterinarian

9277 2459