RoR announces new ‘Horses For Courses’ equine ambassador programme

10th May 2023

Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is delighted to announce an exciting new initiative to showcase the care given and opportunities open to former racehorses once their racing days come to an end. The RoR Horses For Courses programme will launch with The Jockey Club and a number of independent racecourses announcing their official equine ambassadors who will be appearing at selected racedays during the upcoming racing season.

In total, five Jockey Club racecourses, namely Aintree, Carlisle, Exeter, Haydock Park and Sandown Park along with Ascot, Chester, Goodwood and Wetherby have already sourced their equine ambassadors with first appearances on course set for this Spring.  Market Rasen, Musselburgh, Plumpton and Wincanton racecourses have also confirmed their participation and will announce their ambassadors later in the year.

Throughout the season, each course will use their communications channels to actively promote their ambassador’s story and the horse will serve as an important link between the racecourse and their local community. As well as giving racegoers the chance to interact more closely with horses, the ambassadors will provide the opportunity for courses to educate racegoers about racehorses and their lives after racing.

Regardless of whether the horse is out competing or is just happy hacking, Horses For Courses will allow the industry to continually convey the quality of life of the former racehorse population by highlighting what they are doing now in their second careers.

The first horses to begin their ambassadorial roles for racecourses are Side Glance, American and Definitely Red. At Ascot on Thursday 23rd March former Grade 1 winner Side Glance welcomed a group of school children visiting the racecourse, whilst the former Harry Fry trained American will be meeting racegoers at Exeter for their Family Fun Day on Tuesday 11th April and Definitly Red, two time winner of the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree, returns to the course in a new role as their equine ambassador.

Sulekha Varma, Head of Racing, Jockey Club North West, and Clerk of the Course at Aintree Racecourse added: “We are looking forward to working with RoR to bring the Horses For Courses project to The Jockey Club Racecourses, including at Aintree on Day 2 of the Randox Grand National Festival where Definitly Red will be joining us.  Following this, throughout the year, we will also be tracking his second career across our social media platforms, and he will make appearances with us on racedays.

“It’s important to us that racehorses have the best care and attention even after their careers in racing have finished, so to have the opportunity to showcase this across our racecourses is fantastic. Throughout the year, racegoers will have the chance to meet these former racehorses and learn more about their aftercare and second careers.”

David Catlow, Managing Director of RoR said: “We are delighted to be launching the RoR Horses For Courses initiative which we hope the industry will get behind and support.  Every day, we see the powerful impact that former racehorses have on people’s lives, and racecourses have an important role in conveying positive messages about the high standard of aftercare in British racing to racegoers and beyond to the wider public.

“The clear message to be taken from this initiative is that whatever shape or size a racehorse is, and irrespective of its ability on the racecourse, there is a suitable post-racing career pathway for them.  Our thanks to all the courses and the participating owners of the horses, and also to Godolphin who provided some valuable funding to facilitate the launch of Horses For Courses.”

RoR Horses For Courses ambassadors have been confirmed at the following racecourses:

Aintree – Definitly Red
Ascot – Side Glance
Carlisle – Duke of Navan
Chester – Glen’s Diamond
Exeter – American
Goodwood – Magical Memory
Haydock Park – Robinsfirth
Sandown Park – Sire de Grugy
Wetherby – Wemyss Point