There are roughly 15,000 horses in training in the UK but we typically only ever see these incredible animals when they are galloping in all their glory at tracks around the country.
Roughly 5,000 of those racehorses are retired each year; due to things like old age and injury.
But what happens to these intelligent and durable athletes when the time comes to hang up their racing shoes?
Some head to New Beginnings, a place where former racehorses can adjust to life after their racing days are over and be re-trained and re-homed for their second career. After all, racing typically takes up less than half of a horse's lifetime.
The day-to-day running of the charity is managed by Pam and Kevin Atkinson with valued support from their patrons and trustees which include National Hunt jockey Daryl Jacob and ITV Racing's Oli Bell.
Horses that have passed through the New Beginnings gates include:
- Goldream – won the 2015 Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.
- Nanton – a huge favourite with racegoers.
- Mister McGoldrick – 66/1 winner at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival
“We’re not trying to change the world but for every horse that becomes a New Beginnings horse, its world will change forever.” - Pam and Kevin Atkinson
Where does their funding come from? How do you actually retrain a racehorse?
I popped over to the New Beginnings yard in East Yorkshire to find out more...
Now in its tenth year, New Beginnings bring in horses straight from racing or more often from private post-racing homes where for whatever reason the owner can no longer look after them.
At New Beginnings they assist in the retraining of racehorses through their ‘Vulnerable Horse Scheme’ to provide care, compassion and stability for those former racehorses that need that extra help and understanding.
New Beginnings is a registered Charity who retrain and re-home former racehorses, to find out more about the tireless work Pam and Kev put in at and to learn how you can help visit http://nbhorses.org.uk