Aussie racehorses (harness and track) deserve better in their post-racing lives

07 Nov 2023

Aussie racehorses (harness and track) deserve better in their post-racing lives featured image

Today is Melbourne Cup , the race that stops a nation! But let’s also take a moment to think about our Aussie racehorses (both harness Standardbreds, and track Thoroughbreds) and how we can ensure they have a better life after their racing careers.

Meet Annie Knox, a Veterinary scientist with a passion for off-the-track racehorses. She’s using her newly-awarded Churchill Fellowship to explore how Australia can improve the transition and prospects of horses moving from racing to equestrian careers.

“Around one-third of retired racehorses are absorbed into breeding industries. The rest need suitable new homes,” says Annie.

More than 6,000 Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses leave the racing industry every year in Australia, and there’s so much more to be done.

Annie will travel overseas to learn from successful initiatives in the UK and USA and evaluate their adaptability to Australian circumstances. She’ll also collect data to analyze longer-term outcomes.

With racing welfare reform in Australia, there’s much to be learned from overseas examples. The UK and USA lead in sustainability and innovation.

Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust, congratulated Annie on her Fellowship and hopes her findings will lead to more humane practices for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses.

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